FF: Gaelic Forge

Happy Friday! This Friday we’ve returned with another amazing artisan.  Ted and Violet Henderson are the creative geniuses behind the beautiful work of Gaelic Forge jewelry and more.  Ted, the metal smith, has a wonderful perspective to share with us today.

Tell us about your passion for creativity…

Let me begin with a question- why is jewelry such a personal thing? What is this mystique, this desire to embellish the feminine gestalt? Allure?  Life is a passion so often misunderstood or disvalued. Our appreciation for the miracle of life is often subdued by the blindness we learn from early childhood.

Mythology allows us to glimpse these notions, we are creatures of passion, vitality, and serenity- striving for a
balance that can connect us to ourselves in a way we can’t seem to grasp wholly but can only intuit, as a winsome breeze that barely caresses our cheek, or the vibrancy felt in a waterfall, or the warmth of the sun supplanted by a drifting cloud, the light that ripples across a pond.

True creativity flows through us, not necessarily “from” us, but more specifically “through” us. As we are all tapped into the cosmic soup of emotion and perception, cognizant subjectivity is an overwhelming influence on our individual gestalt, but, the real driving force behind creativity wells forth from the ancient roots of wisdom embedded in ourselves as dictated from our primal experience with the earth and the firmament where dwells the celestial.

It all boils down to mystery. Mystery only obtainable by the unlearning of our operant conditioning and the exploration of true perception.

Why are you passionate about jewelry?

Feminine allure is a very mysterious thing. Adornment and accentuation are integral to the feminine spirit and
heighten the mystique of what it is to be feminine. This, to me, is much more rewarding an art form than making
horseshoes, so, it was a simple choice to ease into after learning blacksmithing and metal smithing techniques.

The glamour of jewelry is connected to our ancient past—we are more than we seem to be, the mystique of adornment connects us to our ancient heredity- as we are kin to the celestial as well as connected to the earth. This kinship is what drives my personal forms of creativity, and, fortunately for me, my lady love wife is the personification of the feminine charm and a perfect sounding board for every new adventure that this aura leads me to.

What got you started with jewelry and being creative as a hobby/business?

Metal working has provided my wife and I the means to successfully raise six kids. I was a welder/fabricator for quite a few years and have always had a natural affinity for metals and metal work. My youngest son got me interested in a local business that taught classes in blacksmithing and ornamental iron work. I signed up and it kindled something inside of me that sent me on a journey into the romance of metal as opposed to the business of metal which had been the empowering force behind our livelihood for so many years. Metalsmithing and jewelry just seemed to come effortlessly from this amalgam.

Do you have a favorite type to make/favorite piece you’ve created?

The secrets locked within copper can be quite pleasing as they reveal themselves upon the playing field of the metal smith. Exploring the textures, colors, and physical attributes of the metal can be quite absorbing and fun.  Some of my favorite pieces are Blue Glass Orb Celtic Pendant, Primitive Copper Earrings, and Green Glass Orb with Copper Scroll Work Earrings.

What exciting future plans do you have for your work?

My work is actually my play. In playtime there is pleasure, so, my future plans are to have fun playing with as many flowing designs as nature can present to me. The sun rises in the morning and there before me is a whole pallet of design free for the taking. Moon shadows reveal strange and intoxicating designs and inspirations. The wind blowing across a pond, a wayward cloud slipping silently across the face of the earth. I plan on having fun.

Do you have any tips or inspiration to share

The most important thing an artist can do, in my opinion, is to unlearn the conditioning that we are all
drowning in, that has inundated us from early childhood and clouded our perceptions of the world we are immersed in. Break a habit, learn something new, pay attention and look at everything as if it were brand new, shake yourself up! Reclaim the sense of mystery and wonder that was your birthright as a child, and inspiration will flow like a gentle breeze back into your life.

You can connect with Ted and Violet of Gaelic Forge on Artfire, Etsy, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thank you Ted and Violet for your beautiful contributions!

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