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The NDN Silver Blog

      That water? We don’t have it this year. Oh, we have the river, all right, but the flow? Nothing like the image, which is to say, nothing like an ordinary year. A season that should have been filled with runoff, with a melting snowpack sufficient to green our whole small world, is […]

        Much of the world this weekend has been focused on the trappings of empire: the pomp and pageantry of a colonial culture. In this instance, a royal wedding held some interest for those of us otherwise disposed to scorn such events, simply because the bride’s very identity was transgressive of colonial […]

  Elsewhere, this has already been a day of pageantry, of pomp and ceremony, of hearts and flowers in the most archetypal fashion. It’s possible to appreciate the significance of this particular ceremony and still recognize the colonial institutions and the immanent white supremacy that are a part of them. It’s also possible to appreciate […]

We have been blessed with a remarkable number of bird species here this spring — in most cases, not just a bird or two, but seemingly the whole clan. We get a fairly wide variety year-round, but both their kind and their numbers tend to be fairly predictable. Not this year. This year, we’ve had […]

      Since we spent part of yesterday focused on fine stampwork detail by way of one of Wings’s newest pieces, I thought today might be a good day to revisit an older example of such work. It’s a piece that summoned the spirit of light of a different sort — not the steady […]

Wings’s media are silver and stone, solid, tangible materials that in his hands become light and shadow itself, substance and spirit. He has four new works out, with more on the way, but one so perfectly suits this week’s subthemes of light and shadow, of the working of metal to live in the light, that there […]

Planting season, and it’s time for work. Even today, it’s hard labor; much is still done the old way, and on a small enough scale that by hand is the only way that makes sense. These days, there are cast iron gates and plates, the occasional concrete drain or stray PVC pipe, and plenty of […]

Love lives in the unlikeliest of places. We abjure shadows and soil, dirt and dust, but there is beauty in hard work and honest sweat. This time of year, we are given plenty of opportunity for them all. Much of the weekend was spent building an enclosure for two half-feral puppies, newly spayed, the better […]

The morning is cool and bright, all green leaves and golden light. The projected high is 72, which means that we can expect it to reach 82; the official forecasts are nearly universally wrong anymore, always set a good ten degrees too low in the warm months, ten too high in winter. This is, after all, […]

Despite the welcome new warmth, summer is not here yet. Today’s wind chill is proof enough of that, strong and fast enough to drop the air temperature in the face of the mercury’s declarations. That air is bone-dry, too, and the brightness of the day is dulled by the walls and spirals of dust sent […]

A bright and gentle dawn has given way to howling winds. The new blooms are being battered, fragile petals and leaves perforated by the abrasive force of a million million grains of sand. And still, the flowers and leaves flourish. That is one of the great gifts of this place: In a land of uncertain […]

Periodically, Wings returns to his silversmithing roots, seeking to explore new ways of conceiving and creating old traditional styles. Recently, he’s begun working once again with his rolling mill, a piece of equipment generally used to form strands of silver shaped in specific geometries out of ingot — blocks or lengths of solid metal created […]

We are newly blessed with warm days of ever-lengthening light — and what we hope will be, before long, the gift of the summer rains. Now, Wings has created a new collection in miniature, one designed to evoke these spirits of the summer winds and the gifts they bring: A Fall of Water and Light. […]

Spring continues to confound us. That’s an ordinary state of affairs here, of course; the issue now is that even its very arbitrariness manifests in increasingly odd ways. Normally, the season is a sunny affair, especially by this point: too bright, too windy, warm but not hot enough to withstand the wind’s chill. This year, […]

This week is marking a shift in seasons, in space and time. Colder spring winds will no doubt return, but for now, summer is here, a warm and still-gentle spirit seeming to awaken and revive our small world with a touch so light as to be virtually imperceptible. Even the straggler aspens have begun to […]

It feels like summer here today at Red Willow: bright clear skies, highs near eighty, gentle winds, and the first hints of thunderheads assembling to the west. Most of our small patch of earth is green, and the air feels as lush as a lover’s embrace. Not all of the trees have leafed yet, though; […]

We are at last entering the downward slope of the hardest season of the year. I am well known for [mostly] despising spring: Here, it is a far more laborious slog than the depths of winter, and very often just as cold (although this year, “just as cold” is relative, thanks to a winter too […]

Yesterday was glorious. Today’s temperatures promise to be even better, although much of the morning’s blue skies are veiled in dove-gray cloud cover. Even so, it’s a gentle cover, soft and light, as though our small world here is held in the sky’s embrace. After the long winter’s chill, one far too warm for its […]

At long last, it feels as though real spring is here: blue skies, green earth, golden light, warm winds. We are blessed to live close to the land year-round; the earth’s rhythms are the song of our own days. But now, at this point in this season, these days are lived in a uniquely indigenous […]

After yesterday’s sudden cold gray skies speckled with snow, today dawned bright and beautiful. The sky is bright blue, studded with towering white thunderheads; the air, still cool but positively shimmering with glittering golden light. New water flows steadily into the pond, its depths still and blue, reflecting the green fronds of the willows with […]

On this day, we need a little fire. In point of fact, we have two: Flames are dancing merrily in both woodstoves, proof against the cold gray damp outside the window. The mercury has not yet quite reached the freezing mark, and while the light dusting of flurries we received overnight have long since melted, […]

May dawned warm and bright. Yesterday was absolutely beautiful, the best spring here has to offer — if you ignore the mini-twister that ripped through our land and destroyed a chunk of our stable. It may not be the best spring here has to offer, but it’s certainly the most archetypal. High winds, extreme weather, […]

The first day of May. Here at Red Willow, the red willows are once again red, comfortably ensconced in that space between the stark periwinkle stalks of winter and the feathery green robes of summer. The wild berry patches have not yet fruited, but the leaves are lush, the color of jade edged with scarlet. […]

We are now entering that brief but beautiful period of annual firsts: the first hummingbird; the first dragonfly; the first fireblossom. That’s not its name, of course. It’s nothing more than an ordinary red tulip. But after a drought-ridden winter and early spring, when the wind whips the dust into a traveling wall and the […]

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