As a maker of objects, I have navigated the waters of sentiment and studied the point when an object becomes a beloved object. This often involves a transaction: a gift, a purchase, the exchange of wedding vows. It involves time. The years spent wearing (or living with) the piece – getting to know it a little more each day. In the case of a wedding ring, it requires understanding its relationship to your body, the weather, the environment, the work one does, one’s age. The Mexican essayist, poet, and diplomat Octavio Paz, in one of my favorite essays, said, “The handmade object does not charm us simply because of its usefulness. It lives in complicity with our senses, and that is why it is so hard to get rid of – it is like throwing a friend out of the house”. I am humbled that some of the objects I have made live daily with friends and strangers alike. Over the last five years of making jewelry, I’ve returned to this idea of making the quiet things that are worn daily, that are impossible to part with. What would make your list?

A New Writing Home Substack
June 02, 2024

A New Writing Home Substack

I'm writing on Substack now. If you're here for the words, follow along there. I will keep the Blog portion of my website to keep everyone informed about art happenings and newsletter essays. 


From Beyond the Sea

In the winding narrow streets near one piazza
or another, an art store, dimly lit
its dusty shelves filled 
with thick glass jars –
a candy store for painters
with offerings of pigments
purloined earth – raw umber, yellow ochre
heavy metals – lead white, cadmium yellow
this one, pulverized gemstone
that one, so deadly a bacteria 
it turned Adriatic soil blood red.

Zecchi, I went there as if on pilgrimage 
and bought these precious powders.
Twenty years later, and I haven’t made a single brushstroke.
The colors captive in their original plastic bags
with tared weights written in flowing, Florentine script.  

I could grind pigment into a finer dust
with any number of mortars and pestles I’ve collected
this one hewn from marble, 
that one, carved from volcanic rock. 

I know to separate egg yolk from white, 
pass yolk from palm to palm to dry it 
then puncture its skin with my needle 
and let the viscous yellow drain from egg sac.

I could mix yolk with sangue di drago,
the preserved red tears of the dragon tree 
pair purest color with egg and paint the walls.

Like cook, chemist, sorcerer, alchemist
my materials are simple, capable 
like dough, like gold.  

Ultramarine Blue –
I bought the smallest vial.  
I still have it.  
If I opened it, I might proceed to cover everything in sight
with a blue from beyond the sea.

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California Love Song at Shibumi Gallery
May 07, 2024

California Love Song at Shibumi Gallery

Maya Kini + Laura Lienhard
May 4th - May 29th, 2024 

SATURDAY, MAY 11TH FROM 3:30 - 5:30 PM

SHIBUMI is pleased to present CALIFORNIA LOVE SONG featuring artists Maya Kini and Laura Lienhard. The artists have shared a studio on the Sausalito Waterfront since August 2020.

The fuchsias and pale pinks of the magnolia bloom, the rippling green hills of early spring, the golden hills of late summer, a constant sea, salty air, and king tides.

Abalone from agate beach, a sea urchin cast in silver, rough gemstones set in luminous gold, and antique coral linked with alloys of copper, gold and silver.

The textures of a February walk in Tennessee Valley as shadows grow long and the first buds appear on willows, navigating around puddles on a muddy trail until the beach opens up ahead and reveals a treasure trove of iridescent mussel shells, or sand dollars, or a bloom of jelly fish glinting like diamonds on the sand.

The acid green of eucalyptus leaves, the fiery brown of a madrone’s curling bark, the reflective surface of the Bay as the sun sets, and, always, the ocean lapping at the edge of California.

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Alluvial Deposits (after Carboplatin chemotherapy)
July 26, 2023

Alluvial Deposits (after Carboplatin chemotherapy)

This poem is part of a series in which I explore traditional jewelry materials and the ways in which they relate to the body. When I was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, I tried to keep my material curiosity alive by tracing the medicines back to their roots, in this case the element platinum. I thought a lot about how systems within the body mimic systems without, veins and arteries echo streams and rivers, sediments accumulate in silt and bone. Thank you to Metalsmith Magazine for inviting me to publish this poem. 



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