Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Guest Post - Juliette Williams

Into the Fire
by Juliette Williams

I’ve been on a real journey with jewelry making this past year.  I found myself ill last year with a lot of time on my hands (I have Multiple Sclerosis, and had to leave my full time job at University of California, Santa Cruz to rehabilitate from a flare-up).  One thing that struck one of my doctors has become the focus of the past year – jewelry making and photography. She suggested that I use these projects to help me in rehabilitating my coordination as well as focus and concentration.  When I got sick, the flare-up affected me so that I forgot basic things, such as sitting up, walking a straight line, and remembering names.  Bit by bit, they have come back and I’ve regained much of what I had ‘forgotten.  

I had been working with polymer clay for a few years, and two years ago started experimenting with copper wire.  I remember the first pair of pliers I got – I felt like a jeweler!  

So, this year has been a wonderful creative journey.  I’ve recently started working with more semi-precious stones, copper and brass sheet.  In July, I started experimenting with ‘fire painting’ on copper and brass, and at the same time opened my first Etsy shop.

One thing I’ve learned in the past month: Fire is a teacher.  Metaphorically, and literally.  I get the torch going, and put a piece of copper or brass on the block and after that, it’s not up to me anymore.  It’s as though the fire speaks to you, telling you the path you want to take on the metal, and how long to keep going before the ‘sentence is finished.’ 

This December some of these pieces will be in shows in Santa Cruz and Ben Lomond, California.  And some of them are commissions for artist Doug Masury’s beautiful tapestries.  I feel humbled and honored. Thankful beyond words.

Fire.  It’s been cleansing.  And such a teacher.  

You can find the talented and sweet Juliette here:


stacilouise said...

So nice to meet you juliette! I agree, that fire, has some sort of way of transporting us to a very deep creative place. I am happiest on days when I have a torch in my hand and time to just play!!! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Alice said...

What an inspiring story. Where others may have given up jewlery making, you forged ahead and used to help with rehabilitation.

I love your copper pieces. The color and form are so beautiful!

Thanks for sharing your story.

Izzy said...

Thanks so much for visiting today. Your creative journey is very inspirational and your pieces are just lovely!

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

Your copper pieces are lovely!

MaCarroll Beads said...

That was a very touching story. I love to hear stories of strength and moving forward..... and accepting what life has brought and working with that in a positive way. I'm sure it was not easy. Thank-you for sharing your story. Maybe, this will touch someone else who struggles in ways that are not common place. Your work is beautiful :o)

Christine said...

Good for you for not giving up. You have continued to explore and utilize your creativity for good energy. Your copper pieces are gorgeous! How do you get the fire painted colors to stay on the metal?

Erika said...

Juliette, I just browsed through your etsy shop. Your jewelry is beautiful! And I absolutely love the dahlia photos! I also love photography in addition to jewelry making.

Abeille à miel said...

It is SO wonderful to talk to all the talented people on Love My Art Jewelry's site! I'm very glad to meet you all, and thank you for your words. They mean a lot!

I will most likely have questions for all of you in the future, I will say that. ;)

Christine, regarding your question about the colors staying on the metal - it is definitely a creative process that I can't completely control. I will say that if you experiment with water and fire, you might get some cool results. Also, play around with what bowl you use when quenching metals. ;)

Erika, thanks for visiting my Etsy shop! Do you have photos up for us to see?

Thanks again, everyone - this has been a great start to my day (it's still morning here) :)

Barbara said...

What an inspirational post! Art truly is a healer and it was so interesting how you translated the therapy it provided into beautiful work!

mairedodd said...

your work is beautiful, your tenacity is heartwarming and inspiring... i love your metal forms, the patina you achieve... and congratulations on your commission!

Abeille à miel said...

Barbara and Mairedodd, thank you both for your comments! Both of you do some really gorgeous work. I appreciate ALL of you more than I can say!

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