30 April 2010

Grow Through Change

"From a small seed a mighty trunk my grow." ~Aeschylus

The Woman's Fund of Portage County (WI) is turning 10 this year.

Ten years ago a group of women saw the opportunity to make a difference in our community long term by creating a fund that would start small and grow. These women planted a small starter seed of money that has grown into a substantial amount. Each year they hold a spring luncheon to honor the contributions and celebrate the recipients of the grants.

One of the organizers is a fan of mine. She knows that I have participated in the Woman's Fund A.R.T.S. Night (A Reason To Shop) art show in the fall. She asked me to create a special something for the raffle at the luncheon. Since these are the women I would like to have as clients I was honored to be asked. But it wasn't until I saw that my name was prominently featured on their poster for the event that I knew I really had to bring it on.

It is important to me to create something new for a donation, rather than just giving something that is leftover. This was one occasion where the thought of what to make planted its seed in my brain, and I let the design grow organically from one piece to the next.

The theme for their luncheon this year is Plant a Seed.

I started with one of my "Seeds of Inspiration" charm. I thought that would be a perfect place to begin. Each "Seeds of Inspiration" charm is a bezel with words of encouragement and a mustard seed under resin. The lesson of the parable of the mustard seed is that from the tiniest, humblest seed grows a mighty bush so large and so quickly that the birds come to nest in it.

This "Seeds of Inspiration" charm says 'spring (up)' from a book of French poetry {translated into English, of course} and it is paired with a dirt inspired brown snowflake obsidian oval from Rings & Things.

Next I created a leaf shape from copper sheet from the hardware store. It is hand stamped with the phrase "grow through CHANGE" with added texturizing. Then I gently shaped it into a more dimensional leaf and oxidized it with liver of sulfur and polished to highlight the details.

These pictures are a bit dark {my apologies} but you can see that near the leaf I added a soft pink dogwood blossom from Heather Powers at Humblebeads {I love every single thing she makes. This is so soft and pretty and works so well with the metals}. And it is a bit hard to see, but there is a copper colored bird bead on top of the flower that I found at Michaels.

Grow Through Change

All of the links are hand made by me using 19 gauge dark annealed galvanized steel wire. I made coils that I then wrapped in 24 gauge bronze Vintaj wire. And I made some leaf shaped connectors where I dangled some mauve colored keishi pearls from Rings & Things.

Of course I had to 'wear test' it one day {you know, just to be sure there wasn't something pokey...okay...truth be told, I am quite smitten with this one and it would be my only chance!}. I find it quite easy to wear and a very stunning statement piece. I am honored that the Woman's Fund ladies chose me to represent them and I have been invited to attend the event and present the winner with her prize. I will enjoy meeting the person who will be wearing it so that I can tell her of the inspiration behind the piece.

I am reminded that from humble beginnings and a seed so small can come the mightiest of trunks. I am mindful that the seeds that I plant - through my children, my art, my living witness - will grow and prosper and achieve new life far greater than I can ever imagine. I believe that we cannot hope to grow or change or blossom without the attention and care and support of others and that a caring community comes together to do just that. I am humbled by the thought that there will always be someone in need and I am honored that I could play a small role in the growth of new directions for an organziation that does so much good in our community.

A little bit about the organziation:

The Women’s Fund of Portage County is a Donor Advised Fund within the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin ( www.cfcwi.org ) and is a collaborative initiative of Saint Michael’s Foundation, the Stevens Point Area YMCA Foundation and the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin.

The Mission of the Women’s Fund of Portage County is to empower women philanthropists by creating opportunities to fund programs that will develop the full potential of women and children. The vision is that the fund be sufficiently capitalized to make a difference in the lives of women and children in Portage County.

The goals of the Women’s Fund of Portage County include granting funds and offering assistance to nonprofit organizations that foster opportunities for the economic, educational, physical, emotional, social, artistic and/or personal growth of Portage County women and children of all ages, cultures, nationalities, races and abilities and increasing community awareness of the significant needs of women and children.

What about you?

Is there an organzation in your community that you can support with your time, talent or treasure that can take your tiny seed and grow it to new heights?

What can you do to affect change through growth in your community?

Enjoy the day!


Pearl and Pebble said...

