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In Storm Valley, Where Water Is Love


After days of temperatures reaching the 60s, and a perfectly evening last night, a cold east wind blew in a storm overnight. This morning, the sky is white, the land less so — only the faintest trace of snow dusting the ground — but a dove-colored blanket shields the peaks entirely from view.

Here in the valley, we may get little moisture from the sky today, but what falls at high elevations will reach us in the form of the spring run-off.

With the new year, I’ve been devoting Wednesdays to straightforward features of Wings’s silverwork, looking at each piece from a new and slightly different angle. Last week, it was his newest bracelet, a simple, spare, elegant rolled triangle-wire cuff. It was brand new, yes, but leading off the month’s series with it was by design: There are four Wednesdays in this short month, and four of his triangle-wire cuff in inventory (and all four appropriate expressions of love in this months given over to such markers). And given the world to which I awakened this morning, there was really no question as to which was meant to be featured today.

It was one a a series he created early last year for the silverwork component of his one-man show. Its name? Storm Valley. From its description in the Bracelets Gallery here on the site:

Sometimes the stories and lessons in the symbols left for us by the Ancient Ones are simply reminders to be thankful:  for the storms that bring the rains, allowing life to blossom and thrive in the desert peaks and valleys.  Here, hand-stamped thunderheads line either edge of this heavy-gauge triangle-wire cuff, allowing the rains to flow into the valleys that meet at the band’s apex.

Sterling silver
$475 + shipping, handling, and insurance

It’s one of those rare pieces, like a number of others he’s created lately, where the detail of the stampwork meets the simplicity of the form and melds into one near-perfect design.

Triangle wire, which of course isn’t “wire” at all, as we usually think of it, but solid, heavy-gauge sterling silver molded into a pyramidal-shaped length, is especially suited to this sort of design work: The center apex creates two matching, mirroring faces, surfaces upon which the silversmith may imprint his vision. It’s particularly useful for creating alternating, mirroring, or positive/negative patterns, making it flexible fro a creative standpoint.

It’s also much harder to work with than ordinary silver. It’s not merely the weight and thickness and solidity of the gauge; it’s the very shape itself. It’s far easier to transfer a stampworked design to a flat piece of silver, regardless of the gauge. To do so on a narrow strip pitched at a steep angle — and then to match the design on the opposite side?

That takes talent. And skill. And experience. And spirit.

Do I sound proud of Wings and his work? Good. I am. I see the work that goes into each piece, the labor of his hands, his mind, his heart, his spirit. I know what it requires of him to produce a piece of such flawless exactitude, such spare and immaculate perfection.

I want everyone to see what I see.

The stormclouds descending from the apex os a silver sky, pregnant with rain (or, this time of year, with snow). The unleashing of their blessings on the landscape below, rugged peaks and recessed valleys alike, to turn the land lush and fertile in the months to come.

With climate change accelerating, its manifestations and effects now observable in real time, it feels like an invocation, a hope and prayer for the spirits’ blessings — in this week set aside to mark the existence of love, a tangible embodiment of the spirits’ love for the earth, a benediction in the form of water.

Because here, water is life.

Water is love.

~ Aji

All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2015; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owners.

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error: All content copyright Wings & Aji; all rights reserved. Copying or any other use prohibited without the express written consent of the owners.