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Persephone Awakening

Rite of Spring… Dance Yourself to Death!

 

An image from the 2013 production of Le Sacre du Printemps by the Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, reflects the hard jumps and stamps of Vaslav Nijinsky’s original choreography.

Have you ever listened to The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky? All the way through?

It’s a metaphor for life, and I find it utterly fascinating.

Pina Bausch, Igor Stravinsky’s, Rite of Spring “Opening”

 

Stravinsky was a young, virtually unknown composer when he was recruited to work for the Russian Ballet in the early 1900s. One of the most admirable things about him and his work was his IDGAF attitude about what was expected of music at the time. You see, the only folks who were coming to see the Ballet were either the wealthy, who wanted to be comfortably entertained, or the BOHEMIANS who craved something NEW, especially if it made the upper crust uncomfortable.

Well, they got an earful that night!

The avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. The way Stravinsky used tonality, dissonance, tangible stress, and unpredictable rhythm drove some into a frenzy! Some loved it, some hated it… It was described as the work of a madman.

The choreography of the first section, “The Kiss of the Earth”, culminated in a frenzy of movement as the dancers moved to embrace the energy of Spring.  This primal expression drove the witnesses into a frenzy of the senses. The second section “Sacrifice”, was a bit darker, ending with a young maiden chosen to sacrifice herself to death by dancing… To appease and please Spring. At this point in the performance, often the audience grew quiet, even silent as they sat captivated by the emotions of the dancer.

I resonate with the music, the dance, the composer, the audience…. Spring is a baffling time, so urgent with expression, so messy, and fully completely ALIVE.

Rainbow Moonstone, letting light in

Some things I work to develop in my life as an artist, as an Authentic Goddess, and as a human exploring this bizarre and utterly inconceivable experience of life are impeccably embodied in The Rite of Spring.


TONALITY
– In my art I explore aspects of tonality, creating moods with my color choices. Recently, this has brought me to fall in love with moonstones, rainbow moonstones, and labradorite. I love the way they roll light around inside their crystalline structures to reveal new parts of themselves…. they way I work with meditation, too!

METRE– In life we all find our pulse, our flow of movement. Sometimes it seems too fast, other times too slow. Somehow, we maintain the steps, sometimes we drop a beat, but there is always one thing to remember:  “When we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor…”-Alan Watts

It isn’t a race, and there is no ribbon to be won.


STRESS
– Not the ubiquitous kind that we try to rid ourselves of, but the good kind. Like, what priorities in life do you STRESS? What notes are louder in your composition, what colors are brighter, where do you place the spotlight? My stress may vary a little from day to day, but overall, I stress LOVE in my life. My love for my self, my love for my family, my community, my friends all over this vast globe…. THAT is where I add light. What about you?

DISSONANCE– The cacophony of daily life can feel very distracting at times. Dissonance is an integral part of our growth and understanding, however. In a world of dualities, contrast defines. Without the depth of dissonance and unresolved issues, we are not able to taste the sweetness and nourishment of harmony. I can’t say that I fully embrace the discord and difficulties I encounter in my experiences, but I do know that when I DO, I find myself to be more peaceful and aware of things to be grateful for. It hones my senses…

SACRIFICE– One of the questions I love to answer is: What would you do in life if money were no object? My answer is delightfully easy for me… I WOULD DO THE EXACT SAME THING. I will surrender to this beautiful life, I will offer myself up to the flow and syncopation of this fantastic existence, and I will enthusiastically DANCE MYSELF TO DEATH… In the only way I know how. Keep creating myself. Every day.

 

 

Which brings me to this gorgeous and vibrant first day of Spring.

The earth awakens after the long slumber of winter, the Spring Equinox arrives. I love this time of year. There were many years I hardly noticed it, living in the beautiful tropical U.S. Virgin Islands. It was simply a date on the calendar, albeit a very important one on my life, as it is my WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!

