Come on now, you know what I mean, I know you can relate. You have all these ideas and inspiration bubbling around in your hot little skull and they just won't give you a moment's peace:
- You caught Blade Runner on TV the other weekend and its gritty cyberpunk cityscape has been haunting you.
- You were cleaning out the garden last spring and came across a fragile translucent snake skin snagged in some brush.
- While you were driving to your parents' house in the country you passed this dilapidated barn half-covered with peeling crackled paint, half-covered with moss.
- After you finished reading Suttree, you couldn't stop visualizing that ragpicker passage over and over again.
- That head of romanesco cauliflower you roasted for dinner yesterday--remember the fractal peaks and whorls that seemed otherworldly?
- That dream you had the other night...wow.
This week's pair of earrings is a metaphor for that attempt to control--or better yet, to be at peace with--that chaos. Any metalsmith will tell you that reticulating silver is an exercise in...blind luck. I created each charm by carefully taking a piece of silver through the process of reticulation with repeated heating and quenching to obtain the crumpled topographic texture that you see. I quite literally had (almost) no control over what the melting metal was doing under the torch. Half the time when I reticulate silver I'm just hoping and praying that I get a piece that's interesting and usable. These two charms ended up being completely asymmetrical yet beautifully matched--a little miracle!
I filed off the rough edges, oxidized to bring out the contrast in texture, sealed to protect the finish, and hung them from some of my long sterling silver ear wires. A much needed personal reminder that we must strive to both control and flow with the chaos. Too much of one and not the other, and we get lost down the wormhole.
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