Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Musings on minimalism and metalwork

The northern environment, the cool air, lends itself to contemplation. I've been considering, and journaling about, wanderlust, minimalism, and food. (Who doesn't think about food?)

I love to wander and see new places, live new places. I've been lucky to be able to visit many places so far, especially before I had children. Family and material possessions (and related bills) have slowed me down. Now I'm trying to figure out how to have a version of that freedom again, and family too. I'm reading about minimalism as a lifestyle path; defining the true needs, important wants, and working out how and when to get rid of the unnecessary items.

In researching minimlism, I can't help but wonder how jewelry, and art objects in general, fit in. I'm not talking about minimalism as a design style. That's never appealed to me. I'm talking about the proliferation of stuff and the drive to endow it with monetary value. Where does all of this stuff fit in? How much stuff can we make and own?

I finished these bronze ginkgo leaves yesterday. They are about 7 inches long, easy to hold and hang, easy to ship and move. If they collect dust, you can rinse or brush them off without ruining them. If you tire of them, you could take them to a metal recycler. They are likely the last pieces I will make in this size in non-ferrous metals. This size no longer appeals to me in terms of work or in terms of my future more nomadic lifestyle.

Jewelry does travel well. It's small, rides on the body and can make personal and/or public statements. You can change your statements with your style. Trade in the metal, or have it re-worked, when the piece of jewelry no longer suits your needs.

Hammered silver link earrings.

I am in no way implying that jewelry is part of a minimalist lifestyle. What I have been learning is that minimalism is about defining what is most essential in my own life. In my case it's related to lightening up and traveling more. Jewelry, and a small well equipped, efficient studio do fit in. Workshops and teaching do fit in.

What else fits in? How do art & craft fit into a more streamlined minimalist lifestyle? How do they fit into a world with a rapidly shrinking middle class and less disposable income?


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer Market and Festival Season

The farmers' market season has started. I'll be at the market in Manistee, MI on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm and at the Bear Lake market on Fridays at WeeBee Jammin.

I'll be at the Traverse City Art & Wine Festival on Saturday June 20th from 2-9pm at Grand Traverse Commons and The Outdoor Art Fair on the lawn of Northwestern Michigan College Campus on Saturday July 25th 2015, 10am to 5pm.