Monday, January 11, 2016

01.11.16 I see a pattern here…

My daughter and her doll
with matching dresses
My mother should have been turning 75 tomorrow.  I say “should have” because when she died at 60 – after a decade long battle with cancer – she wasn’t done living, and we weren’t ready to let go.  I wasn’t sure I’d write about her again this year – since one of my first posts was on her birthday last year – but then I realized that she is still with me (every day) and teaching me things, even in her absence. 

My mom loved to sew – she made gorgeous things – clothing, quilts, table linens…and I have her sewing machines.  I used them a lot when my daughter was young – I made clothes for her – and matching outfits for her dolls.  As my daughter got older, and we got busier – I sewed less – always presuming I would return to it when I had more time…

Instead, I found myself drawn to making jewelry, but over the past few months I have realized how many of the things my mother taught me about sewing have helped me in my fledgling metalsmith work. 
lapis pendant sketch
When you set out to make a garment, there is a specific order for doing things – you choose fabric and a pattern; then you layout the pattern on the fabric and cut; maximizing space and minimizing waste.  Once cut, you mark the pieces so that they align properly and begin assembling them in order.

pendant parts
While working on my first original piece- this lapis pendant – I realized that while the fabrication methods are different, the need for an understanding of the steps is very much the same.  You want to have a clear vision for the design, minimize waste (silver is expensive), and a plan for assembling the parts.

I was sitting at the bench, having sawed out all my pieces and was filing the edges when this realization struck me – and for one split second – it was like Mom was right next to me, just like when she first taught me to sew.

I’ve had moments where I wonder if Mom would be disappointed that I’m not sewing and using her machines – but I don’t think that would be the case.

My mom always pushed me to be my own person, to do things that felt right for me – and not give those things up under pressure from other people.  I think she would be pleased that I am making jewelry – because she was a fan of jewelry, too – and because creating beautiful things makes me happy.  I only wish that she were still here – so that I could create things for her with the same love that she sewed into every stitch for me.
finished pendant
and a pair of Mom's earrings

Until next time.

1 comment:

  1. She drew paper doll clothes when we were about 7 years old that rivaled anything you see on a red carpet in Hollywood. Wish I had them on paper instead of in my head & heart! Love, Doris