Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Inspiration from the night sky

After spending most of the past three years living and traveling in Peru, I find myself -- somewhat to my astonishment -- living now in Coral Gables, Florida. I love Coral Gables for the wonderfully varied and yet traditional Mediterranean-style architecture, and for the amazing trees, particularly the fascinating strangler figs and the flamboyant poincianas. But what I enjoy most about living here is the private little courtyard in our charming little rented house. I love sitting out here at dusk, watching the clouds turn pink and gold and orange as they sail overhead, to be replaced by the tranquil stars in the night sky, in the little square of sky overhead. One thing one should know about Lima, Peru -- one of my favorite cities in the world for the chaotic, noisy, crazy, every-changing, hidden-treasures-lurking, always surprising things that happen there as soon as you walk out your door -- is that you hardly ever see stars. That is partly because Lima is shrouded for a good part of the year in the "garua", a thick, foggy mist that conceals the sky. Even on clear nights, it is a challenge to make out anything but the brightest of stars in a city of nearly 9 million souls. So I am happy to be in a place once again where the sky is often clear, and as I watch the winking, blinking little points of light come out most evenings, I am reminded of the wonderful summers I used to spend in the mountains of northern New Mexico as a child growing up in Colorado. My favorite time of year was August, when we would take our sleeping bags and hike up the mountain a ways, and then spend the night enraptured as the sun set and more stars than you can imagine emerged from a darkened sky. It was literally breathtaking -- hard to breathe at times -- it was so beautiful. On the occasions when the Perseid meteor showers would occur, we would be spellbound, and often stay awake until dawn, talking and gazing and absorbing the ever-increasing beauty.

Those spectacular night skies I have been reminded of since I moved here inspired me to create one of my newest necklace and earring sets, which I call Star Showers. Made entirely by hand of sterling silver wire, which I formed and soldered and hammered and oxidized, and then added pearls that reminded me of that deep velvety purple of those long ago skies I lost myself in so many summers ago. The coin pearl which is featured in the pendant is like one of the "shot" silks of India and Thailand, where the warp and weft threads of different colors are woven into a fabric that shifts and gleams variations of those two colors with every movement.
This necklace set is now available in my newly-reopened etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/112888170/star-shower-necklace-and-earring-set. If I had more presence of mind, I would have photographed the process of creating this design, but I am completely out of practice at blogging. Rest assured, however, that it was a process I enjoyed immensely from beginning to end!


Dana Evans said...

Mary your writing is so beautiful- you put the rest of us to shame!!! LOVE the set- off to check out your etsy shop!! -Dana

Anonymous said...

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