Sunday, February 19, 2012

guest post - stacie florer

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people that have come alive."  Howard Thurman

But first, let me start off this conversation by introducing myself. My name is Stacie Florer, and I have been exploring my life via jewelry fabrication for about 6 years. Exploring my life is a strange way to describe making jewelry, but I am a huge believer in using a creative craft as a vehicle to know yourself better-- to be able to drive into my passions in life using beads, wire and sheet metal as my getaway car has allowed me to visit the land of Photography, an ever changing landscape depending on my moods, and process what I learn from these visual trips via the written word.

When I first started out exploring jewelry fabrication, my only thought was that I knew I had to relieve the ache in my soul yearning to create something with my hands and my heart.  I was in Seattle, WA visiting a friend of mine, and she had recently taken up beading. She took me to a big, old bead shop, the sort where there are treasures hanging from every available spot and the incense is constantly being burned. It was absolutely overwhelming to look at it all, but the vibe was such that I instantly recognized that beading was an activity that would begin to heal my soul's ache to create.

Beads are the gateway bling, for lack of a better term,  into the world of jewelry fabrication. There is a bead out there that will perfectly express your feelings about yourself, your life and your interests.  I was attracted to all things tribal. Bone beads, Krobo beads, trade beads, Hill Tribe Silver...there was literally a whole world of beads that allowed me to express my love of the tribal and primitive. If your bent is on antiques, there are a whole host of beads for that such as Czech glass, vintage buttons and rhinestones. Or what about glass? Lampwork beads are always going to be hot...who can resist those candy colors and fun textures? Glass lovers are usually fun and colorful too, aren't they?  The beads you are attracted to are an indication of how you perceive your life and yourself. They are literally extensions of the unique and glorious you, and you can continue to go down the rabbit hole of self inquiry by exploring your world via beads.

But for some of us, there comes a time when beads are no longer enough. We crave more expression by our own hands, and maybe the next step is working with wire. Wire involves using a few more tools and if you have never been exposed to tools before ( I was deathly afraid of an electrical bead reamer), the urge to create brings up some fears too. Fear of tools is very common when you are beginning. Fear of tools, I believe, has stymied many a jewelry designer from taking the next step in their urge to create. I can say from experience that a love for tools, which are just extensions of your hands and eyes, will come if you keep pushing through those fears. See? This is but one of the deeper qualities of exploring you that I am talking about. Overcoming fears enables you to gain confidence in yourself. That confidence spills over into every other aspect of your life. You start looking at tutorials about difficult wire weaves and have the confidence to try it. You are growing and expanding! Pretty soon, Home Depot will start becoming a favorite place to shop instead of the department store!

The journey doesn't end for some of us with wire, comes sheet metal. Cutting, sawing, etching, sanding and soldering are next up on the "learn to do" list. The fever to create is running high. The need for self expression gets stronger and stronger as you gain confidence. By now, you have gotten quite a bit of experience with your digital camera, and maybe are starting to photograph your life outside of jewelry.  The two start to merge somewhat. At least it did for me. I started seeing my world differently. I paid attention to what I was interested in...shapes in my environment became inspiration for my metal work.

When you pay attention to your life, your own style will begin to take shape. The trick is to go within yourself by noticing and acknowledging and accepting that what you love will find its own audience. There is inspiration all around you. All you have to do is take some time, with your pen or camera or scrapbook (or whatever you use to collect images and ideas), and watch what you come up with; notice patterns!  And most importantly, trust with your heart that your way of interacting with the world is singular, and that is the most precious gem you have in your collection. It really is all about you and what makes you come alive!

For more about living from Soul to Substance, I have a rather longish post about my own awakening here.


to learn more about stacie, you can visit her website... 


janie said...

Stacie and I met on Google Plus. I was so intrigued with Stacie's essence, I wanted to know her jewelry. I loved her jewelry and wanted to wear something made with her hands, which reflected my essence.

The unbelievably unique, creative and beautiful belly earrings are what evolved from this process.

I was so filled with glee to see them on this site!

Stacie, you bring a joy to this world that extends space and time.

Izzy said...

I adore your jewelry, admire your philosophy and appreciate your wisdom and advice. =)

Stacie Florer said...

Thank you Izzy...but you have to know that a big reason why I have started incorporating more copper in my work is because of what I have seen you do? You are such an inspiration about focus!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I absolutely LOVE your work. The first time I saw what you did, I was amazed. My experience with leaving the world of purchasing beads to create to using my hands to create something that will be different than what anyone else has is similar to yours. Thank-you for sharing. What an inspirational post :o)

Chris said...

Stacie, as usual you explain this creative journey so clearly. I've travelled to most of the places (jewelry creativity places, that is) you have and couldn't communicate it as well as you have done in this post. Your work and your viewpoint are compelling, uplifting, positive. Thank you!

mairedodd said...

this is a beautiful and inspiring post... you know (i hope) that i deeply admire your work... your philosophy is so affirming of the need to be true to oneself... thank you -

Kelli said...

Such a beautiful post!! I felt as though you were talking about me and my journey.. Did we all start that way? It truly is a yearning in the soul to create.. Very beautiful post Stacie! Thanks for sharing with us! LOVE your work!!

Diane said...

Thanks Stacie for always sharing your path of creative jewelry design so clearly. Your giving soul reaches out to those who lend an ear to listen...and I have been listening for some time =) xo

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

Stacie, well said. I, too, am finding the need to express myself more by expanding on my skills. Thank you for such a thoughtful post. And, of course, beautiful jewelry with soul.

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