What's in a Name?

 

You might be wondering where on Earth I came up with a name like The Pickled Pearl. It doesn't make a lick of sense until you know a little about me.

 

First, I am a silversmith and jewelry artist. I am completely smitten with my craft. Maybe even a little unbalanced. Most people like to get out now and then, see some friends, maybe go for a walk. I actually need to schedule those things in. Otherwise I would never leave my studio.  

 
My Studio
 

I used to hate pearls. I mean loathe. I am a June baby and got stuck with the pearl as my birthstone. How BORING. My friends all had cool birthstones like aquamarine, ruby, and sapphire. People gave them gifts with their birthstones, and guess what? They actually liked the gifts. Not me. Can you imagine turning 16 and getting pearl earrings. The kind that everyone's grandma has. You know what I mean. The big, round, plain white pearl with a post sticking out the back. I don't know about you, but believe me, I was not a plain, white pearl kind of girl.   

 
Making ring shanks.

And now you are probably thinking I am absolutely crazy for naming a blog after an object of derision. Well, one day a few years ago I decided to experiment a little. I wanted to see if I could make pearls a little more modern. Give them an edge. And slowly, I fell in love the with the luminescent little orbs. Their satiny sheen. They are a tiny full moon, captured in a ring. Now, pearls are a common theme in my work. And I am not talking your grandma's staid string of pearls from 1948, but a young reinvented version of the pearl.

That is the pearl part. 

The pickle part is a bit of a triple entendre. 

In silversmithing, the pickle is a mild acid solution that removes oxidation that develops during the soldering. The pickle is something that I use everyday in my studio. 

 
Soldering a ring.

Then there is my kitchen. It is my second favourite room. I have been known to wake up and make beef bone broth just 'cause. I remember once, there was a whole summer that I was fascinated with jams. I would get up in the morning and say "I feel lazy today. I don't want to do anything. I think I'll make jam". A few hours later, a dozen new jars of jam would be cooling on the counter. I made so much jam that year, I had to give some to everyone I knew. I had no place to store it all. I have to admit that the only pickles I have ever made are pickled beets

I am a little crazy about cooking and canning in general. We even bought an outdoor propane burner so that I could get my pressure canner out of the house, keeping the indoor temperature somewhere south of molten. 

 
Attaching a post for the pearl.

And the last part of that pickle is me. I really love a glass of red wine, or two, with dinner. I always joke that when I am an old woman, I am going to live on pie, ice cream, and red wine. I know this as surely as I know anything. When the time comes that life is about quality, and no longer about quantity, I can just hear myself... 

"No. That's okay, honey. I'm not really that hungry tonight. I don't really feel like dinner. But I would LOVE a piece of that fresh blueberry pie. Maybe with a little ice cream?  And, oh look! It's six o'clock! Time for a glass of wine." 

And so at the end of it all, I will indeed be the pickled pearl.

Cheers.

 
Finished pearl solitaire ring.