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Erica Bapst working on a hand made chain.

What’s in a Chain?

Time and love.  That is the answer to the title question.

Lately I have been creating a lot of hand made chains.  After some reflection on my recent work, I began to realize that this use of technique speaks more about current life than it does about aesthetic.

Initially, yes I set out creating a hand made chain earlier in the year because it is what visually fit the piece.  This style is no doubt beautiful and adds character, but it is not something I have ever done en masse because they are so labor intensive.  I have found though, the act of building these chains has painted a beautiful picture of current studio life.  

I have cut back completely on purchasing to conserve funds during this very uncertain year.  I have turned a very critical eye on the assets I already have in my possession.  I have been very fortunate over the past 15 + years of building my business to have amassed all sorts of goodies to work with.  I am challenging myself to work within the confines of the materials at hand.  So this means no more lazy designing and relying heavily on pre-fab chain and other findings.  I have taken to making a lot of the clasps and ear wires and most importantly, chains.  

Creating the chains by hand utilizes three things which I currently have plenty of; beads, wire and most importantly, time.  The latter is the primary reason I have not done a lot of this in the past.  It can take well over an hour to hand wrap an 18” chain compared to the about 5 minutes it takes to add a clasp on a pre-fab one.  This makes it very difficult to create a large number of works.  But right now, time seems to be a whole new element, and sitting down to work up a chain no longer feels like a waste but instead a smart use of material. 

More importantly, with each link created, I am writing a love letter to the moment.  With a meditative pause, I reflect on what we truly have in spite of what it feels like we have lost.  The shifted perspective of abundance and feelings of gratitude swell with every inch added to each chain.  

If you end up with one of my hand made chains, know the love that went into it.  

((( Wear it like a hug )))  

Stay Safe, Be Well.

Sending Love. xoxo

Erica

May 15, 2020 by Erica Bapst
Delicate Things and Happy Accidents

Delicate Things and Happy Accidents

Today was one of those days where it felt like everything I touched fell apart.  I spent the better part of the day working and re-working two different pieces of jewelry that I just could not for the life of me get to solder correctly.

That is the problem when I try to add delicate details to pieces.  Getting the heat to distribute enough while not melting the thin parts I often struggle with.  Well, today was a struggle day but I refused to give up. I stuck with it and prevailed.

One piece turned into a major “make it work moment”.  I thought I had finally soldered a ginkgo leaf stem to this very large setting and proceeded to set the amazing labradorite.  I just finished setting the stone and I slipped with a tool and totally ripped the leaf stem right off  !!!ARG!!!  ... (again, total clutz today, everywhere I went there seemed to be wreckage) What was I going to do!?! Once a stone is in place you cannot solder any more.  I had already spent two work days building this piece, I could not simply rip it apart to retrieve the stone.  So I decided to find a way to cold connect the piece. I love it even more than my original plan.  It was a happy accident for sure! 

I can’t wait to share the pendants I am finishing up right now.  I think you will love them. 

If you happen to be having a crazy day like me, I hope any accident you have turns out to be a happy one as well :) !

Stay safe, be well.

Sending (((hugs)))

xoxo

Erica

 

May 07, 2020 by Adorn
The Visitor

The Visitor

This afternoon we had a visitor.  It was the most beautiful black cat I have ever witnessed.  This mini panther is new to the neighborhood I guess because we have never crossed paths before.  The sweet baby wanted nothing more than to come inside and made a dart with me as I was trying to get into the house. :( It was tearing my heart out.

Penny (my dog) was going absolutely mad seeing that another creature dared enter HER front porch.  Also I am terribly allergic so an indoor visit could never happen, but oh boy, am I going to have to keep watch whenever we open the door now!  This black beauty stood at our front door, with paws stretch up towards the window, pleading with it's eyes to please come in.  ugh.. I so wanted to let it. Then just as quickly as it greeted us, it disappeared into the shadows.  It felt as if we had just had an encounter with a mythical beast.

There are quite a few neighborhood cats around here, but most of them really don't care too much about us.  We see them hunting around, but they never give us the time of day, so this was a bit of a surprise.  I really hope to see this visitor again.   I do love cats even though I can't pet them.  It is always nice to have a neighborhood cat hang around.  We get the company without the allergies :) 

I hope you find a pleasant surprise to brighten your day!

Sending (((hugs)))

Stay Safe, Be Well.

xoxo

Erica

May 06, 2020 by Erica Bapst