I wed my husband at 12 noon on the Spring Equinox of 1996 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Spring Wedding
Unpredictable Spring

 

THERE WAS A BLIZZARD.

 

The snow in the mountains of Virginia covered all the daffodils, crocus, and tulips that had rushed to bloom for the glorious first day of Spring. Instead of a Spring Wedding outdoors amidst all the twitterpation of new life, we crowded into my parents’ house and made our vows. The weather alarm sounded just as we were about to hear Charlie’s dad recite 1 Corinthians 13:4…. to remind us, the blizzard. Life is unpredictable and glorious in its brazen disregard for our expectations….

I urge you to give a listen to The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky… ALL OF IT. See what it stirs inside you. Find those places that are uncomfortable, sit with them. Discover what your sacrifice is in this precious life. And like Mr. Stravinsky, BE AUTHENTIC. This is NOT a rehearsal.

Leave a comment, please, to let me know how this incredible piece of music made you feel….

 

 

 

 

"Awakening of Spring" by Michael Hiep

Glorious Goddess of March, Hreda

"Awakening of Spring" by Michael Hiep
“Awakening of Spring” by Michael Hiep

Awakening from deep in the earth, the waters sense the returning warmth of the sun, and begin the flow into another season. All the realms of this hemisphere begin to stir. Hreda, glorious goddess of March, has triumphed over the challenges of another winter, and is swiftly moving us forward into abundance. Hreda’s name (Anglo-Saxon) has been linked with victory and swiftness.

With the birth of Spring, we are met with a new growing season, fertility, and the loving embrace of the bounties of Mother Earth. One ritual many of us observe is “Spring Cleaning”, when we cultivate the readiness of our home to provide us with nourishment, healing, sanctity, and comfort.

Hreda has also been called a goddess of hearth and home. She stands in the threshold, smoothing our transitions not only through the twilight time between Winter and Spring, but also our daily explorations into the world, and returning to the safety of our dens, where we find support and love.

Sometimes she is depicted as a warrior goddess, who defeats Winter, and clears the way for the new growth and abundance of Spring. She encourages the continuation of life in all its varied forms. In her role as goddess of fertility, we can sense the quickening of our ardor for life.

 

Artio, (Swiss) Bear Goddess
Artio, the bear Goddess who hibernates during the Winter. Her return heralds the beginning of Spring.

In this month of Hredmonath (March), allow yourself to be stirred into consciousness after the long hibernation. We enthusiastically and optimistically embrace the adventures yet to come.

We may have challenges ahead of us in the coming year. Aquamarine, the birthstone for the month of March, encourages selfless service and lighthearted happiness. Strengthen your courage in speech through wearing an aquamarine pendant near your throat chakra.

Take bold strides into this new world, knowing that you will find renewal when you return to your home. Honor your transitions, take note of your comforts, and embrace all the experiences of your incarnation. Spring is emerging!

Spring Gemstone Matrix by silvermoonspirit
Spring Gemstone Altar of rose quartz, aquamarine, and quartz points by silvermoonspirit
Goddess Ganga,Goddess Kaver

The Current of Inspiration, Stepping into the Flow

The stirring has begun….the edging up to, the winding pathway, the journey through the labyrinth. I am having creative urges. Sometimes, they walk in the door (though I have never met them) as if they have lived here all my life. Other times they seem to lurk in the shadows for a while, fading in and out of my attention for many years. It’s like catching a glimpse of a mermaid under my canoe. I am being visited by inspiration right now….some folks don’t like to mention it when they are, afraid to frighten it away.

River Siren, Art Nouveau
River Siren, Art Nouveau

I’m not afraid, this one is a stranger I have known for ever. Longer than my own life. The River.

Green River Necklace
Hammered Silver Filigree River Necklace with jade and agate

I have been quite fortunate in this life to have spent plenty of time living near bodies of water. In my early youth, it was lakes…olive green and warm and opaque. I had small shallow goldfish ponds in the back yard of one house I lived in.

