Silk Creek Metalworks

On Life and Craft


Discovering the Season


I’ve never been able to figure out why people try to get rid of Dandelions.  They’re cute, they’re puffy, they’re bright yellow, and they run amok all over the landscape to let us know that Spring is finally here to stay!  I always pick one when they first start to pop up everywhere. This one I brought in from my walk and put right on top of my favorite little guy’s noggin while he was playing his X-box and then proceeded to jump around like a maniac singing, “It’s Spring! It’s Spring! we should go out and PLAY!!!” Unfortunately he thought I was being kind of strange and annoying and wasn’t too happy about me interrupting such an important game.  Too bad.  I at least planted the idea in his head and he eventually grabbed his bike and went zooming around the neighborhood like a little ninja on wheels.  It’s possible that he was still leading a video game life and counting up all the points he gets after each curb jump and driveway skid, but that’s ok.  At least he was outside.

It’s that time of year when all of us here get really busy with the things we love to do.  It’s not even a bit odd to us to have to slide over several plant pots, a few seed packets, a bicycle helmet, some metal scraps, a bottle of sunscreen, and a hammer or two to make some room to put dinner on the kitchen table.  We are far from a 1950’s T.V. family but at least we know how to have some fun.  It’s time to get the garden planted with some home grown veggies, explore some natural areas, play around on bikes and boats, and of course start up our weekend backyard campfire gatherings with snacks, smores, and Nerf wars! (They started to feel sorry for me last year and got me a shield. It was a very sweet gesture… I think.)

As for my metalwork, the door and windows get opened up on my rustic little workshop and my music fills the air!

backyard-workshop-metalsmith-work-spaces     (And by rustic, I mean rustic! I have lots of little critter friends to keep me company and I honestly don’t know where that extra door came from. I’m thinking about adding a sun roof to it, but in sticking to the original architecture I would need a staple gun and a lot of duct tape.  Maybe soon, but anyway, it’s my happy little metalsmithing heaven.)

With Spring in full launch, I’m still having a great time creating natural forms out of copper and gathering inspiration out on my walks and hikes.  I’ve even started working in a more organic way, letting the final design simply grow out of the raw materials in an unplanned way. I’ll start with a basic shape and begin with a few folds and then add in some textures.

This kind of looks like an orange slice but it’s about to become something else…

fold-formed-copper-works-in-progress-natural-forms-leaf-shape      After playing around with the metal for a bit it just starts to turn into something…


This kind of looks like a flower form that just bloomed so I’ll give it a nice deep patina to bring out those textures and add some elements to bring it to life…


     I’m finding that this organic and unplanned working style is becoming more of an act of discovery than creation. I’m starting to wonder what kind of beauty might be hiding inside the metal and just waiting come out.  The more time I spend in my garden or out in nature, the easier it becomes to play around enough to find that beauty that’s ready to be born.





     So this Spring & Summer are going to be all about discovery.  We’re going to grow our garden here at home and go out to explore new places. We’ll find out what we can climb, how far we can ride, and what exactly can be done with a kayak before it tips.  We’ll probably get wet, dirty, and end up with a few scraped knees, but that’s because discovery is way too much fun to plan for. I’ve decided to leave the perfect kitchens to the perfect wives on day time T.V. and head out to enjoy the season.  I’ll be harvesting my inspiration along the way!

Happy Spring!

OR & CA 396