There’s a store I always have to go to when I’m in Santa Fe. It’s called Rainbow Man. There they have the most extensive collection of Curtis prints and the most eclectic body of Southwestern jewelry, old and new alike. Even though I’ve been a full time jeweler for over 34 years, I’m still on the hunt for that special treasure. As I scoured the case, I came across a rather cheesy “howling coyote” in a patina full moon. But as my gaze began to quickly move on, something stopped me in my tracks! I asked to see it.
As she handed it to me I was struck, realizing it was one of the very first pieces of jewelry I ever made almost 34 years ago. I was a pup then, 24 years old with a baby on the way and in that instant, a flood of emotions came to me staring at this creation like a mirage on the road of my life. And turning it over, I realized it wasn't signed.
I wonder what has changed between then and now? The road between here and there? Everything! I believe that being an artist is not so much the need to express yourself but the need to discover yourself. That the only constant is change. That listening to the calling is quite a struggle to say what it is to your heart. To heed that desire that comes from your soul.
Yes, my techniques and materials have become more elaborate and sticking with my art has been one of the most rewarding and satisfying things I can imagine. That girl in the basement, experimenting with tools and a belly like a beach ball was on the road to discovery now matter how painful or joyful.
I handed the coyote pin back to the salesgirl with the same hands that made it. With the same heart that was once scared and confused and determined to discover her voice.
I bow to the passage of time and the will of the human spirit.
Always sign your work,