In my adolescence, I lived beside the rich murky waters of the Cheaspeake Bay, and Hampton Roads, deep slate gray and blue in the winter months….smelling strongly of crab and other fishy things in the summer.

Singing Bridge, Frankfort KY
The Singing Bridge, Frankfort, KY

In my early adulthood, it was the vastly beautiful Carribean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean… a deep cobalt blue on the horizon, and warm turquoise shallows and pools….and that barely describable shade of the deep waters turning in the midst of a rollicking hurricane.

I have had a recent run of living in towns that grew up on rivers. Frankfort, Kentucky and the deep green waters of the Kentucky river, the crystal clear streams and rocky streambeds… the bridge I would cross every day after picking up my daughter from Kindergarten, and we would toss a few twigs off the side and watch them slowly drift along on the smooth verdant water.

old man river coulees
Old Man River, Lethbridge, Alberta

Lethbridge, Alberta sits upon the Oldman River, framed by soft river stones, and partially frozen for most of the winter months (which is long and unpredictable, except that it will certainly be cold). The shores of the ancient river are lined with beautiful rounded stones of all colors and textures…and surrounding them are the coulees, which are the corrugated earth shapes that trace the eons-old journey of the Old Man River as it winds its way through Alberta. If you are familiar with photos of my jewelry, you’ve seen a few of those treasured river stones.

Spring Lake, San Marcos, TX
Aquarena Springs, San Marcos, TX

Now, I live at the mouth of the pristine San Marcos River. Aquarena Springs, where the water bubbles up from hundreds of yards below the surface, holds pools of crystal clear turquoise waters rich in calcium and teeming with history. It is fed by the Edwards Aquifer and is incredibly clean, and sanctified by many Native American tribes. In fact, this specific spring has provided artifacts that suggest this site has been consistently inhabited for over 12,000 years. TWELVE. THOUSAND. YEARS. Whoa…..

rainbow moonstone rapids
Silver Rainbow Moonstone Rapids Pendant

And here I rest, at the beginning of another investigation in metal and stone. I get into this river archetype and explore its realms. My aim is to begin think like a river, like THIS river. I have long revered the waters of this planet as the very blood of the organism which supports my life. I adore the shapes, moods, and colors on rivers, on water. Water feeds a need in me to associate with the changing tides, with the ever shifting sand of the very grounds of our lives.

sea grasses, san marcos river
San Marcos River, San Marcos, TX

Water cools, calms, purifies. Water also has great powers of destruction…it can rage, submerge, erode. And it nourishes, it feeds and protects. It has all the best features of any great Goddess in any culture. It is the source of so much muchness. I can only trace a few of her contours, and I can only capture a shadowy glimpse of her true nature…but this is the way I float now, imagining I am clothing myself in her waters, offering the prasad of my heart and hands. Down the lazy river, to inspiration….

Stay tuned to see how she unfurls herself to me now…..she will surface soon.  www.etsy.com/anitashultz

Aquamarine Whirlpool Earrings

River Goddess Hoop Earrings

 

Silver Labradorite Power Ring

Labradorite, Light Magic Inside the Shaman’s Stone

https://www.etsy.com/listing/385548708/hammered-silver-labradorite-cuff
Close up of a labradorite cabochon in a bracelet.

Labradorite is a member of the feldspar family, along with moonstone, orthoclase, amazonite, andesine, and sunstone. It is treasured for its remarkable play of color, known as labradorescence. Specimens found in Finland are commonly called Spectrolite. Labradorite is also found in India, Madagascar, Newfoundland, and Russia.

The stone usually has a gray-green matrix, sometimes dark gray, black, or grayish white, in varying transparency. Its iridescent flashes appear in layers of peacock blue, gold, pale green, or coppery red. The predominant color is blue, varying from cobalt and purplish blue, aqua and turquoise, into shades of pale blue-green.

