For the Love of Turquoise

I think it started when I was a kid.  When we'd visit my grandparents, I always wanted to head straight to my grandmothers dressing area and dig through her treasures.  She'd let me stand on a chair so I could peer inside her top dresser drawer, one of those tallboy dressers, with six or seven drawers.  That top drawer was better than a sandbox, more fun than a box of toys...It was filled with jewelry.  I would pull out my favorites and start piling everything on.  She would look over my shoulder and tell me that she really liked the ones I picked, and didn't they look so fancy all together.  At some point we'd end up sitting on the edge of her bed, I would ask her about the rings or bracelets, wondering about what the stones were, and she would start to tell me the stories of where the different pieces had come from.   Much of her jewelry was a gift from my grandfather.  I have never met a man who loves to shop the way he did...especially for jewelry.  I think it's in my genes.  In addition to the fancier jewels, with gold and sparkly bits, he had a huge love of Native American jewelry, specifically the work of a few artists in and around where they were living at the time in Arizona.  Now, you know where this is heading...Turquoise was always around.  He had his own impressive collection of chunky silver and stone jewelry.  Huge chunks of turquoise set into rings, which he sported on his pinky, cuff bracelets overflowing with brightly colored chunks of blue and green earth.  I remember asking him if I could put one of his rings on and how they were so big they fit like a donut around my finger. Slipping it on, feeling its weight and coolness, staring at the brightly colored stone, there was some kind of a connection happening.  Even then I wondered about who made it, and how that was even possible!

All these years later, when I sit down to start working on a project, and open up my box of stones, I always reach for the turquoise first.  So there I was last Sunday, all jazzed up with inspiration and fired up to make some awesome shit!  I had a leisurely cup of coffee, and sat down with intention at my bench, and it was one of those beautiful days of work, where the inspiration and the fabrication came together with ease, and a I didn't even have to curse while soldering anything!!!! (for those of you who are not makers of silvery things, just so you know, it doesn't come easy, and sometimes it's necessary to swear loudly at your work to make everything come together properly).

So here we have a bit of the bounty from Sundays work day...

From right to left we have Sleeping Beauty turquoise, and Nacozari turquoise with awesome flecks of silvery goodness in the matrix. 

This latest work is what I hope will be the beginning of a series of pieces inspired by all those old rings and things I felt connected to so long ago.  Infused with my love of old turquoise jewelry, and build by hand with the intention of being worn and loved for a lifetime, and then passed on down the line like some of my favorites.  I hope whomever claims these will love them as much as I do, and that they will feel some kind of connection to them...

Turquoise makes me happy, I hope some of that happy ends up with you.


Water Dog

For our anniversary last month, I gave Jo a Gopro camera for all of her surf adventures. It's quite an amazing little piece of equipment, and takes awesome videos. When we went swimming with Max last weekend she shot this little video. Underwater doggie legs are just about the cutest thing ever!

Sunset at Tongs 6/7/13 from Sierra Keylin on Vimeo.


A Quick Preview

I've been wanting to make bracelets forever.
I kept putting it off.
I ordered the materials.
I put them in a drawer.
One day, much later on I had bracelet day in the studio.
I made some RAD bracelets.
That was three weeks ago.
I CANNOT get any good pictures of the darn bracelets.
Except one...

One of my favorite cuffs is one my mom gave to me years ago, its textures show years of wear, first her, and now me wearing it.  I wanted to put that kind of feeling in to this piece, to make something that someone can have for a lifetime, and love more and more over time.  I'm smitten with Kingman Turquoise...I made myself a promise that I wouldn't buy any more until I used up all I had, and this is the last piece.  You better believe my cozy time tonight will envolve lots of browsing for new stones.

Happy Thursday/Independence Day/Bonus Day off (for me)!!!!


Monday is my Sunday

My new work schedule at the "real job" leaves me with Sunday and Monday off, and I LOVE it!  Something about Monday being my Sunday is a really beautiful thing...

Here are a few beautiful things from my day off solo adventure...I took max, a backpack, and a small cooler, and drove up to the North Shore.

Before we left the house I grabbed an Apple Banana from our 
recently harvested bunch:

Max and I were beat after our first of three beach stops, so we pulled over for some Poke
at the place that always has the best on the island Kahuku Superette.  If you like fish, if you like tuna, then you'll love poke...it's kind of like the official food item of Hawaii.  If you go to a party, there's poke, if you go to the beach, you bring poke, if there's a BBQ at someones house, the park, or the beach, there's always poke.  I'm not a big drinker, but poke and beer are good friends, trust me...

We took a long walk through the neighborhood, Max met a few dog friends, and I indulged one of my favorite hobbies, checking out houses and landscaping...I don't know why but I've always love exploring different neighborhoods, daydreaming about houses, and gardens, and playing the "if it was my house" game.  When I was a kid, we would take walks around our streets at night after dinner, and my mom and I would always end up talking about the houses...

I strategically chose us a secluded spot for the rest of the afternoon.  The beaches on this part of the island get very crowded, especially in the summertime, but after six years of living here I know all the secret spots where there are very few people :)
Max and I swam for a while, he played with some kids on the beach, and then we plopped our butts in the sand and settled in for some sunset appreciation...I was so zen, and then inspiration struck, and I had to start scribbling jewelry ideas in the book I was reading!  LOVE it when that happens...It's rare that I sketch out my designs ahead of time, but when it's flowing, you gotta get that shit down on paper!

All in all a wonderful way to close out one week and start another...Sometimes a solo day is just what the Dr. ordered, I just need to listen to my inner doctor and get it done more often.  Every time I take a day like this and just drive wherever the moment takes me, I feel so revived.  I'd been feeling restless in my routine for a few weeks, so this was just the perfect remedy. 

Happy Wednesday all!  I'm finally getting a haircut with a new lady tomorrow and I'm super excited!  It's been a chore and a half to find a good haircut out here, so fingers crossed...