I find something silver, put it in a little crucible, and add flux and flame. Its a humbling experience to watch a thing you’ve made start to glow red hot. It becomes distorted as it slumps, turning molten. The silver pools together. It turns shiny, a perfectly smooth puddle.... except for a cloudy spot of dirty material right in the surface. What to do about that? I try to scoop it off to the side and out of the way. More heat... it all feels a little risky - dangerous even, as I move the liquid metal (around 1700 degrees hot!) with the flame still on it to above the pot of water. Drip, drip drip, splash and sizzle, it’s out of my hands, I am no longer in control. The silver is transformed into precious little cups as it drops onto the surface of the water, each a unique mystery waiting to be revealed as I pull it up out of the water.
The whole process speaks to my soul. It’s a good way to officially end my two year break from the studio and a good way to start the new year. My two year break was a time of refinement, both spiritually and physically. As I went through and organized my studio, materials, scraps and work I also assessed my heart, really examining my motivation behind making jewellery.
I find it really beautiful when physical acts are tied together with spiritual transformation, like baptism for example. This process of water casting really sums up my personal spiritual experience on my break. I found myself at a place of complete surrender and gave my studio, my time, my skills, my materials, my past work and future dreams over to God. It was pretty intense at times, and dealing with the ugly parts of myself as they rose to the surface was a essential part of the process. But there is an amazing freedom in letting go and allowing change, handing over control and trusting God with the outcome.
Out of those little water cast drops I've decided to create a new series of work, which I've given the title of the "Rain Drop" Collection. A Spring rain is cleansing, refreshing and bringing with it growth and new life. It washes away the old and creates space for the new. The little water cast cups remind me of a raindrops as they hit the surface of a lake, the silver cups hold that moment and freeze it in time.
I love how jewellery has the potential, as a very personal art form, to have a deeper hidden meaning. Each little pair of studs, pendant and ring in my "rain drop" collection symbolize refinement, the peace that comes from surrender and trust and the beautiful transformation that follows.