I'm not quite sure how I find myself year - here, at the end of September. Surely it was only just the beginning of June a couple of days ago? Or at least, that's how it feels. You've heard it all before - I've certainly written it before - but there's truth and importance to be taken from this sensation. Sometimes time seems to pass so quickly, I feel like I'm not quite present in the moment - what happened to June, to July? I know August was a craft fair....but it's good to take a moment to be here, in this crystalline droplet of time. To breathe. To BE. (You can take this also as a warning to myself, because once we get into October, we're galloping towards November and craft fair season, leading up to Christmas...Oy.)
I've been feeling a real urge to submerge myself in the creative process right now. To dive in, headfirst; to shut off from the click-click, beep-bleep and blink of electronica and social media and general everyday distraction. But somehow, I haven't been able too. It's terribly frustrating when your heart and soul knows what it needs, but your head cannot give you the space. And of course, there are so many jobs and tasks that need to be done before you can even allow yourself to *think* about turning to making. Messages to be answered, orders to be packed, bunnies to be hung out with. Maybe it's the time of year - having been in full-time education until 24, and then spent the following 8 years teaching in schools, it's hard to throw off that 'new school year' feeling. It's a feeling that I like, actually - turning over a new leaf, a real sense of something new. Being open to possibility and change. . Or even just the possibility of the possibility of change. The chance to try new things; new techniques and media. It's exciting! And therefore doubly frustrating that I haven't quite synced my body with this feeling. Not least because I burned my hand badly enough to have to go to hospital last week, and have been hampered with the use of only one hand this week. Thankfully, my right hand was the sole functioning one (I am VERY right-handed, despite always having a secret desire to be a leftie. Is that just me?), and so things haven't been quite as difficult as they could have been. But I'm glad that, as of last night, my left hand really is feeling very useable.
One thing I did manage a few days ago was this bracelet. Simple stringing, and plier-use aided by a glove protecting my sore hand, was manageable at least. I received some beautiful bonus beads (the best kind!) from the lovely Sally of Soul Silver with my most recent order from her (the red ones in the bracelet below). I was immediately struck my their rich, glowing quality - the depth and luminosity of their colours. They draw you in. Goodness, I do love colour! Their richness and depth also spoke to me of the season. I reached for other beads - a toning handwoven glass round from myself, a selection of Czech glass in equally rich tones, and a beautiful, speckled ceramic round from Bo Hulley - and combined these with contrasting brass and bronze. Originally, this bracelet was charm-free, but I felt it needed *something* and the Fallen Angel Brass feathers were just the ticket.
Just look at how glowing Sally's lampwork beads are here. Even more so in real life. I've also used a magnetic clasp, from The Bead Shop Scotland. I've always been a little suspicious of magnetic clasps, not trusting them to stand up to what they should. But I bought a few of these due to the recommendations I read, and their uncommon prettiness (you can see there are several different designs and sizes on their site) and boy, am I pleased that I did. I was able to satisfy more than one customer during the West End Fair by switching clasp on a bracelet they liked but struggling to fasten themselves. And really, they are so lovely that I have decided to use one from the outset here. Super-strong too.
I love designing bracelets - I love their linear qualities. I love to take the eye on a walk along them, to have interest all around - and so 'Forest Walk' seemed an apt title for this piece, given the association with the seasons which Sally's beads invoke for me. Also, a nod to a recent walk we took here in the Lothians.
You can find Forest Walk for sale here.