I was fortunate to meet Erin while she was working at art gallery at Miners Foundry in Nevada City, California. A wonderful artist, I’m thrilled to have her as my guest!
My Biggest breakthrough came when….I was in the depths on one of the lowest points of my life. I had created jewelry for years as gifts for friends and for myself. I had kicked around the idea or incorporating antiquities into modern pieces of jewelry ( I had no interest in making reproductions). Then I started thinking how rich it would be to incorporate the mythology of these cultures to guide the designs. I was still playing with these ideas when my brother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The act of creating has always been therapeutic for me, and so I dove into my new ideas furiously as a way to assuage the worry and fear. When he died 5 months later, I had a nice little collection to begin, but I was hollowed out with grief. I was in this weakened state when I wandered into a local wiccan store, The Cult of Gemini. The women there were so kind and gentle, that I was able to reach out and ask if they might be interested in what I was doing. They not only agreed to take a look, but they took most of my collection for the Christmas season. When I stopped by a few weeks later they had sold several pieces already. People I didn’t even know had spent money on something I created!! I was in tears!
I was an artist.
My Heroes in Real Life …..My biggest hero was always my brother. I didn’t always agree with him in matters of politics or religion, but he was one of the most integrous people I have ever known. He really tried to “walk his talk”. His contributions to his community, his work ethic, and his kindness, and most of all his incredible sense of humor, made him someone I admired. Being around him was like standing in the sun. I am the cynic in the family, and the older sibling—but I was like a little kid when he called on the phone. It’s not often we are gifted with someone we can truly lean on and lean into.
How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your creative pursuits? My day-to day commitments have changed recently as my son has moved away to college this last week! I find myself at my work table whenever I start to miss him.
I have 2 part time- jobs plus my vocation as an artist. I am a paraeducator for special ed. preschool and I run a shipping service for a supplement company out of my garage. I really feel that playing with the kids at school keeps my brain limber and creative. It is a requirement in that job!
Both jobs allow me lots of time at home, which is my happy creation place. My dining area has lots of light and a high table where I can stand and work (less strain on the back). But I am definitely less interested in housework since I really began to create on a steady basis. We only have so much time in the day, and something has to give! I have also given up sleep on occasion—working until 2 in the morning to finish a necklace.
My other passions….The jewelry takes up most of my passion, but I have a few other creative pursuits. I really enjoy cooking, when the weather is cooler. My favorites are traditional recipes from Eastern Europe and the UK—Just because you don’t see those around that much. At least not in California.
I am trying to learn Polish through the Rosetta program. I really enjoy it, but it is getting harder with each lesson. Slavic languages are not easy to say the least.
I play music with a group of friends every weekend. We have done this for about 6 years now. We play a lot of Irish music and they are all Deadheads, so there is that too. I play bodhran (Irish frame drum) and sing. I also find this to be therapeutic. We have played and sang together through a lot of rough patches in all our lives.
And my biggest passion is my son. He is studying sound design at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Watching him grow into his future has been the biggest joy of my life. I hang on his every text!
What’s next….? I am researching going back to school to get my teaching credential for Moderate/Severe Pre-K education. That will be the next big endeavor. It will be one more element to juggle, but I feel that it will be a good direction to compliment my creative life. Lots of play, and good chunks of vacation time.
I also have an uncle that wants to teach me to weld. We are just in the talking stages on that. But it would open up a whole new realm of creation! We just have to get our schedules co-ordinated. I would like to eventually make outdoor sculptures incorporating mythological symbols and elements.
Anything else….? I can’t think of anything right now. I feel like I rambled too much!
Thank you for the opportunity!
For more about Erin check out her Facebook page and her shop at Etsy-GriffinQueen Mythological Jewelry