Every Creature Under the Sun...

Well, maybe not every single creature. ;)

I have been thinking about the many different creatures I have memorialized over the ten years I have been creating jewelry through HartVariations; butterflies, beetles, snake shed, feathers, lizard shed, turtle scutes, bees, various vertebrae, wasps, moss, lichen, skulls, dragonflies, cicadas, and more. I even encased a cockroach one time. I painted it gold and called it a scarab. It sold real quick. :)

In the beginning, back in 2009, I actually began encasing elements from nature as well as synthetic materials: a frame of my dental x-ray, my friend's sonogram film, electric typewriter ribbon, and more. I had fun exploring at that time. This is something I've carried over into the years - the knowing that I need to explore. Some years it has been less exploring and experimentation and I feel the effects of that greatly. It usually builds over time. Other parts of my life begin to suffer before I realize I need to spend more time letting my brain and heart wander through the creation lens of HartVariations. 

Which brings me to today. This year. 2020. A massive moment (seemingly never-ending at this point, yes?) that has prompted change within and without throughout our society and around the world. Not many people have been able to escape the long arm of change that is COVID-19. When we first Sheltered in Place in the Bay Area, I had plenty of work to keep my busy. There was no time to experiment as I found myself alone in the studio every day for the first time in six years. I didn't make the following decision in the beginning, or suddenly. It was probably in the third week that I could see a divergence in the road of HartVariations' future. One that involved a swing back to more one-of-a-kind creations. For almost a year now, I have been offering many more one-off pieces online. I can't believe it took me nine years to create a legit {One-of-a Kind} section on the website, but I did. And wow have I loved it! I enjoy filling it with all kinds of unique pieces - digging deep into the treasure trove of HartVariations.


And this brings me to the Future...and the present. I uprooted my life in the Bay Area after ten years and moved back to the Pacific Northwest in June. My studio and most of my belongings are packed away in storage at a friend's house while Charles (my beloved cat) and I stay with my folks and hunt for our future home. If you'd told me a year ago this is where I'd be....well, I might have believed you, but I'd have been hard pressed. I do subscribe to ---> Change is the Only Constant. And so here we are. In the midst of a major change and feeling grateful for the support of my family, my friends, and all of you.

I have shared some of this on social media, but not so specifically or in writing. My current operations for HartVariations are at a different capacity. As I don't have a proper studio at the moment, I am unable to take on custom projects or recreations/repairs. I was able to take a couple of weeks before moving to create some stock of rad one-of-a-kind babes (including some blue morpho column earrings, dragonfly cathedral earrings, and more favorites available soon!) to put on the website in the coming months until I get a proper studio. This is allowing me some time to reconfigure, give more attention to an overdue website re-haul, and to actually take some time off. I'm committed to having a an actual real weekend every week for the first time in seven years. Yay, me! 

As I prepare for the next phase, I will also be dabbling in what I mentioned earlier - that need for experimentation and exploration. Conceptually and literally I like to think of growth as happening best when you have parameters set in place. Once you have the container - a flower pot, raised bed, farming land - you will then be able to make a plan for planting, tending, and then harvesting. I have enough materials and tools with me to creatively explore these next months. And the exploration will be happening within the boundaries of my limited materials and limited space. As I type this out I realize this could read as either compelling and interesting, or as really restricting and boring. Ha! Well, now you have some insight into a bit of my personality because I would choose the former descriptions: compelling and interesting.

Before I moved I pre cut some glass and added some new shapes/configurations and am excited to see where they take me. I'm enjoying the "different" right now and rolling with the unknown, but really I'm able to do so because I know what is knowable and controllable. So, I'll be here in the PNW leaning into the unknown and the knowable as I feel moved to do so. For the near future, anyhow. 

I haven't been so great at the blog post regularity in the past (or newsletters, for that matter) but would like to think I'll remember that it's fun to add a lengthy update to the website occasionally. More news to come...fingers crossed! 

Take care out there,