Inuit legends tell of an Eskimo warrior who heard the call of the Northern Lights trapped within the rocks on the coast of Labrador. He freed most of the Aurora Borealis with his spear….but many of the lights remained trapped in the stones.

Silver Labradorite Ring
Oval labradorite in silver split-shank ring.

There are other centuries-old Inuit tribe legends that reference labradorite rock. According to legend, the “Mighty Being” hit the iridescent mineral rock with his fist to initiate travel into the sky. Labradorite was called “firestone” and “fire rock” by the native people.

It was named in Labrador, Canada, by Moravian missionaries in 1770.

Energetically labradorite calms an overactive mind and energizes the imagination. It softens the negative edges of some of our darker thoughts and amplifies the energy of new ideas. It is excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition and psychic abilities.

Oval Labradorite Drop Earrings
Oval Labradorite Drop Earrings, with a shimmery aqua sheen.

It is believed to help eliminate the emotional drain of daily routine or being weighed down by responsibility, and awakens a sense of adventure and change. As a stone of transformation, it is said to support the wearer through difficult changes.

Traditionally, labradorite is a gemstone regarded to pull good fortune. If worn as a pendant, its wearer is said to have a healthy body and a good fortune in his relationship.

Labradorite earrings improve the ability to hear messages from spirit guides.

Labradorite has been referred to as a “Shaman’s Stone”, a “Stone of Magic”. It has been valued by diviners, healers, and shamans for ages. The labradorescence represents deeper, hidden realms beyond the mundane world.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Labradorite honors Arianhrod the Welsh Goddess of the Moon and Stars, whose home is the Aurora Borealis, the place where souls go when their body dies and waits to be born once again. She is also a goddess of prophecy and dream.

However you utilize your labradorite, in a piece of jewelry, as a worry stone, or as a meditative focus, honor its depths as they relate to your own brilliant layers. Allow the light within to shine through the darkness and embrace the only thing that is sure in life….change.

If you are interested in a piece of beautiful labradorite jewelry, contact me, or visit my etsy shop!

anita@jewelweedsprouts.com

https://www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz

For quick reference, here’s:

a bracelet

a gorgeous pendant

 

 

Rose Quartz Power Ring

Power Rings

Stepping into your own sense of power can involve many things…. your favorite outfit, having a good hair day, wearing your lucky socks…. we all have things that makes us feel more fully centered. For me and many folks out there, it includes a specific talisman, a Power Ring.

Aside from my wedding ring, there is a ring that I wear all the time. When I do not have it on the ring finger of my right hand, I have a sense that something is missing. It is something I have looked at for years as I use my hands and I recognize it as a part of me. You may wear something similar…mine is a Power Ring.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/272129578/simple-sterling-silver-spiral-ring
Silver Single Spiral Ring

This particular ring is a silver spiral, which reminds me that energy is always moving outward and inward at the same time. It is a symbol of my personal power of intuition. This ring is a tangible element of my intention to maintain connection to my inner voice.

Sometimes I remove it and wear another ring on my right hand. Often it is a rainbow moonstone ring that I wear on my middle finger. I like it as a special talisman for certain occasions when I want a boost to connect to my Divine Feminine energy. I don’t wear it all the time because it is large and doesn’t suit my mood as an everyday ring.

My silver spiral ring, however, does suit me….pretty much every single day. It has a home on my hand, and it fits me like it was born there. That is why I believe it is my personal Power Ring.

There are a myriad of uses for a Power Ring throughout history. Often, it is considered a type of protection… for example, against the “evil eye”, or dangers when travelling. A promise ring or wedding ring holds a special kind of power, to bond two people together (some are more powerful than others!). There are rings that signify inclusion in a special group, like members of a graduating class or religious organization. Legend holds that King Solomon’s ring had properties that made him all-knowing and gave him the ability to speak with animals. Other rings were said to confer invisibility or charisma, or sometimes even grant wishes!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/288287759/sterling-silver-stackable-ring-family
Silver Garnet Stacking Rings

A birthstone ring is an example of a Power Ring that many of us are familiar with. Originally, birthstones were assigned according to sun signs, or the signs of the Zodiac. They were believed to bring good luck to people born under these signs. If you consider the qualities commonly associated with your sign, and then discover the metaphysical properties believed to be inherent in your birthstone, you will likely find some wisdom in the assignment.

