An invitation as I move forward (or walking as inspiration part 2)

As part of the work I have written my MAC grant proposal on, I will be posting (here) reflections on the urgency of climate awareness. I am no preacher, but I do believe beauty carries with it a message that deserves listening to. For me part of my work, in addition to making objects to be worn for consumption and adornment, is the fact that my basis for making anything is to communicate and I communicate through beauty. I observe then I make. I take photographs then I make. I walk then I make. I draw then I make. It is this rhythm that I am becoming more acutely aware of now, after years of not being afforded the luxury of time. There was a necessary interruption as I became caretaker, for my elderly parent and children, which need tending to daily. An art unto itself, but I must confess I desperately missed my studio time, my walks, my life of inner thought and making. Now that I am back I will share here, as well as on instagram, my observations, thoughts photos and drawings. For me it is not a way to sell things as much as a desperate call to others to view my work as a vector, to create actions of observation, awareness reverence even, perhaps be cautious about consumption and waste and to pay attention to rhythms and witness nature’s extreme intelligence that deserves more than for us to simply tread upon it. As I look at moss, into tide pools, at mushrooms, roots and rocks, look with me and yes perhaps help support me in doing so. My intention is to create enough work (prints, drawings, objects, jewelry) over this winter to have an exhibition that better express my desire for a course correction in how humans interact with earth. Here you can chose to revisit or not as I work towards this goal.


One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.  William Shakespeare

Walking as Inspiration


Excerpt from a recent artist statement of mine:

Walking is an act that is critical to my practice. Gazing towards one’s feet is meditative, just as one’s breath. While navigating the ground below, patterns of growth and life are ever-present underfoot. I find this comforting and forever rich with material to draw from. I am happy to become lost, in the sense that my explorations take me to places where I am uncertain of what is next or what the outcome is, but it is through this act of getting lost that we come to know ourselves the best. It is also a place where we can connect with others.

I have needed to write an artist statement for a few things recently. Eventually I may settle on one, but currently I change them often. Each day I walk into the studio I am pondering new thoughts and along with them many ideas are happening with never enough time to make them all. But I thought I would share with you my recent reflections on walking and hiking. I guess I think of hikes when I really have to pack a bag that has not only a snack, my phone and water, but various layers for weather changes, hiking polls, proper footwear,a few emergency provisions such as a knife, some twine, my bevy etc…. but whether it is a prepared for hike to the White Mountains with friends or more simply a walk on familiar turf, such as Capisic Pond Park or Evergreen Cemetery, I eagerly take to the trail or road ahead.  Sometimes it feels like an escape from the mundane daily tasks that must be done, but can be tiresome without respite, but more recently, I am finding as ‘food’, as a part of my practice. It feeds my work in both direct and indirect ways.

Without writing at length it is hard to summarize how I hope this develops in the next year. I plan on updating this news/blog more often for my patrons and customers but also for myself. Soon I will write  about seaweed and moss | land and sea and work I have planned for 2019, in part due to a small grant from the Maine Arts Commission. For now, I will just leave you with this simple ring that somehow emerged as I worked in wax one day, only later I realized it was the roots, the ridgeline and the geological markings on stone all at once. Our brains are fascinating filters and when walking it all happens quite effortlessly.

This would look quite lovely in gold with an itty bitty diamond. Always happy to work with gold for custom work.



Gearing up! Laudholm Craft Show and more!

I am so thrilled to announce that I will be at the 30th Annual Laudholm Crafts Show this weekend (clink on link to get more info)!! September 9th and 10th, in Wells Maine. I would love to reconnect with you and show you some things I have been working on and it is a great time to get a jump start on gift shopping (or wink, wink, maybe just a gift for yourself after all it is back to school time!)

It is true, my website has been neglected. First for a loss in the family and to take some time, then for the joy of summer and family and MAINE!!!

But worry not! If you cannot make the show I PROMISE to have an updated NEW webshop up by OCTOBER 1st! So please check back.

Crater ring in 18k gold designed and built by j.e. paterak©2017
Crater ring in 18k gold designed and built by j.e. paterak©2017

In other news, I will be building a better part of my website to feature both old and new wedding and commitment rings! So please come back for that in November…

Thank you for your continued interest in my work and it grows and flourishes like the best of gardens!




Photographing my jewelry being worn on “real people”

I was so excited when the idea came to me to photograph my work on my friends. Those that I see regularly, those that I sometimes run into wearing something I made a long time ago, or friends I mainly “see” on social media. I realized that if it makes me happy to see my work actually being worn, then maybe that is just what I need to show my work off to the world.

Betsy S wearing j.e.paterak
Betsy S. wearing her own “pod” earrings in silver, and my hot off the bench “seed” pendant. Betsy was a big part of the inspiration to photograph my work on friends.

Navel-gazing comes naturally to someone who has in excess of 6 years of art school. Add to that dozens of workshops (which I have to thank for my true knowledge base as a jeweler), and it is hard to “let go”.  Whether I am thinking about the world, thinking about my work, what inspires me, to “what it all means”, it is an indulgence and a gift I am grateful for, and it ultimately informs my work.

At long last, it occurred to me that if I am going to attempt to make my living from my work again, presenting the work on the body has been a a critical missing piece, until now. Seeing my work in a case or a box, is far from seeing it on the body.

So I bought a new camera (“Squee” a sound of joy at a new small Lumix equipped with just enough features for me to customize shots with its precise Leica lens). I started to invite whomever would indulge my amateur skills as a photographer, spending a little time catching up, being silly in the gorgeous light of my studio.

Tracie R. with earrings and "pod" pendant with pearl
Tracie R. with earrings and “pod” pendant with pearl










j.e.paterak jewelry
Jolene M. with “science-y” pendant in sterling and sterling hoop earrings
j.e.paterak jewelry handmade maine made sterling necklace
Derek J. wearing “bubbles” fabricated pendant in sterling and 18k







Real people. It is so special to me that my friends all seem to have their own unique style and come from many walks of life. It was important to me that I didn’t use cookie cutter model types but a cross section of hair color, skin color and age. Beauty is all around us and in us (see my next post about Iris).

Mikki L. wearing bubble earrings
Mikki L. wearing bubble earrings