What a wonderful necklace Erin! I love the airy, openess and all the shades and hints of pink. You really thought it quite perfectly. Well done! You did the Ladies proud:)

mairedodd said...

this piece is very beautiful and meaningful... your handworking so much of it gives the piece a part of you... you can feel it... heathers pieces are so incredible - i admit that i haven't had one bead to work with because i cannot pick! but i need to get over it and do just that... truly erin, this is a treasure created for one of the highest goods... how nice you will be in attendance at the event...
funny - i used an acorn in a piece yesterday to share a similar sentiment...

Alexandra said...

I think the copper is lovely, it shows to me something organic and changing. I love the printed message of "spring up."

You've captured the feel of this organization a-mazingly.

You are truly an insightful, prescient creator.

cjvierow said...

Hi Erin--What a really lovely necklace with such an inspirational message. Great job! Love all the variety you included too. I'm sure the winner will wear it with pride. CJ

Esther said...

beautiful necklace erin!! i think it'smy new fav of yours!! love this flower bead, stamped metal..the button.. all!! (my english is so bad to answer to your question about community.. )

SueBeads said...

It's beautiful, Erin! So perfect for the theme! What a wonderful gift you gave them!

Beatnheart said...

I would be honored to donate one of my pieces of jewelry if you need more items for the raffle. My things are much more modest and not of your caliber but still I would like to contribute in my small way. Let me know and I'll mail it off right away. All the best. Cynthia Wolff

stregata said...

Congratulations, Erin! You took the theme and very skillfully made it visible with your work. It is a wonderful necklace and I love the pieces you have incorporated.

Patty said...

This is just wonderful Erin, all of it. I *love* the piece that you created with humble yet symbolic ingredients, and admire the work that you and your friends are doing in this group. I'm sure they'll be honored to hold that raffle, and the winner will be lucky indeed.

Be~Jeweled by Jana said...

That's a beautiful piece and I love the symbolism of each of the components. Such an inspirational post!

Sharon said...

Congratulations on your beautiful contribution to the cause. Everything about your lovely necklace speaks Springtime!

Juli Cannon said...

Oh Erin~ Everything about that piece is stunning and full of your beautiful spirit. Love it.

Vintajia Adornments said...

Erin this piece is absolutely beautiful and even more so with the story behind it. I find jewellery with a story much more rich and meaningful. Your generosity in contribution to a worth cause is as beautiful as the necklace

Silver Parrot said...

Great piece, Erin! You do such beautiful work! And hey - I almost always "wear test" each item - gotta be sure the customer will be happy with it, right?


SummersStudio said...

Beautiful, thoughtful, and so beautifully crafted. Each part of your design creates a perfect expression of the Women's Fund mission. I am truly moved by this piece.

EmandaJ said...

Hello Erin,

What a beautiful piece and such a worthy cause. You asked about our causes and the way we contribute to our community, well, here's what I do. For 14 years I have voluteered with Health Services of North Texas, which originally was established to assist people living with HIV/AIDS. I started out working in the food pantry, then I worked as a Volunteer coordinator and with the clients, now I am on the foundations board of directors. Each year we have a fund-raising gala with a silent auction. Each year I offer a piece or two of jewelry. It is usually not as elaborate as your piece, but maybe, this year I will do something very special.

Thanks for all you do!

Anonymous said...

It's a beautiful piece and wonderful post!

farouk said...

that necklace is so beautiful, well done:)
it also shows how great things happen through small steps

Davinia said...

Beautiful necklace Erin and the thought behind it too. I'm certain the lucky winner will treasure it.

Marie Cramp said...

What a wonderful piece!! Love the dogwood and leaf!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I think your site is beautiful and I just love your jewlery. Very inspiring. I am new to blogging and just started one. I hope you will visit or follow me at:

Jeannie said...

Erin this piece just makes my heart sing and so thoughtfully put together. Heather's bead make a nice impact. I envy the recipient.
I have cut down on my computer time, but I need to get to your blog more often.

Mary Harding said...

Such a beautiful necklace Erin. And what a great inspiration for it. I like your wire chain and of course all of it. Thanks so much for sharing how this necklace grew in your mind and at your beading table.

Kate said...

Wonderful post Erin, your necklace it A1 as usual. I love how you tied this months theme with this charity event, what could be better than to share and encourage?


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