Another example of a Power Ring is a monogram/initial, signet, or ring emblazoned with a family crest. This type of ring calls forth personal power in a very specific way, attuning you to your history. It urges you to remember your roots, remember who you are, and draw upon the strength of your family.

Healing gemstones can be used as Power Rings. There are so many possibilities, I will cover just a few here…

Striking Blue Chalcedony Power Ring
Striking Blue Chalcedony Power Ring

Blue chalcedony really knows how to lighten the mood. It increases optimism, and generates feelings of generosity and goodwill. It is thought to improve the way you see yourself, and that makes it a great stone for when you have been too hard on yourself.

Often people in positions of power can be assisted by stones such as carnelian, because of the connection to the Sacral Chakra. It boosts ambition, drive and determination. It connects the wearer with their gut instincts and is a talisman for success in money-making ventures.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/294305889/green-aventurine-silver-ring-aventurine
https://www.etsy.com/listing/294305889/green-aventurine-silver-ring-aventurine

Aventurine is a wonderful stone for use in a Power Ring. It exerts a protective force for the Heart Chakra, and supports the wearer’s ability to stand in their own emotions strongly and safely. It is also known as a “growth crystal” that aids in the formation of new ventures and relationships.

The stone of Universal Love makes a fantastic choice for a Power Ring. Rose Quartz helps open the Heart Chakra and promotes love, self-love, friendship, and feelings of peace. It is a great stone for helping to deal with grief.

One of my personal favorites for women is Rainbow Moonstone, which not only aligns and attunes us to the natural rhythms and patterns of the moon, but also connects us to our own intuition and insight. Because of this, we can develop increased creativity and self-expression.

Silver Rose Quartz Power Ring
https://www.etsy.com/listing/294307929/rose-quartz-ring-hammered-silver-ring

You can discover your own Power Ring relatively easily, if you follow a few suggestions. First of all, consider whether you want a ring you can wear every single day, or for certain occasions when you need a special boost (job interviews, public speaking, difficult family situations, meditation and other sacred work). When making this decision, also consider your comfort factor. Some people like rings that stay close to the hand and are ergonomically easy to wear, others like a ring that really stands out and makes itself obvious (like a Statement Ring).

Secondly, you will want to find a design that suits your purpose. Size plays a part, as does style. A simple design that features a gemstone or a family crest has a completely different energy than one that also incorporates powerful symbols such as spirals or nature elements like leaves or waves. As a custom jewelry designer, these are some of the aspects that I take into consideration as I develop special jewelry for my clients.

Silver Labradorite Power Ring
Custom Silver Labradorite Power Ring

If you would like to use a gemstone in your Power Ring, there are many choices available. Making the right choice will involve not only the color, shape and size, but also the metaphysical properties of the stone, as well as the durability and practicality for wear as a ring. The last thing anyone wants is a Power Ring with a cracked stone! Almost any stone with a hardness (on Moh’s scale) of 6.5 and over can endure the wear and tear of daily life in a ring. If you are developing a ring to wear only on special occasions, you may choose a stone based on other criteria.

Power Rings are a wonderful addition to anyone’s jewelry wardrobe. They are an excellent gift to bestow on someone you love who is entering a new phase of life or going through a difficult period. I love my Power Rings and the way they make me feel when I wear them, and I love designing them for others.

Let me help you on your journey. I can help you define your needs or help you choose a stone that suits them. I can suggest designs that complement your lifestyle and comfort factors. Together, we can create your own personal talisman of power, your very own signature Power Ring! Email me today or contact me through a conversation on etsy. I LOVE talking about this stuff! It’s my passion!

