Do you love flowers? Sure, we all do…but sadly not all of us were blessed with a green thumb.
In my 30’s, I stepped away from a very successful career in consumer goods product development and left the hustle and bustle of the big city and long daily commutes for the peace and tranquility of rural country life in America’s heartland. Doing what all good country girls do, or so I thought, I started a garden. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that the only thing I could successfully grow were weeds. It seemed as if I traded my road rage for weed rage.
Luckily gardening was not my only “hobby” at the time. My husband and I had bought a majestic Edwardian Era (1901 - 1910) farm house that had been neglected for well over half a decade. One fateful night, scattered all over the floor, were piles of lovely century old copper wire from our electric system upgrade project. Entranced by the beauty of the spiraling copper, I picked up a few scraps and wove them into a bracelet. A spark was ignited and a passion was born in that very moment. I may not have had the talent to turn seed, soil, and sun into flowers but I could transform metal into jewelry.
I love to experiment and see where my hammer takes me. There is an unequaled satisfaction in experiencing the magic of transforming dismissive scraps of metal into amazing works of art. Even though I was busy with the house restoration and learning how to make jewelry, I still longed for a garden of my own. One day after playing with wire I made something that resembled a flower. The it dawned on me, I could grow a garden from metal.
I have now found that place inside of me where mindfulness lives. I have also traded that daily 108 mile round trip drive for a 108 step commute. Working with my hands, tools, and raw metal provides me with a meditative bliss that I never was able to experience before. As for my love of real flowers…it’s still very much in me. But I know I can visit others gardens, shop at local farmers markets, or take a walk in a park to satisfy that need in me.
Susan Harbourt: an engineer by training, an artist by accident, and a self-taught metal(Blossom)smith by choice.