Winter Thoughts

The Native American’s call it the “Quiet Time”, the time from Jan 1 through March.  It’s when the Earth Mother rests, getting ready for the new growth of the spring and summer.  This special time is a part of my yearly cycle, and I love it.  For me, it’s a time for allowing the ideas to come to fruitation in my mind, and a time to rest, to  just “Be”.  Those of us who live in the mountains are experiencing Deep Winter, and I love the long nights, though they are are getting shorter.  I curl up in my big chair, with the comforter over my legs, and sit with my sketch book and those colored brush/pens I love so much,  and watch the fire. I love the icyness of winter, and particularly love the clean coldness of -0 weather, IF I’m inside or step outside for a moment. If I’m outside for very long,  77 degrees is the perfect temperature.  Somehow that doesn’t compute, so I stay inside, now that I don’t ski anymore.

My earth shattering new revelation during my personal Quiet Time is that my favorite pieces I’ve done in the past are the ones without stones…the idea that the metal is enough.  I love the patinas and strange openings and crevices my work encompasses. I’m so glad I came to this conclusion before my annual pilgrimage to Tucson.  Maybe I’ll spend less money….or maybe I truly am a “stone collector”, like I tell my husband when I refuse to part with my treasures.  I’ll just keep them for myself.   But there are a few I really love and can’t stop buying.  If you read the article in the February issue of Lapidary Journal by Terri Haag, you found out I like using Dino poop, more delicately called coprolites. Some coprolites are spectacular and colorful.  I will be buying all I can find.  In fact, this is one of my latest Dino doo-doo pieces, called “Tastes Like Chicken”.  It’s coprolite and  Oregon sunstone, with little “nibbles” around the outside.  If you are a dino person, you’ll understand the title.  And the dino doo is pretty spectacular, isn’t it?

I really enjoy the history and palentological aspect of  using coprolites, so you will be seeing more of them, and fossils, in my jewelry.

My buddies (or my “entourage”, as Mark Lasater from The Clamshell calls it) will begin arriving next week, and we will eat lots of Mexican food, drink a margarita (OK, maybe 2), stay up all hours to talk and giggle, and then make the 16 hour “ROAD TRIP!” past the ancient volcanos in Northern New Mexico,  into the Sonoran desert, where we will continue to have Mexican food and our one margarita.  I’m staying with good buddy Terri.  We will catch up with friends, see new stuff, and I’ll blog from Electric Park.  I’m hoping we get to hang with our metalhead friends and our favorite stone cutters, and perhaps even get a trip out to see Gary B. Wilsons’s Tucson set up.  Helen and I have a margarita bet on who will make the first purchase, and we are both so stubborn that we may go the whole 10 days without a stone (or a margarita).  Don’t hold your breath, though.

So I will be in touch soon, finishing up the Suggestions for Creativity.   Also, I will be teaching The Artist’s Way at the Highland Ranch Rec Center Starting in March, and also will have a beginning metalsmith workshop at the Rec Center.  I’m very excited about these new classes. The metals classes are still going on at Coyote Creek in Fairplay,  but with Deb Hamm as the winter teacher.  That treacherous Hwy 285 through South Park is just too dangerous in the winter for me to make the weekly trip.  So stop by and say hi if you are in the area.  The gallery is open daily except Wednesdays.  Until next time–

Enjoy your personal Quiet Time–



6 Responses

  1. Another great post Lexi! Maybe next year I’ll be able to be part of the Tucson entourage … for now I’ll have to live vicariously through your emails, pictures, and blog. I know it will be great fun.

    I have enjoyed your collection of beautiful stones. They are truly stunning. And I find it so very interesting that you mentioned last weekend and in this post that metal is enough. I never really thought of it like that, but I understand it. I’m happy I have one of your just metal pieces, a ‘Conversation with Harold’. I know I haven’t explored enough when it comes to just metal and I am certain you will continue to challenge me with metal only projects.

    You have a busy 2010 in front of you. I look forward to all that it holds.

    Peace my friend in your quiet time.

    Love, Kathleen

    • Kathleen- thank you for your comment. This is truly my Quiet Time, as I get ready for the Colorado Metalsmith’s Annual board Retreat this coming week-end and then Tucson after that, I’m enjoying the quiet before the storm. I know I’ll be sending you photos from my phone about everything I think you will like from Tucson, and I’ll be happy to pick up stones for you from our favorite cutters. I’ll come back with all kind of surprises for you. And through my iPhone, I’ll keep you connected with everyone so it will be like you are right there with us. At least we will have the COMA Conference together.
      Much love,

  2. What a great post, Lexi. I am covetous, I wish I could express myself half as well as you do. I, too, spent Sunday afternoon and evening designing, I now have an 8 1/2 x 10 note book full of designs.

    Hugs, John

    • Hi John–thank you for the comment. I’m glad you are designing. You have all these wonderful brand new tools coming to your house, and your sketches will be anxiously awaiting to come to life. I’m so happy you are in my life and share your thoughts. It will be so great to read of your progress, and remember, I’m here for you if you have any questions. If I don’t know the answers, I know someone who does.
      Big hugs,

  3. Hi Lexi! I love this post, and I keep coming back to it. I do several designs that do not have gemstones, or I use the stones as an accent to the piece, instead of the focus. I found that I pushed my designs, and really thought about them more if I didn’t have a stone to be the star of the show.
    I enjoy seeing your work here, and in the Lapidary Journal. (A subscription was my gift to myself this holiday.) You’re probably in Tucson now – my old stomping grounds. I went to the U of A before I discovered my passion for metalsmithing. Have a marg for me! And/or let’s get together some time after you get back, and have one here in Colorado. I’d also love to meet Kathleen – we’ve been friends on facebook for awhile now, and I love her work too.
    Thanks so much for your inspiration!
    Cheers – Marnie

    • Marnie–How sweet of you to reply! I have been thinking so much about you. We leave Thursday for Tucson, and I will definitely get in touch with you when I return. Thank you for your thoughts, and I’m eager to talk about design more with you, and with Kathleen, too. Let’s plan a dinner when I get back from Tucson, and discuss our ideas and thoughts. Helen will be here for a few more days after we get back from Tucson, and we could meet at our favorite ice cream place, so you could meet Helen. More later.
      Big hugs,

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