Email me: anita@jewelweedsprouts.com

Or contact me on etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz

Or even on Facebook: Jewelweed Sprouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Rainbow Moonstone Triskele Earrings

Rainbow Moonstone Earrings, Never Leave Home Without Them

Everyday earrings, ones we wear every single day if we feel like it, those earrings that make us feel ready for whatever the day may bring….we all need a pair of ‘em. And they should have rainbow moonstones in them. Why? Because rainbow moonstone will align you with your goddess energy, that take-charge energy, the “let me kiss it and make it all better” energy, the “I HOLD A LIGHTNING BOLT IN THE SPACE BETWEEN MY EYEBROWS AND I AM NOT AFRAID TO USE IT” energy. Don’t leave home without them.

Rainbow moonstone can be identified by its characteristic adularescence, which appears as an internal source of light or sheen. The Romans admired moonstone and believed that it came from the rays of the moon made solid. Since earliest times, moonstone has been a tangible connection to the magic of the moon – an amulet of protection and a channel for intuition.

Rainbow moonstone connects us to Divine Inspiration, and channels it into our own intuition. Increase your ability to look within for answers, your ability to make quick decisions. Rainbow moonstone jewelry is useful worn within the higher chakras (for example, on the earlobes), where the vibration of these stones resonates the most powerfully.

By deepening your patience, rainbow moonstone can help you see the synchronicities in life, and opens up your channels of creativity and self-expression. The rainbow effect brings in a spectrum of light, and can help with clearing and bringing in uplifting energies.

PLUS, they match the sky! Anything you can wear that matches the sky is a WIN.

Hammered Triangle in Circle Earrings
Hammered Triangle in Circle Earrings

Rainbow Moonstone Hammered Triangle in Circle Earrings

Sterling silver circle, representing the Limitless, embraces a triangle, which is one of the most ancient symbols of feminine divinity.

Rainbow Moonstone Full Moon Earrings

Circles are a simple yet rich symbol, and have deep meaning in our histories. A circle represents inclusion, wholeness, focus, unity, perfection, womb, infinity, and completion.

Rainbow Moonstone Silver Filigree Hoops
Rainbow Moonstone Silver Filigree Hoops

 

Rainbow Moonstone Silver Filigree Hoops

These Rainbow Moonstone Silver Filigree Hoops have softly spinning spiral scrolls that embrace 6mm rainbow moonstone in a dance of space and regeneration. Spirals are a symbol of the universe in constant motion.

Rainbow Moonstone Triple Spiral Scroll Drop Earrings

Spiral triad….energy moving out in the service of change. These earrings are inspired by Celtic design, inciting a sacred sense of the power within us to make change through Inspired Action.

Rainbow Moonstone Large Silver Scroll Gypsy Hoops
Rainbow Moonstone Large Silver Scroll Gypsy Hoops

Rainbow Moonstone Large Silver Scroll Gypsy Hoops

Bring out your inner gypsy queen with unapologetic style. Bold and fanciful with handmade filigree scrollwork, these large hoops are all you need to dress up any outfit.

Rainbow Moonstone Silver Triskele Drop Earrings

Let your inner goddess shine brightly with this bold Celtic-inspired Triskele design that invokes past-present-future, creation-preservation-destruction, body-mind-spirit…..

Rainbow Moonstone Large Filigree Gypsy Hoops
Rainbow Moonstone Large Filigree Gypsy Hoops

Rainbow Moonstone Large Filigree Gypsy Hoops

In Buddhism, a square inside a circle represents the human and the Divine in relationship. Find yourself in good company, your own Inner Goddess!

Whichever pair you choose, wear them with your shoulders back, your head held high, crown chakra open and ready for everything your day will deliver to your feet…. like rose petals on the Ganges.

