Monday, May 3, 2010


So, it's late. I have to get up a 6. I should be in bed, but I feel verbose. I was recently thinking about a comment a woman made at my table of wares at Artfest this year. She said,
"wow, your work is so refined... and its so ... intimate." It just cropped back up in my mind and I'm swishing it around. How nice. I like it... intimate. Isn't that what jewelry does best? Its given intimately. Its small and requires a paring down of experience... a scaling down of vision. Keith Lo Bue talks about allowing the viewer in, and that being the choice of the wearer... I think I'm drawn to nuance as well. I like it when something's packed with nuance. Or when subtlety is used... a subtle transition from one edge to another, or a fading texture gradually dying off a surface. Ah.. so lovely... and when it's done well! a patina that is used just so... a fine file that has gently licked off a sharp edge and softened it and then been lovingly sanded to the silkiest of smoothnesses.... so nice.

Why am I enraptured with metal? I mean really, why? why not clay? I love clay! I used to adore it! but now its okay, I mean I like it an all. Why not oil paints or soil? I used to adore soil! ...and humus and roots and the warm smell of it on my hands, but now..
it is metal that I cannot stop thinking about. I drive the road, NPR playing in the background dreaming of how many different hinges I can make for one locket. How many different ways I can trap a shell in metal. How many different ways I could solder a platform onto a ring to raise it up differently each time. why does my brain do this? And then why is it so hard to actually make the metal sugarplums that dance in my head? It seems there's never time.
I guess it's back to that word, intimacy. I am intimately involved with copper and silver. We are in a love triangle we three.
Or is it an age thing? is there something about middle age when your brain kicks into high gear, but only on certain things? I can't remember my middle name but ask me a question about metal! ah well... it's a lovely affair.


Stephani said...

Beautiful words and beautiful work! :)

Melissa Manley said...

Why thank you Stephani! and congratultions on Art Doll Quarterly!

Riki Schumacher said...

What a great way to describe the relationship of our love affair with our craft, intimate. I love it. Your work is spectacular Melissa. Hugs, Riki

Melissa Manley said...

Riki, you're always so kind!! thank you!