Monday, August 1, 2011

My (artisitc) Roots

Once a month, members of the EtsyMetal team are given a topic or question and then requested to blog about it simultaneously. I haven't participated in a while---in fact I haven't done any blogging in a while. I thought this month's topic was a good one to jump back into it with:
Our Roots
Where we came from. How our families have influenced us. Artists in the family.

When I think about my artistic roots, I immediately think of my mother. She has always been a "maker"---someone who uses her hands to create. I have childhood memories of her making clothes and going to the fabric store with her...looking at all the clothing patterns and wondering the aisles of fabric bolts. She painted pottery, did macrame, cross stitch, knit and crocheted. One of her longest lived hobbies is quilting. Over the years, she has quilted baby blankets, comforters and wall hangings for dozens of our family and friends.
One of the many quilts my mother, Suzanne Miller, has made for my children.

She has always been supportive of my artistic endeavors and enrolled me in pastel and oil painting classes when I was 10 years old. I was encouraged to follow the creative path that ultimately lead me to art college and my jewelry career.

Coincidently, my grandfather dabbled in metal work. When I was a teenager he gave me a cuff bracelet he made. My memory is foggy, but I think he said he made it when he was in the Navy during WWII. When my mother was a young girl, he took sheet metal/tin smithing classes and made cookie sheets, pitchers and containers for friends and family members.
Bracelet made by my grandfather (circa 1945?)

Last but certainly not least, I am influenced by my husband, Ben Gilliam. He is an amazing teacher and a talented metalsmith and sculptor. We have different styles, but we still influence each other in countless ways.
Copper vessel by my husband, Ben (aka: John B. Gilliam)

Please read the "Roots" stories of other EtsyMetal members. Follow the links to their blogs throughout the day:
Artigiano Jewel Box
Erin Austin
Inbar Bareket
Beth Cyr
Cynthia Del Giudice
Evelyn Markasky
Elizabeth Scott
Twigs and Heather


Quercus Silver said...

It's lovely to read about your deep rooted creativity.

AdobeSol said...

Your story is so very interesting and your work is fabulous!! Great topic to get the blog rolling again. I look forward to following.