It started here ...

I couldn't help myself.  It was just too perfect in its crazy really un-perfect way.  I found this amazing sweater at Niche here in Asheville.  I was in need of inspiration and was wondering around downtown, just seeing where my feet would take me.  I got a nice boost of juice from a visit to Origami Ink, perusing their selection of fine papers, gorgeous fountain pens, very cool art with everything exquisitely displayed ... I am such a sucker for good display.

Next, on the owner's recommendation I headed across the street to Cafe Ello for an iced coffee.  Side note - we went there Saturday for breakfast and it was really good.  Thinking this will be our new favorite breakfast spot, especially 'cause they open early before all the tourists are out.  So then I wondered over to the Grove Arcade and headed down to Niche.  Hanging across the front windows were these amazing sweaters and I knew I was in trouble or better yet, in for an enormous treat ... yes, that's much better.

The artist who makes these wonderful creations is named Cara May.  She works part time at the shop and was there as I was going bonkers over her treasures.  The owner of the shop, Cara and I chatted for a good long while - nice for me as I really don't get out much.  Here's the back of my fabulous new sweater ...

Turns out, one of the yarns that Cara uses in these sweaters is fiber coated steel from Habu Textiles.  I saw it last year on my silk quest and was very curious.  The steel yarn got me to thinking about Hadar Jacobson's steel metal clay.  Standing there chatting, my mind started going crazy with ideas for designing a whole group of work based on Cara's sweaters.

Then I got to thinking about those big chunks of fossilized bone from my in-laws in FL.  So when I got home, I ordered steel metal clay and emailed my sister-in-law to see if she had any more big chunky fossils she'd be willing to part with.  And look what I got in the mail today!   OMG - a jumbo treasure trove of fossilized booty!

This was six pounds of fossils and she's putting more in the mail today.  I think that big piece in my hand is turtle shell and then there's all kinds of bone chunks and shards.  She's also going to send a little flyer with descriptions for identifying the different fossils from that beach.  Here's a few more pieces ... they are seriously cool.

And I'm not sure if I'll do anything with this or not, but the recycled sari silk I just got for packaging looks pretty wonderful against a backdrop of ancient bones.

I'm working on how I'm going to connect these pieces into jewelry.  What's going to be a good complement to the steel and bone?  It needs to be very durable and abrasion resistant, so I'm thinking about nylon but also about leather.  Then I had this crazy idea about getting rawhide and dyeing it with walnuts.  I've got lots of walnuts in my yard, remains from that tree we had removed.  I don't know, may be kind of crazy ... may be kind of fun.

Only thing slowing me down is the steel metal clay is coming from California.  But I gotta say, I'm feeling a lot of potential here .... lots and lots.  I'll keep you posted!

l i g a - kvk