A Lovely Beginning-the Origin Story
Happiest of Happy New Years to you!
Well, friend, here we are. A new dawn, a new day...and I'm feeling gooooood (thank you Nina Simone)
It's been in my thoughts to start this blog for a while... to add a touch more humanity to the website, to indulge my love for writing, and to keep friends like you abreast of what's happening within the Weird Wonderful World of SilverLeaf Studios. You may be a brandy-new friend, so I'm thinking this would be a good time for me to introduce myself, and we can get to know each other better. This world is so disconnected from personal interaction at the moment, it seems to be the perfect time.
My creative journey began in the early 1990's. Originally from Northern Illinois, I visited and fell in love with my first Renaissance Festival, Bristol Renaissance Faire. After working one season, I packed my bags and cats into a van and headed "on the road" with the Ren Fest circuit. From Minnesota to Arizona, Texas to Florida, the journeying and culture of a traveling festival worker suited me perfectly. After assisting a few different types of artisans with production during our non-show days, I was offered week work with a Master jewelry artist, whose business was focused on lovely sterling silver wire work. I began with making charms and dangly bits with stones for her to use in her pieces, and moved forward into simple rings. Pliers felt right in my hands, and with her excellent teaching and guidance I have continued crafting with sterling (and copper) wire for almost 30 years. A couple years ago I began silversmithing (torchwork) which opened up a whole new avenue for creative and technical expression. This year I will begin one of a kind and small batch casting as well. It is so vital to keep expanding my skill base, it keeps the designs fresh and feeds my creative hunger.
Since my beginnings were at Renaissance Festivals, it was only natural to expand SilverLeaf in that direction. Traveling brought me to King Richard's Faire in Carver (southeastern) Massachusettes in Autumn 1992, and I immediately fell in love with the area. After many years doing the festival, I also fell in love with a blacksmith (like you do) and we now make our home (and the bases for our businesses) in Metrowest Boston. SilverLeaf operated out of a tent for our first few years at King Richard's, and we were thrilled to purchase a booth and opened actual doors in 2018. SilverLeaf also travels to Scottish Festivals and Highland Games in New England, as well as being a part of the brilliant craft and curated collective shop Hive and Forge (locations in Salem and Lowell MA). 2020 was focused on the online presence, and I'm so pleased at the success of the website this past Holiday season.
It's been an absolute delight to live and craft in New England, the history, beauty, and strong artisan presence here is the perfect home for me and my business. I am fortunate to be able to have a studio at home. Currently in our garage, hopefully this year we will be building a new space for SilverLeaf in our back yard. Follow here for more on that!
There it is, the origin story. Thanks for sticking around to the end, the future missives will probably be less wordy, lol.
I hope you have a day filled with unexpected beauty.
Thank you for being here.
You are a gift.