… absorb the wisdom that boundaries are not where we end, but where we begin ….
. R.S. Heckler
My beginnings in metalwork and design were in high school, when for the first time girls were finally allowed to take shop class. Fortunately for me, the choice included jewelry making. Here began my fascination with tools in general, the rolling mill and torch in particular. It opened a world I had never seen or known of.
I began college as a science major, with a minor in metals and ceramics. At that time I was driven to finish college with a marketable skill, with which I could support myself. I studied to become an Occupational Therapist which combined my passion for art & craft, with my curiosity and aptitude for science. I specialized in the area of cognitive, and visual-perceptual-motor skills.
For a long time this seemed a diversion from the soul of an artist. However, in hindsight it was a beginning. It broadened my curiosity and understanding about how and why we see and know colors, shapes, textures, experience motion, and some of how we create, retain and recall thoughts, objects and their relationships. These concepts and skills have carried me through many beginnings and have become an integral part of my jewelry design and fabrication process.
After seven years as a therapist I began again. I found my way to open and a design and construction company. This nurtured my art and design hungers, and taught me ( by the seat of my pants ) how to grow and run a business. After twelve years of being ” married ” to a growing business, I sold my interest in the business and began again.
With focused intention, I began training, and practicing to be a jeweler and metalsmith. I took classes at local colleges, jewelry schools, and art centers. I apprenticed with different metalsmiths/jewelers. I am fortunate to have studio at my home. I prefer hand fabrication, resulting in each piece being different.
I currently design and create two different series of jewelry. Shape, texture, and movement are key elements in my design eye.
The first, Japanese Mokume Gane my specialty, captured my attention early on in my training. It is an ancient Japanese metal patterning technique. I make all my own Mokume in blacksmith’s furnace in my studio. Mokume offers me a broad pallet of organic textures to work with, and allows me to combine an ancient craft technique with contemporary design.
The other series is my Siena Series. This series is designed around simplicity and color studies using pearls, stones and simple metal metalwork and/or metal beads.
Designing jewelry each time for me is a process of beginning again. The page and bench begin blank and then there is shape and color. When I begin to make a piece (series) is when the textures come in to view. I am grateful to live on the valley floor surrounded by nature’s shapes, colors, textures, as well as light and weather changes. As with many artists I find nature’s ways both inspiring as well as restorative.
I begin each day aware and grateful of the opportunity to thrive as a working artist.
” The power of landscape to restore and strengthen a spirit, rests primarily on one thing : the receptivity to what it offers “
. R.S. Heckler