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Kathy Van Kleeck Talismans & Tools June 2019

tending my handmade life ...

Images come, shapes flow, clay is rolled, pinched and poked, nudged and smeared, textures emerge, beeswax is melted, indigo awaits linen, dip and dip again, spirit guides the selection of essential oils, blends awaken, form follows function, the simplest answer is usually the best answer, scanning bins for bits and bobs, sparkly or matte, stack or layer, solder or wrap, drill and sand and file, long or not so long, plain or forged, shiny or satin, hand or machine stitched, another drop or two or not ...

... composition and creation is improvisation, intuitive, spirit guided.

... comfort and practicality, no snaggy bits, clasps function as conceived, not too heavy and weighted evenly, fragrance is balanced and uplifting, seams are secure, wax cools evenly.

Above all else ... effortless, empowering, graceful, beautiful, heartwarming and smile inducing.

Do we really need more stuff ?

As a maker, I struggle with the idea of creating more stuff to put out into the world.  An online friend responded, "We live in a world of things ... make things with soul, consciously, with gratitude for what is used."  Thanks, Dawn!

about the jewelry . . .

I started making jewelry in 1994 and through the years I've assimilated a diverse range of influences and interests into a distinctive jewelry style that I call Urban Primitive. 

I'm primarily self-taught via lots of how-to books and seem to have a gift for design and composition.  My medium of choice is a relatively new material called Precious Metal Clay (PMC) - precious or base metal powders in a clay-like base.  I began working with the original fine silver PMC in 1998 and it was love at first touch.  My favorite thing about metal clay is how I can form each component by hand, pinching and nudging shapes, smearing and rolling edges ... my fingerprints are visible in each piece, quite literally, the hand of the maker.  After forming, the elements are fired in a kiln; the clay burns out, leaving the now-fused metal - 18k gold, fine or sterling silver, steel and bronze.

a few more details . . .

I make every effort to run a sustainable, green business.  To that end, the precious metals I use (PMC and sterling silver) are purchased from a certified green business and made with recycled silver.  The gemstones I use are purchased from reputable suppliers, are conflict free and in compliance with UN regulations.  I use nylon cord and beading threads for their exceptional strength and durability.

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"You can't be what you aren't."  Baxter Black

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