Still is Still Moving to Me

by michaeljohnson on August 6, 2009

Traveler's Bracelet; sterling silver, .999 silver, 14k gold, copper, rubies, garnets, peridot, and kabamba jasper.

Traveler's Bracelet; sterling silver, .999 silver, 14k gold, copper, rubies, peridot, garnets, and kabamba jasper.

“Still is still moving to me.
And, I swim like a fish in the sea all the time.
But if that’s what it takes to be free I don’t mind.
Still is still moving to me.”

Willie Nelson

This bracelet was first inspired by the kabamba cabochons cut by George Ingraham (aka TaoGem).  Kabamba contains rare stromatalite fossils, giving it an intense green on black with rings that form waves.  To me they look like Hubble satellite images of the universe, cosmos.  George cut these cabs to match patterns, so they just begged to be set closely with hinges.

The rocket has so many interpretations to me, depending on how it is rendered or how I integrate it with the surrounding.  However it is rendered, ultimately it represents travel in one way or another.

Aren’t we all always on our way?  Moving, evolving, growing, getting, giving, we are all always on the go, even when setting perfectly still.  As a kid I used to awe over how the sky always seemed to be perfectly still as I stare out of the window of a car zooming down the highway. The moon hanging in the sky like it was painted on a backdrop.  Being still is just the illusion that we aren’t moving, but we all are moving at the speed of light.

The rocket is staged on the box clasp, which I made with a corresponding hollow section.  The background is sprinkled with 2mm garnets, rubies and peridot using tube settings.  And, the background is layered with patterns made up of 14k gold and sterling on sterling.  I’ve also treated the surface with patinas to bring out a variety of colors from the silver, creating a variety of color and textures within the whole bracelet.

There is a garnet set on the tab which you would press in to catch and release the clasp.  Closed, the clasp becomes a red star, possibly a destination with a field of patterns and glittering flashes of color from all of the other stars.  The bracelet is a contrast between the depicted cosmos within the metalwork and the green stellar patterns of the stones.

The sections of bezelled cabs and hollow forms are all connected with hinges, riveted with copper washers that I made from sheet.  At first I tried to make the hinge as tight and finely machined as possible, but that made the bracelet to stiff on the arm, so I reset the hinges with a smaller gauged pin giving a slight bit of play to each section, making it wear more freely on the arm.  The contrast of the silver with the copper washers also pulls these mechanisms out to sort of look like wheels, adding to the idea of motion and travel.

I took the bracelet out for a test drive, making sure there were no pinches or flaws in the clasp, and I wanted to get some reactions from people on it.  The glitters of gems and the earthy colors really catch peoples’ eyes.  And, it was interesting to get the interpretations of the imagery from different people.  But, ultimately, I would find myself putting together the patterns and the waves of the kabamba into free flowing images, using my imagination.

Aren’t we all caught up in our own patterns and journeys, whether we feel stuck in a rut, or free falling? We are all travelers in this strange cosmos.  Sometimes, we just need an icon to keep us aware.  Sometimes, we just need to keep an eye on the destination.  Sometimes we just need to kick back and enjoy the ride.  I hope you enjoyed this piece.  Thank you, and please feel free to comment, question, or criticize, using the comment box below.

“And it’s hard to explain how I feel.
It won’t go in words but I know that it’s real.
I can be moving or I can be still.
But, still is still moving me.”

Detail of Traveler's Bracelet

Detail of Traveler


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Johnson August 8, 2009 at 11:29 am

Yeh, fancy isn’t a word I hear often, nor do I strive for it. I wore it out the other day and took three orders for bracelets to be custom made similar to this. It gets attention without looking like a big bling bling, lol.

Thanks again :o)

Jerry Fowler August 7, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Michael, This a very nice bracelet. Not hard core fancy but just plain nice. Good work!

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