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My name is Stephen. I am in my late twenties. I recently decided that I would nurture those far away few semesters from high school when dust and polyurethane were heavy in the air and do something semi-permanent with my adult life. Cue Ana White's website. Between the step by step instructions, the comments section, and the brag board, it seemed like a great place to make some headway in a new craft. But wait, let's go back a bit, those of you who haven't already navigated away ;)

Seven months ago in December 2011, my fiancée bought me a wonderful gift something that precipitated all of this, in a way-a gift certificate to craft alliance. For those of you who are uninitiated, allow an explanation; it's a school/artist incubator, where artists are paid to teach their crafts to those interested and the store in turn pays them to teach and sells their wares for the artists' profit. A nice idea and a sort of a win/win/win: for the customers who buy unique artisan work and learn to make it themselves, to the artists who make money teaching and selling their work simultaneously, to the business itself, you know, doing business.

Anyway I decided to use my gift certificate to make jewelry. I'd be working with metal and fire (manly) and make my lady something pretty and delicate, profound even, who's to say? So I made it to most of the 6 classes and came out with a few rings (one copper, hammered, with some negative space, one silver, weathered (the outside sort of looks like tall grass, and stained yellowish with liver of sulphur) and more importantly, some wonderful new ideas.

You see, Stephen's world involves working for "the man." What I mean here is that I work for a big business and am paid fairly well, but my job leaves my body feeling soulless and exhausted at the end of the day. Once in college I worked in a tree nursery/ research center and though the work was occasionally brutal, the exhaustion I felt was more profound and well, beautiful than anything else. A fulfilling tiredness is what I'm talking about. Like after a good workout. So, that sort of brings me full circle. This work, the work that I have begun on storied pieces of wood, brings me calm and happiness. I hope this feeling rubs off on you too. I hope to grow outward from this and establish a web of intesecting connections with you all. I've found that this is a good way to live my life, through communication with others. It's enlightening.

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