Friday, October 3, 2014

Some days in the studio just don't work out.
I know this to be true for all artists.
Some days we hit walls, some days the metal gods aren't with us, some days we have to start the day off feeling off and some days it ends exactly the same.

I've been having a few of those days... and though it is completely frustrating, I usually take those days to create something different... after I have a beer on the patio. I may have bought myself some flowers too...

Yesterday and the day before, I pulled out my new stash of leather again. I shot across town, bought some colorful thread, some small seed beads, and some uber silky, creamy dark brown leather and sat down to create in a field that I truly, know nothing about.
It's a freeing feeling. Creating in a new medium. Knowing nothing about the "top dogs," the drama, the whose who and knowing a lot about the what-the-hell-is-this-tool?

As a jeweler, I am almost completely self taught. I'm not afraid of material, exploration, taking risks, making dumb mistakes. And that's exactly how I feel with leather. I haven't watched any videos or researched technique, I don't want to find another artist and say, oh, I like that, that's what I'll do.
I just want to make. I want to make in the most freeing of ways. I want to make with my eyes closed and my heart open. I want to make for the shear joy of making and being present.
And so I am.

Being a beginner again has humbled me. Having to ask the most simple of questions in the leather supply store pulls me back down... it's a place I can admit I haven't been for a while now in my metal career. It's a feeling I wish all of my creative friends to feel time and time again when their backbones rest tall and as straight as arrows.

So here I am. About to gloat in excitement about the things that I'm sure fall in novice categories. About tiny tight seams all made by hand and hammer, stitched one by one without the use of a machine. Things that cause only the makers on the bottom of the totem pole to sing aloud about, things that maybe aren't large feats anymore to those who string hide together day in and day out, but that's what's just so darn exciting about being a beginner. Every successful part of the climb is something to celebrate.
It's almost like having the rose colored glasses of a kid again. And it's some sort of beautiful, that experience.

The seed beads were bought to adorn the bag, but by the end of the night, with fingers tired from pulling taut stitching, I made a necklace instead. I wish I could remember the last time I simply pushed beads onto soft thread, the last time I "crafted" so quietly at the table, the last time something I made didn't require a hammer.

 Be well & go create.


  1. You are magic. Just thought you should know. xo

  2. Ashley, I love your work and professionalism and I like you as a beautiful human being without having ever met you. Your passion truly shines through.


    1. Thank you so much, Tracey. That really means a lot to me. I appreciate it.


  3. I'm so excited to see the finished bag. Look at those hand stitches! Sounds like a soul soothing project for you. And I love the beads.
    Do you remember that pretty little strand of beads you sent me a very long time ago? Did you know it's one of my very favorite things?
    Love that you set your hammer aside and strung some more with a quiet mind and found so much joy in doing so.

    1. I'm delighted that you love it so much... and it is very soul soothing. Quiet. Meditative... just plain fun. :)

  4. sweet little strand of beads.
    and that perfect stitching!