Sunday, June 11, 2017

06.12.17 On Their Toes

Photo credit: performa/dance
"Think of the magic of the foot, comparatively small, upon which your whole weight rests. It's a miracle and the dance is a celebration of that miracle." -Martha Graham

I've written about the Austin dance community before - it is a subject near and dear to my heart.  We have been involved with Ballet Austin - as parents and patrons - for more than 15 years, and have had the joy and privilege of getting to know many of the dancers and choreographers.

Through these connections I was fortunate to become engaged with an emerging company - performa/dance - and I now serve on their board.

I can't overstate the respect and admiration I have for these people as individuals and as artists.

One of the things I have learned since I have started making jewelry is how little value some people place on the creation of art.  I don't know an artist who hasn't been asked if they have a "real job" or if they can offer a "better price"...implying that somehow making art isn't a worthy pursuit or profession.

Photo credit - Anne Marie Bloodgood
The creation of art not only involves vision - it takes time, training and skill; and the easier the artists make it look, the more difficult the result was to achieve.  I know this not only from my own growth as a jeweler, but because I have watched these choreographers and dancers spend countless hours working to create a piece that will be performed - and finished - in a matter of minutes.

Dance is particularly ephemeral - music and movement come together on the stage for an evening - and then they are gone.  The primary difference between the performing arts and visual or industrial arts (like metalsmithing) is that permanence.

When I saw this beautiful opal my first thought was that the color was "ballet pink"  - and I wanted to capture the fleeting moment of a dancer en pointe - on the back. This is probably the most intricate piercing I have done so far - the dancer suspended in time and space - and it is really satisfying.  It is also a small tribute to the artists whose work inspires me every time I watch.

If you are in Austin, you can join me and share in the experience - performa/dance has two shows the weekend of June 23 and 24 in the Austin Ventures Studio Theater at Ballet Austin.  Tickets are available at

If you aren't in Austin - I hope you will seek out and support the performing arts in your community.

Until next time.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautifully written and from the heart. Thank you for recognizing art's place in society, which is both on the periphery and its center.