The April winds are magical
And thrill our tuneful frames;
The garden walks are passional
To bachelors and dames.
The hedge is gemmed with diamonds,
The air with Cupids full,
The cobweb clues of Rosamond
Guide lovers to the pool.
Each dimple in the water,
Each leaf that shades the rock
Can cozen, pique and flatter,
Can parley and provoke.
Goodfellow, Puck and goblins,
Know more than any book.
Down with your doleful problems,
And court the sunny brook.
The south-winds are quick-witted,
The schools are sad and slow,
The masters quite omitted
The lore we care to know.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Springtime is here in the northeast, and I find myself trilling with the birds. Vaughan Williams has been playing on the studio record player for days now and all the cats are lounging on sunny windowsills.
It seems as though springtime happens all at once here. Just a few weeks ago, I was tranquilly sipping tea in the studio while giant fluffy flakes sailed by the window, and now that same window is thrown open so that the smell of wet earth can fill every space. You can almost feel the botanical verve vibrating the air. This time of year I find myself running down the stairs so my dress skirt will flair, just for the sheer pleasure of it. Springtime makes me feel as though I have liquid gold running through my veins and a heart thrumming like a Stradivari violin. Everything is musical.
As a result of this fine weather, I have not been in the studio much as of late. Instead, my afternoons have been comprised of Terry Pratchett under the arboretum oaks and hitting baseballs by the lake. During those times of seasonal shifts, getting into my north-facing metalsmithing studio is rather difficult, because I feel like the world is conducting this grand orchestral piece that I am missing out on. Right now, everything is blooming, and I want to unfurl my petals in the sunshine, as well! All I can think about is being outside with watercolor brushes, rose lemonade, and wearing my dress with the squirrels on it. I want to “court the sunny brook” and run my hands along the hedges “gemmed with diamonds.”
Despite the call of springtime, I have managed to finish a few pieces for the shop. Since my work is permeable to daily experience, it only stands to reason that spring would find its way into my jewelry.
From the thundery days ever-looming in early springtime came these waiting crow necklaces. I have made two for you, and they feature large, natural Picasso jaspers with matrices that resemble the branches of trees stretching across the night sky. They are set in serrated bezels, and there is a waiting crow sawn out of the backs of each of the pendants.
This design was originally part of my autumn Nocturne Collection, which included shadowy, dark stones and heavily oxidized finishes; pieces made to be carried through fallen graveyards and to light candles beside. But with the gloom of rainfall through the leafless black walnut tree, this design continually called to my mind. Therefore, I dug through my gemstone chest until I found my Picasso jaspers to render the crow in silver once again. And so I made two, because remember, “One for sorrow, two for joy.”
After spending time with the corvids, the unfolding forms and greens of mid-springtime were transmuted into these organic pieces.
These pieces feature light green prehnite gemstones with feathery inclusions and dark green rutiles, giving the pendants a sense of natural depth. The bezel walls feature the light veining of a leaf lacing around the stone. Bordering the stones are hammered wires made to resemble the twisting gnarled roots of an old tree clinging to rock, a few forged pebbles from recycled sterling silver, and hand-twisted ropes. On the backs of some of the pendants, there are hand-sawn windows showing the undersides of the stones in the shape of unfurled ferns.