Acquiring a style of your own

It's been more than a decade now since I first began to create flame worked glass beads and making jewelry. I remember being worried that as a new artist, I didn't have a style. I could not yet show a body of work that when seen, someone might say 'oh, I know that artist!'  I did not yet have a collection of pieces with an identity or a discernible similarity in each piece. A cohesiveness.
I needn't have worried. I've since learned that acquiring a style of your own as an artist is a natural evolution.

I spent some of my growing up years on a ranch in the Upper Halfway area of the Peace country in British Columbia, Canada. I wasn't really crazy about being there at the time, yet there were things about it that I loved. 

We lived on 2400 acres of pristine land that sat next to the long and winding Halfway River.  There was a natural spring of water that bubbled ..happily, it seemed to me,  up out the ground on a hill above our house, even in the dead of winter! Like some great amazing life force.
Some days I would sneak away with my battery operated radio on the back of Brumbee..a gentle gelding who was happiest when his nose was pointed toward the barn. Until then, he could only muster a plod, or if he was feeling magnanimous, a [resentful] trot.
I would find a pretty spot, tie Brumbee to a close bush, and lay listening to the birds and the music on the transistor radio, watching the treetops move with the drifting clouds. Plotting and Day dreaming.

The countryside in the wilds of British Columbia are compelling and beautiful. The colors of the earth are always changing. There is a distinct perfume to each of the seasons. The heady sweet scent of fuchsia colored rose hips in the Summer and the acrid smell of the undergrowth in the Fall..the new sap running through the birch in the Spring and somewhere, always a faint smell of smoke hanging in the dense icy air of Winter.

All of these elements have somehow carved their way into my bones and no matter how far I travel or how many years pass, they will forever be a part of me.

Below are a couple of my brothers photos [DC Nature Photography] of the magnificent Peace country where he and his family still live. 

Photo by Dan Cantlon Northern BC, Canada

Photo by Dan Cantlon Northern BC, Canada

In time, the basic process of bead making became second nature and I found that as I relaxed my own unique style began to emerge.  The simple things that brought me joy began to show up in the jewelry. I used rods of glass in the subdued earth colors you might find in nature..rich ochres, sage greens, the tender robin egg colored blues. I designed using texture and movement, petal and leaf curved line...always including a dark to play amidst the lights.

Recently, I took a small silversmithing class here in the Middle East..my teacher a master who has designed jewelry for some of the wealthiest Sheiks here in Doha.  He told stories of rooms built solely for the purpose of holding rows and rows of cufflinks.

I enjoyed the class and have been taking great satisfaction in constructing my own organic style clasps that mimic the curved petals that I love to design in the glass. Each are hand fabricated using mixed metals of sterling silver, copper or brass with a simple hook making them easy to do up. 
While these connectors are worked to be comfortable on your wrist, they are also rough hewn and earthen by design. I like to age them further with a patina so that they might look like they may have been buried somewhere for some time.

My makers mark the raven, is either stamped on the back or stamped on a small dot of sterling as a charm.

Detail of clasp on Art glass bracelet 'My mothers Garden'

'Of the Earth'  




Paul Coelho in the Alchemist says this,

" You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say."

and in there lies your Style.

Picnicking at the river with the charming M&M's



Milt said...

Very well written and inspiring...Beautiful!

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wonderful works, is it really all you create yourself, where can you buy such miracles?

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Hope you have a great day! The information and your recommendations will help me to decide where I can travel. Thanks.