On day one of blogging, I thought it would be appropriate for me to share some insight as to how and why I picked the name "Crow's Nest Curiosities" for my blog and Etsy store. I wanted a name that would reflect not only what I was selling, but how I create what I sell.
Have you ever watched a bird make a nest? What does it do? It travels locally, scouring it's surroundings to find the perfect pieces (in this case, branches, twigs, grass, straw, or other natural bits) to make up its nest. It hand-picks each piece, one-by-one, in a very long, time-consuming process to "build" the perfect nest. It is not an easy process, and depending on the bird, it can take days or even weeks to complete the nest. But think about it! Inside that bird's brain is the potential for the perfect design. Each small piece that it hand-picks (or should I say, beak-picks), may not look beautiful by itself, but as more and more pieces are selected and brought back home and woven into place, you start to see something amazing. Each nest is truly a work of art.....a one-of-a-kind design from an individual mind.
Just like nest-building birds, the materials that I primarily work with when creating jewelry are "found objects". My process of jewelry design is similar to a bird's hunt for materials......it involves searching locally for the perfect bits and pieces, one by one! I travel to various flea markets near my home to find objects that "call to me". I usually start by looking for my focal piece. My strongest, or most important "branch" for my nest. Then I think of what else I must "weave" together with this focal piece to make something beautiful. Sometimes it takes me a long time to find just what I need. It can take me days, or sometimes weeks to create something beautiful and wearable. But with the help of both my left-brain (the logical elements of construction) and my right-brain (the creative designing process) comes something magical. A one-of-a-kind finished piece that I hope others will stumble upon and perceive as something beautiful.
(Above: a fake crow prop that I have used in the past when photographing my jewelry)
So of all the wonderful nest-building birds on this planet, why did I pick the crow? Every time I spot one, I can't help but remain in awe of their beauty. They have a mystique and majesty about them that makes my heart stop for just a second or two. Aside from their beauty, the crow is definitely one of the most amazing birds in existance! Far above most other species of birds, a crow's intelligence is so high, that it can perform tasks that other birds simply can not. A crow's brain has been compared to that of primates. In fact, according to National Geographic, a crow's brain is relatively the same size as a chimpanzee's brain! In the animal kingdom, brain size does appear to be linked to the level of intelligence. Scientists also say that a crow's brain, in many ways, works very similarly to a human brain.
I love this YouTube video (see below), that exemplifies the level of intelligence of crows -
So far, we've covered the words "nest" and "crow" in my blog title. Now for "curiosities". When I think of the word "curiosities", I think of Alice in Wonderland wandering through Tulgey Wood, where after discovering some unusual creature she says "Curiouser and curiouser!"
My goal when hunting for found object focals for my jewelry designs is to find vintage pieces that are so unique that most people will find themselves staring in wonderment (similarly to Alice). I love it when people ask me "Where on earth did you find that piece?" I know that there are many jewelry artists out there who are content to use components or focals that are mass-produced and easily found at your local (or online) craft store. But my favorite thing in the world is to hunt down as many rare antique components as I can, in order to make jewelry that no one else can replicate. So that when a customer buys one of my pieces of jewelry that I have labeled as "one-of-a-kind", they can be confident that no one else on the planet will ever be wearing the same exact thing.