Places speak; they speak in shape and light, they speak through the characters that they offer a home to, through the plants that spread their roots in their soil. They speak in stone, in leaf, in water.
What makes a place ‘Sacred’ ‘Mystical’ or ‘Special’ can be as simple or as layered as an individual personality. Some places are visited often by modern people and their thoughts, feelings, reflections and projections remain there. Some places stand mostly in a bleak silence and when visited they murmur their truths only softly from a larynx gravelled by solitude.
Some sites hold their history tight within their circle of mountains, their ring of stones or their softly flowing water; and others respectfully hold whatever is brought to them no matter what it is. Many of them are coloured by the countless rituals that have taken place in them since their discovery or creation by man.
Spirit of Place pieces bare the textures of special places like springs, stone circles and tors that i have journeyed to. The first thing i do when i arrive at any site is to be silent and absorb the essence of the place, i listen to the voices inhabiting it and hear their stories.
I record my visits in photographs and writing, but what i bring back to the Temple Studio to use in my creations are textures. The tiny hills and valleys of rock and bark textures, the imprints of leaves and flowers. Using a reusable mould material, i take moulds from the stones, trees or plants of each place. If you would like to read about my experiences at some of these places please visit my blog...
I feel that not only the place itself is held in the textures - all it's memories and wisdoms, but also how it was on the day i visited, who else was there and all else that was an influence the day i took the mould. At times my journey and experience seem as relevant as the place itself, for not much in this world exists in isolation.
When in my studio i use Precious Metal Clay to make beads and other elements from the moulds. I feel the memories of that place, what it remembers, and my experiences of it, are captured in the peaks and valleys of these textures. When i am in my studio i use these textures to bring the essence and wisdom of that place into the things i create.
Each piece of clay is hand fired with a blow torch until it turns into pure metal - either copper or fine silver. I often work with copper, if you'd like to know why i relish it so, please do read my blog...
Once fired each piece is hand brushed, patinaed and then hand polished. I don't always have a plan as to how exactly i will use each element, so often they may sit in the Incubation Station (my temple studio) for some time absorbing the atmosphere there, where i regularly drum, dance and sing to fill the space with creative and magical fire. I wait until each piece tells me what it would like to be coupled with and how it would like to be worn, then i begin the physical weaving part of the creative process.
I do take commission for Spirits of Place pieces so that you can have a piece made from your special place. I can send the mould material in the post, you can then visit your special place, take the mould yourself and send it to me.
The piece you see here was made in this way from the bark of a tree special to the woman who commission it and her partner, who this was a gift for.
I really enjoy this way of working, although i did not visit these places myself, the deep magic and sacredness that each person feels for these places is palapable, even in the moulds, and once the piece is turned to metal the spirit of it truly comes alive.
Making these pieces is wonderful - to give someone a wearable link to their special place so that they can carry the peace, hope, joy, courage or whatever it is that this place gives them on their body when ever and where ever they choose, is a great honour to me.
These pieces can also serve as a momento of a place special to a couple, friends or family, it can be a reminder of a place or time that something meaningful has happened.
If you would like to commission a piece like this please do contact me via my contacts page, explaining what you have in mind.