Recipe For A Handmade Life:

Recipe For A Handmade Life:
1 Workbench
3 Retail Stores
5 Dogs
12 Studios
21+ Employees
Countless Hours at the bench
Undetermined number of designs and pieces sold
Who knew what magic that lied ahead in just showing up thirty-five years ago to create the life I love through my companion, Sweet Bird? Now, I create alongside my son, Nate who wasn’t even born when I began. Certainly, not me. Raw, not knowing anyone or anything in the business, I ripped the band aid off, quit my high paying yet soul sucking job at the Federal Reserve Bank of Denver and decided to become an artist. How did I begin, you might ask? One piece at a time. In those days, I often purchased a 2 X 2 inch square piece of silver, made a piece, sell piece and repeat with another little square of silver. Sure, there was fear. Truth be told, there still is. Can I make a living at this? Will people like what I am making? And the list went on. But, I had to burn the boats and get in the proverbial car and set the GPS. My vehicle was jewelry making and mixed media and the GPS setting happened slowly with each piece made. 
We are all driven by a dream if we’re lucky enough. No one can stop you, fire you and especially tell you it’s not important or worse, foolish to follow your dream, although people have tried along the way.
We are committing to the scariest possible thing: risk. And we know it. Time passes so quickly, we have to transcend time momentarily. Looking at my bench, drill hole upon drill hole, I realize this. Literally thousands of holes, telling a story of sticking to it. 
And what I know now is that it is about connections in real life. Searching for your truest spiritual companions. While making art and sharing it full time for over 35 years, I was really looking for my people in my community and stopping at nothing to find them. 
All I knew was that I had a desire for the unknowable and a thirst for the alchemy of metals: of transforming something from my hands, my heart and my mind into a wearable shrine of intention, as I have named them.
Sweet Bird has taught me many things over the years. That just showing up and creating dissolves materials into a community of spiritual companions truer than I have ever experienced. That Sweet Bird has become my own savior through ambition, tenacity, blood, sweat and tears. Sweet Bird has taught me who I was always meant to be. To have compassion for myself and others. That doing the day in and day out work has become a spiritual practice. It is my meditation. A communion with a power greater than ourselves. Sweet Bird has taught me to root myself in discovery. Yes, I have been fortunate to have found the ‘thing’ that brings me to tears at times by way of elation.
And then there is YOU. The most important element. Some of you have been with me from the very beginning. I’ve had the honor of making for some of your most momentous occasions...births, deaths, graduations, weddings, birthdays and so much more. We go back so many years.  That you keep choosing to spend your hard earned money and gift choice with Sweet Bird defies words at times. To me, that is the ultimate compliment and what I am most proud of. That is the true alchemy of our lives. The stories. 
For all of this, I want to thank YOU.
 I am more grateful than you will ever know. And, as a thank you and a curiosity of your story of your wearable shrine of intention, please email us at with your name, your shrine of intention and what it means to you. Even a photo too if you have one! Each week for the next four weeks your name will be put in a drawing for a gift of sterling jewelry from us. Also, your story may be told in upcoming blogs from Sweet Bird. And if you are new to the Sweet Bird family, you can still be put in the drawing with which wearable shrine of intention calls to you and why. 
Throughout all of these years, or even if we just met, I want to thank YOU. I am more grateful than you will ever know in this amazing community of LOVE that I never could have imagined when I started in my basement with that little square of silver 35 years ago. 
That is what it is to live a handmade life.
To the next 35, because there is no stopping me now….