Believe In Your Heart: 2002
Before I moved away to college, one day while my sister and I were in the yard and she picked up an African Tulip seed and said "do you know what these represent?" The little seeds- prevalent around Hawaii- have clear exterior membrane, with a little seed suspended in the center (which if you look closely, resembles a heart.) She continued "it means: keep your mind clear, and let it come from the heart"
This expression stuck with me throughout my first year in college, getting me through all the turmoil of decision-making as a new 'adult'. In the end of my second year of goldsmith training, I created this astonishing piece to represent this quote.
I learn so much about fabrication when creating this piece, you can still see many components of it influence my work today: the heart, the sawing, hinged mechanisms, the narrative details. To this day, I'd call it one of my most successful pieces. Reading like a book or locket (it opens and closes, about the size of your hands when open) an open-work 'brain' is the exterior, with a venus fly-trap theme, showing how we can easily trap thoughts. Yet, when you open the brain, it reveals the heart is actually at the center of all the decision making, framed by the african tulip seeds. It took be about a month and a half to create & finish this piece- the heart is created with one continuous cut with a hand saw, in which I didn't break the single jewelers saw-blade (I deemed it the lucky sawblade). The exterior, quite the opposite, sawing a domed piece of sheet is challenging and took me... way too long. I think this is the piece in which I truly learned how to saw, and tell a story.