Musings on minimalism and metalwork

The northern environment, the cool air, lends itself to contemplation. I’ve been considering, and journaling about, wanderlust, minimalism, and food. (Who doesn’t think about food?)

I love to wander and see new places, live new places. I’ve been lucky to be able to visit many places so far, especially before I had children. Family and material possessions (and related bills) have slowed me down. Now I’m trying to figure out how to have a version of that freedom again, and family too. I’m reading about minimalism as a lifestyle path; defining the true needs, important wants, and working out how and when to get rid of the unnecessary items.

In researching minimlism, I can’t help but wonder how jewelry, and art objects in general, fit in. I’m not talking about minimalism as a design style. That’s never appealed to me. I’m talking about the proliferation of stuff and the drive to endow it with monetary value. Where does all of this stuff fit in? How much stuff can we make and own?

I finished these bronze ginkgo leaves yesterday. They are about 7 inches long, easy to hold and hang, easy to ship and move. If they collect dust, you can rinse or brush them off without ruining them. If you tire of them, you could take them to a metal recycler. They are likely the last pieces I will make in this size in non-ferrous metals. This size no longer appeals to me in terms of work or in terms of my future more nomadic lifestyle.

Jewelry does travel well. It’s small, rides on the body and can make personal and/or public statements. You can change your statements with your style. Trade in the metal, or have it re-worked, when the piece of jewelry no longer suits your needs.

Hammered silver link earrings.

I am in no way implying that jewelry is part of a minimalist lifestyle. What I have been learning is that minimalism is about defining what is most essential in my own life. In my case it’s related to lightening up and traveling more. Jewelry, and a small well equipped, efficient studio do fit in. Workshops and teaching do fit in.

What else fits in? How do art & craft fit into a more streamlined minimalist lifestyle? How do they fit into a world with a rapidly shrinking middle class and less disposable income?


Share Subscribe in a reader GardenStew

Summer Market and Festival Season

The farmers’ market season has started. I’ll be at the market in Manistee, MI on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm and at the Bear Lake market on Fridays at WeeBee Jammin.

windy Northern Michigan selfie

I’ll be at the Traverse City Art & Wine Festival on Saturday June 20th from 2-9pm at Grand Traverse Commons and The Outdoor Art Fair on the lawn of Northwestern Michigan College Campus on Saturday July 25th 2015, 10am to 5pm.

Getting ready to make new work for the summer markets.



Share Subscribe in a reader GardenStew

Spring Cleaning Clearance

I’m in a spring cleaning, de-cluttering, minimizing kind of mood.  I’ve marked down many ready-to-ship pendants, earrings and forged steel leaves to $25 apiece at

Spring Cleaning Sale Notice

Share Subscribe in a reader GardenStew

2 more Earrings in the nearly daily challenge

Here are #s 62 and 63: A sterling chased and repousséd heart charm and a magical white topaz set in a simple sterling setting.   I actually think that they make a lovely pair but will eventually list them separately.  Please contact me if you’re interested in one or both.

EAD2015 Earrings #62 and 63 of 365

EAD2015 Earrings #62 and 63 of 365

Share Subscribe in a reader GardenStew

Earring a Day update and a new online sales venue

I finished up #55-61 out of the 365 single earrings that I will eventually complete for 2015.
To see more earrings, please visit the Earring section in my online Etsy shop.

Copper Pod Earrings on titanium earwires - EAD2015 #55-61 out of 365

Copper Pod Earrings on titanium earwires – EAD2015 #55-61 out of 365

I’d also like to introduce you to my new shop venue on Fine Cabin.  I’ll have a selection of my work for sale there, as well as on Etsy.  If you have a preference for where you spend your money, please let me know and I’ll list the item that you want in the place where you want to buy it.

Share Subscribe in a reader GardenStew
Empire Beach, MI April 2015

Spring Inspiration in Northern Michigan

I’ve been doing a lot of hiking on warm sunny days with the family around home and in the Southern portion of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.   The wildflower photos were all taken further inland in Manistee County, but you could see the same out at Sleeping Bear.

As you can see near the end, I gathered some ramps, or wild leeks, for our evening dinner (with permission of course.)  They were delicious.  I hope to use more in our spring meals while they are available for the next few weeks.  Yes, I’ll be harvesting them carefully, leaving plenty to grow for following years.

What wild spring edibles are you looking forward to?

Share Subscribe in a reader GardenStew
Single forged sterling silver leaf earring EAD #52

Earring a Day, updated through #54

It’s day 110 of 2015 and I’m up to #54 of those pesky daily earrings. I may be diligent, but I’m obviously not working on them daily.

To see what other Earring-A-Day participants are doing, check out the facebook page at
and the following links:

Diana Alexander

Maria Apostolou

Natalia Araya

Erin Austin

Lily Bhattacharya

Rebecca Bogan

Kris Braunecker

Beth Cyr

Caitlyn Davey

Cynthia Del Giudice:

Kirsten Denbow

Beatriz Diaz Ceballos

Sophia Georgiopoulou

Nina Gibson

Michele Grady

Louise Hunter

Carin Jones

Leidi Jorge

Evelyn Markasky

Virginie Martin

Nancy Nearing

Nikki Rees

Debbie Ritchie

Ligia Rocha

Anna Severina Fell

Kirsten Skiles Ross

Tammi Sloan

Victoria Takahashi

Diane Tchakirides

Maria Veltsou

Sara Westermark

Sara Wilbanks

>off etsy links :

Ponsawan Silas

Mary Lu Wason

Share Subscribe in a reader GardenStew
Manistee County sunrise March 29, 7:18am

Spring sunshine

I am fascinated with the sun as it shines over this Northern land in spring.  I don’t know how it will show up in my artwork in the future, but I’m sure it will.

I want to do some exploring while we live up here and am looking at this book for ideas.

Share Subscribe in a reader GardenStew