I’d often admired those great honking wooden earrings that seemed they would gauge a big hole in your ears with a wooden stick that you pushed through your earlobe to attach the two parts making it look sculpturally-fantastic and painful all at once. I’d also often wondered how they’d look in metal, being a metal-head myself. Wonder no more.
These babies look so slick and ultra-modern with their hole-y gold and their gunmetal-blue patina you can’t wait to stab them through your tender lobes. All sterling silver and 23 karat gold, and the modeled little silver spear-points are a nice touch. I guess I was thinking about javelins along with stabbing and wearable weaponry. I had also been itching to use the gorgeous scraps left from other, more rigidly controlled Keum-bo projects – Thus the hole-y gold, which I love. Since they are irregular, the hoop/posts are reversible and present differently from each angle.
It does take a bit more mindfulness and presence to put these pieces on, one must admit. And for that reason they are not for everyone, but for those who don’t mind tweaking their jewels/armor/adornments and like that bitter edge with their morning coffee. But once they’re started they’re easy to finish fastening and the nicely-finished metal posts must feel so much smoother and sleeker than their wooden counterparts. Maybe: Pistol meets bow-and-arrow?
Last night fusing gold to silver at my bench I had the most delicious feeling of being in kindergarten or first grade.
Keum-bo can be detailed, almost tedious work. And yet it isn’t quite repetitive; to reach every little nook, corner and hidden crevice of a tiny textural landscape it takes a certain sensitivity and focus – not pressing too hard, wrists loose and tools held lightly, like a violin bow.
My contact lenses dry out as I hover intently above my kiln; I am careful not to burn myself as I tweezer miniscule objects to and fro. I trace approximate shapes and trim them with fanatical care via miniature scissors; I quench my burnishers often to keep them from sticking to the hot metal and breathe subtly so that I don’t blow the fantastically fragile gold foil into kingdom come. Sometimes, I get impatient.
Mostly, though, it is peaceful, solitary, meditative work. I turn off the music; anything is distracting in this raw late night space. Delicate, specific work; like a surgeon’s or a child’s.
And it reminds me suddenly of that beautiful time I had almost forgotten – a lost long-ago world of concentration and bliss in the coloring of a shape; cutting a twist, a curve and a brutal angle with plastic-handled scissors to join all the other twists and curves; submerging completely into the rich waters of a single, intense pursuit as simple and as and pure as the marking of a line – then another, then another line.
It’s a funny, endearing feeling; to re-remember these beginnings, these sources. I feel completely a child-me as I cut, and place, and burnish, loving the waiting, loving the silence, loving the sweet melting of gold into silver.