Altar with Hanuman, Servant of God

A Tour of My Jewelry Studio – Warts and All! (no actual warts, I promise!)

My studio is home to me. It is my cave, my hilltop (think “The Sound of Music”), and my deep blue sea. I go there in silence, I go there in dance, and I go there no matter my mood.

I spent six months without a studio once, and it nearly killed me. I had closed my jewelry store and was spending those months helping a friend build another business that she still runs today. I will never forget the way I felt after I told her I had to reopen my studio, that I couldn’t be her partner…it was exhilarating! My hands had been itching for my tools, and although I didn’t know how or where I was going to get my studio functioning again, I knew I HAD to do it.

At the time, I didn’t even know how I would market my creations. I just knew I was being called back into action, and who was I to deny my destiny?

My jewelry studio isn’t glamorous. It isn’t spotless, it has mismatched furniture, and often looks as if my supplies exploded all over every horizontal surface….and I love it. I did notice recently that it has some rockin’ elements of Feng Shui! My desk and my workbench are situated in the right places for maximum career and creativity, respectively. (Whew! THAT was lucky!)

Let me take you on a tour, going clockwise from the door….

Loose Gemstone Collection
Gemstone Eye Candy Inspiration

In my studio, there is a desk just for gemstones and custom orders to hang out and become what they need to be…like a staging area. Here, I toy with beautiful stones and pieces of what will be jewelry, after a few more processes like hammering, shaping, or polishing.

Hammers and Coils of Silver Wire
My collection of hammers and coils of silver wire

Above that table is a pegboard where I hang my collection of hammers and coils upon coils of sterling silver wire. It also bears photographs of a few folks I admire, and the smallest mirror I could possibly find to make sure I don’t step out into the world with a face full of smudges.

Still Life With Mandrels
Still Life With Mandrels

I have a sturdy table covered with different mandrels, steel plates, a small vise, my flexshaft, and a myriad of accessories for the flexshaft (grinders, polishers, stone setting burs). This table receives my hammerblows and is home to one of the ugliest benchpins in existence. Benchpins earn their ugliness from sawblades and files, drill bits and a wide variety of other tools of torture.

There is a very useful shelving unit in the corner (of love and marriage, according to feng shui)…it carries all those items I need on a varying basis….sometimes I think I need to rearrange a bit and put a large houseplant there instead. (noted on to-do list for several months running now…)

Snapshot of my jeweler's bench
My jeweler’s bench with the debris of creation in the sweeps drawer

Against the wall with windows is my jeweler’s bench. It has seen me through a lot of changes, even though it is only 5 years old. It bears the marks of errant torch flames, dried flux, and piles of random jump rings and tiny chips of solder, and even the occasional gemstone waiting patiently to be recognized as something worthy of a design.

My clean desk
The nerve center of my career

Taking a 90 degree turn, there sits my desk. My gorgeous rolltop desk (don’t get too excited) from Goodwill holds my packaging materials, my calendar, my scale and calculator, and a space almost too small for my laptop computer. It is the main focus when I am placing orders for gemstones and silver, preparing to mail out finished orders, and when I am keeping in touch with the outside world via social media.

Studio Altar
One of my mercurial altars, holding space for some inspiration

It doesn’t have a big file cabinet, or enough shelves to keep all my extra supplies off the floor. It doesn’t have a laser welder or a fancy polishing machine (that is relegated to the back porch for the sake of everyone else who lives in the house). It doesn’t have clean surfaces to eat from or sit on (don’t wear white in my studio!) But for all it doesn’t have, there is so much….

What my jewelry studio does have is a whole lot of authenticity, a heap of possibility, and plenty of space for the daily dance break (which is physically necessary after hours of being hunched over a bench pin!). It has a history of free-flowing creativity, hard work, and divine inspiration. It has a place for me to be fully me….and really I can’t ask for more than that.

To see what beauty comes from a space like this, check out my etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz

Or wander over to my facebook page, Jewelweed Sprouts