The short version is that I've been traveling for the past 15 months and the experience has completely changed my life and the way that I think about what I'm creating. Traveling wakes up the dormant parts of you as you interact with entirely new landscapes. And my mind has been reeling, awake and aware, soaking in the beauty and the complexities and the wind in my face.
I haven't created any new jewelry in several months. I sit and think about designs and then stop - because things are changing in my brain and I think I need them to gel before I dig in again. But as I sit and look out the window at the beautiful oak tree outside, with its golden leaves and the way it dances when the wind blows, I know that the ideas are coming together, and it's time to get back to it.
Traveling has also reinvigorated my love of writing. Before I discovered metals, I wanted to be a writer. Non-fiction, preferably, but I wanted to tell stories. This trip has turned out to be a very long series of stories - short moments and detailed experiences. As I move forward, I realize that I want to illustrate these interactions and experiences in both words and metal.
Which means that, as I get back into making jewelry, my challenge will be to put these stories into each piece I create. Little snapshots of a life-changing experience, neatly strung on a sterling silver chain.