Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Where Does My Strength Come From?

This series of pendant/brooches began as a found object challenge in my Metalsmithing class last semester. If you know anything about me or my work, you know that for me the challenge was not coming up with a found object to use, it was narrowing it down to which found object to use. In Ruth Rae's book "A Charming Exchange" I was dubbed the "Found Object Queen", a title I'll wear proudly.

I settled on the spine of an antique book, found hidden beneath the canvas of the books cover. I love the tactile qualities it lends to the brooch. I love that the viewer will see the textures and materials bound together 100+ years ago and be drawn in to ask, "what is it?".

I've encapsulated each section into an organic shape to signify movement and growth, as if it were a cell getting ready to divide and begin the cycle of growth. To me this signifies the cycle of growth I am in.

The use of the books spine is especially relevant. It is symbolic of an inner strength. Without the spine, a book would have no structure. It would have no ability to stand on a shelf or be held open to read easily. It really wouldn't be a book. It might be a scroll or a stack of papers, but not a book. Yet as important as this spine is, it is hidden beneath the exterior cover. What gives the book it's strength is really not seen. And what gives me the strength to stand really isn't seen either. It is the strength that I draw from my relationship with God. He is my structure, my support, He gives me the ability to be me.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;" 2 corinthians 4:7-8

My focus this year will be telling my story through my art and helping others to learn to tell their own story through art as well. You'll see a lot of books and elements from books being used in my work as I focus on this storytelling journey. A kind of signature for this season, if you will. A way of letting the viewer know "this is my story". I'm excited to share it with you.

I've started this series with a set of three brooches:

One to keep....

One to sell....

And one to give away!

From today through Monday the 19th of January you can enter for your chance to win each time you make a purchase from either my Etsy Store or Studio. But you have to enter the words "Where Does My Strength Come From?" in the notes to seller section to be eligible.

Happy New Year!


  1. Your work is always breathtaking my dear~ Awesome & powerful!!

    xo~ Bella

  2. Wow...this is spectacular Crystal! If you happen to make another, let me know. I'd love to have one!

  3. What a shame I'm too late for this giveaway! I literally gasped out loud when I saw this, I've been adoring book spines forever but could never think of what to do with them- you have bought such dignity and magic to them!

    I only just found your blog tonight, but already it's a new treasure for me! I cannot believe I've not met you before. If it's alright with you I'm going to link to you from my own blog later tonight- let me know if this makes you uncomfortable and if I've got there before you see this, I'll remove it at once. But you're fantastic!

  4. As a matter of fact I have 3 new ones laying on my work table right now. I hope to have them finished up and listed next week. Thanks for the encouragement and kind words about my work.

  5. This is so sweet. I love it! I know where my strength comes from! :)

  6. Hello I found the link to inspiring artists from the Altered Page blog and I'm so thankful to have found you. Here is yet another treasure that I might have overlooked.

    I love what I've seen so far of your work.

  7. I am loving them!