I am a modern day hunter-gatherer. I am in love with other people’s trash. No, not the fresh hefty sack stuff, but the time and sun aged discards from another era. I have a barn full of rust. I treasure the stuff. I prefer alleys, salvage yards and fields to storefronts. In that search, I am often touched and amazed by the people I meet in those “chance” meetings along the way. It’s really a two-for-one….the joy in meeting the most salt-of-the-earth people combined with finding treasure… well, it’s the stuff that makes my heart skip a beat and ignites my soul. That is the epitome of a good day!
My art and my collecting are directly intertwined. The same thing I seek in my collecting, I strive for in my work; a sense of nostalgia, whimsy, irony and most of all, a sense of soul. Although I have been a full-time jeweler and artist for over twenty years, using jewelry as a vehicle for change truly began about three years ago. It was a chapter in my life that read like a great country and western song. Heartbreak, betrayal, career, finances, home and basically, a trampled soul. About the only thing missing to that country song was that my dog didn’t die, thank God!
What I thought was the end at the time, was really the beginning.
In between looking for a “real job”, I came out of the studio one day with a buckle that said, “release the vision”, with Our Lady of Guadalupe. The words rang in my head, I threw the ads away and got to work.
I call my buckles “wearable shrines of intention”.
In this age of big box, small connectedness, over simulation and undervaluing of precious life, I offer you these. Using jewelry as a vehicle for change is my way of connecting souls, inspiring others to live by their wits again and reawaken the wild nature in all of us. Not only that, but a percentage of the purchase of a buckle will go to a Women’s Empowerment Fund I have created to help get women back on their feet after a debilitating crisis in their lives.
There is much more to come, but for now I wish you aimless days of exploring and countless opportunities for creating. We all have a story. What’s yours? I hope it is full of hope, passion and faith.
And remember, art truly does save lives.
Rescued and revived,
Owner & Founder
Sweet Bird Studio