Winter Rocks

Winter Rocks

It’s February 2nd – still enough winter left for me to enjoy its inward pull, which is what I crave right now. I feel grateful for the sanctuary of home and studio, especially given the state of our world. And that may sound like I go home and hide my head in the sand. The truth is that we all handle challenges in a very personal way. Sometimes it’s on the front line. My form of activism right now is to break the habit of despair, and consciously redirect my thoughts. Can I imagine and expect a healthy, thriving planet of humans? Why not? Since we attract what we expect, there is nothing to lose in projecting love, and imagining a better world.

And of course, I always find respite and renewal in nature.

Look at those amazing hexagonal ice crystals!
Stacks of basalt at La Push
A basalt choir perhaps?

Rocks continue to keep me occupied. It’s a cliche, but they are so grounding – sorting, arranging, stacking, polishing. Last year I drew labyrinths on them; this year I paint on them. I know that painting rocks is all the rage, but a flat, round stone is truly the perfect little “canvas.” You’d think that drawing intricate designs would be too mental, but it’s just the opposite for me. It’s meditative; a time to rest my mind while I play with patterns. I’ve always loved form-drawing for that very reason.

Unfortunately (or not), when I discover a new technique or idea (in this case, acrylic inks!) I “binge” make. So now, I have boxes of painted stones stacked on the kitchen table. I don’t really know what to do with them since they’ve served their purpose. The experience of creating is always the best part for me. The end product is fun to hold, but it’s just the end product.

And in addition to the growing collection of painted stones, I have a new batch of polished orbicular jasper spilling out of baskets – 6 lbs recently collected from Rialto Beach! I thought the rock tumbler might get a break this winter, but I was wrong. We went to the coast in mid-December following a great storm. The tide was going out, the sun was low, and everything was still damp, so the jasper really popped out at us. We couldn’t stop filling our pockets! I picked up quite a few for pendants.

At the end of my last rock-tumbling post I wrote that I might try my hand at wire-wrapping pendants. I tried it. I’m still working on basic techniques. It’s not easy for me, but I’ve made some progress. I now understand the beauty of drilled stones and beads. I may also try attaching (with glue) a copper bail to some of my new pieces. There is so much to learn about jewelry making!

Perhaps I’ll add some painted rocks and polished pendants to my Etsy shop. But it’s more likely that some of you will receive a little something in the mail 🙂

Downloadable tutorials are also brewing and maybe even some DIY kits, because what I love MOST is inspiring others to make their own creations.

By the way, even the wee folk love a good stack of stones!

4 thoughts on “Winter Rocks

  1. I don’t know what to say, except your painted rocks are FABULOUS! I especially love the very intricate brown and yellow ones to the upper left and lower left in the photo. I have a friend who sells some of her painted rocks in a local rock/jewelry shop, but they are nothing like this!
    And the polished stones–well, you can’t beat polished stones. It just brings out the beauty that has been hidden there in the years.
    What I can’t figure out is how you make your painted stone designs so round and symmetrical. But I know you–you have a technique for everything.
    Wire wrapping is a challenge, I know, because you want to see the stone, not the wrapping. Looks like you’re getting the hang of it with the one hanging from the cord. It has a rather Celtic look. Beautiful work, Pam–all of it.
    Hope I get to visit your workshop sometime this year!

    1. Thank you Camille!
      The workshop is always open for visitors!!
      Yes, I do have a technique for round designs, but ultimately, the pen (I use a dip pen with acrylic inks) meanders without much of a plan. That’s why I love it so much – I don’t have to think about it.

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