I am from a big family and multi-generational living is not new to us. For much of the quarantine, there have been nine places and three generations at the table. It is an abundance of personality. At a time when many people are experiencing loneliness, I long for solitude – mostly for an uninterrupted stretch in the studio. I have a very different attention span than my Kindergartener and dividing the day into twenty-minute increments is anathema to me. I feel like I’m on a never-ending circuit workout. Parents who have stayed at home with young children know this sensation well. Days are made out of Google classrooms along with a healthy dose of watercolors, nature walks, gardening, cooking and playing with cousins. I think they will remember this time fondly.
My sister’s house, where we have been sheltering, has a beautiful flower garden. Each day, new colors pop out – bearded irises from bulbs planted years ago, a hidden stand of yellow freesia, lavender, salvia and an incredible palette of roses.
We have been making bouquets and pressing flowers –preserving this moment of spring in two dimensions for a future time when the quarantine is over and the busyness returns.
In the midst of this stasis, I find great joy in watching the plants and the children grow. And while I haven’t had much studio time, I have cultivated other practices during this time that feel like they are exercising my creative muscles and reflecting on my work a little more, finding new ways to experience it and send it out into the world. Here are three generations of hands on a hot spring day – my mom wearing a ring I made for her with five rose cut diamonds for each of her five children, my sister wearing a mokume band that is nearing twenty years of existence and a 22k band set with a small yet flawless and four of our grandmother’s bangles that she never takes off, I am wearing my 20k wedding ring and my niece and daughter have various pieces from the Maya Kini Jewelry collection. Each of the wedding bands is made from gold coins that my father bought in the 1980’s during a different period of financial instability. He gave Shamus the Canadian Maple Leaf coin when we got engaged and gave me the coins I used to begin working in gold years ago and made my mom’s band and my sister’s and brother-in-law’s. The coins are the roots of reimagined heirlooms and important to how I think about material as moving, as forever in the process of becoming…