I often get asked what I've been making lately, or if I've made anything new.
The answer is.....Not really. I have worked on a couple commissions, and repairs, but...
I am currently on a "Jewelry Hiatus." This was partially my decision, and partially my body's. Above are necklaces that were the last pieces I made, currently in Silverado Portland.
Just over a year ago, a chronic injury in my shoulders flared up. The result of too many years hunched over the bench, lifting weights focusing on the wrong muscles, and not enough stretching or reversing of those tightened muscles. My pectorals and biceps are too tight, and my triceps and rhomboids too weak. When you hear people say, "Take a break every 30 minutes to stretch!" heed the advice.
After a year of pain, managing with community acupuncture, and waiting to get on insurance (which still hasn't happened), I finally sought out a physical therapist clear across town. I am so glad I did--with his expertise I was able to focus in on the areas that need work and figure out what has been happening.
A few months ago, I finally gave myself permission to take a break from my craft--that beast which had been the cause of all this. It was a difficult decision--full of worries that I would become irrelevant, my practice would falter, etc. How could I go 6 months to a year without making jewelry? Well, realistically, I have taken this break so that I actually have a future making jewelry. I am strengthening my body and repairing the damage so that I can get back into the studio better than ever. My body now has restrictions (no more tiny piercing!) and I'll need to re-think and change my practice of creating.
Additionally, I am using this time to really consider my practice as a whole, from a sustainability standpoint. I am questioning the materials I use, their origins, and where my future lies.
So, now I head to the gym 3-4 days a week, do my physical therapy exercises, and throw in my own workouts for added benefit. I am seeing good, if slow, results and have been able to do more things like gardening without ending up in complete pain with frozen shoulders.
Having said that, some experiments are on the horizons. I am having a great time writing "From a Retail Perspective," and will continue to share progress photos from the studio, and life. It's a great time to do some spring cleaning, revive the studio, and refocus my practice.