March 23, 2009

Scarab Rising

This is my favorite of the new carvings, this picture is of the original carving. I have since molded it and have made some pendants from it, and they are really exciting! I will show those soon. There were a few sources of inspiration for this, which I will talk about in the next few days. But I have always been very attracted to insects, beetles in particular. I think the beetle is my familiar creature, and I used to dream about them vividly. I used to make insect related art, in college, but it has been a long time since I made a scarab. The time seemed right to do one again now.

I love the ancient Egyptian mythology of the scarab beetle, pushing the sun up into the sky each day. It is a great symbol of the cycle of days, and life. The struggle of a single creature, making its way through the world, its burdens weighing it down, but yet persisting each day. There are days I feel this struggle too. I have many days this year.

I am never sure how public to be with my private life. I tend to err on the side of caution, keeping most of my blogs and public life positive and not revealing too much about my private life, even when I am undergoing major changes. Maybe that is overly cautious, maybe it would help me to share more. But it is how I have always been. So I am sure I sound pretty cryptic sometimes. But one change in my life has been so major, it has effected my work significantly, and since this blog is primarily about my work, I want to share.

I very recently finalized my divorce. Chuck and I had been together many years, since we were teenagers, and we had grown apart. It was a difficult decision to make, but we made it together, and we separated over the summer, right before the Bead & Button show. He moved out to Portland in the late summer, and we started the procedure for divorce. It was complete just over a week ago...the day before Pi Day, in fact. I thought that was appropriate, finishing one chapter of our lives and then the next day celebrating the infinite. We both wish the best for each other, and hope we will find happiness in our separate paths.

So that has been what I have been dealing with in the past year. Work has been hard, but it also helps me get through. Finding the time and energy to be creative has been challenging. I am just starting to make new beads and new work, and it seems that the things I am making are reflecting my new life and how I feel. They are symbolic things, and I guess that makes sense, as art is the expression of our lives. This is my life, and I thank you all for reading, and supporting me, and sharing it with me.


  1. It is a hard thing to do, being public with the private side of your life. Creativity is intricately entwined with our inner most parts. I've followed your blog for a while and can sense that you are on a threshold in your life. I wish you the very best in the "new" day of your life.

  2. Oh, and I forgot. The gear on the scarab back is just so cool with the image of a new day, cogs of life and all. Brilliant!

  3. Wow, that scarab is amazing, can't wait to see the finished pendants. And buy one. At least one.

    I wish you all the best in your new path in life.

  4. Thank you so much for your well wishes, thoughts, and comments. I appreciate it!

  5. Melanie,
    Sometimes the most difficult decisions we make turn out to be the best ones we make. I wish both you and Chuck much luck and happiness in your new lives.

    Your scarab is the best!!


  6. Good luck as you embark on this new life path. The scarab is beautiful and I am sure there are more wonderful things to come from you!

  7. Melanie, your work is beautiful. Though I have always wanted to learn this, you have inspired me to take my first ceramics class--which is tonight!
    Divorce, having been there myself, is such a life-changing event but things will get better and we learn so much from our past. Art and crafts has been a creative and emotional outlet for me.
    Good luck to you Melanie and well wishes for your continued success :)

  8. Divorce is a life-altering event. I divorced my ex after 17 years. I was ready as we had become such different people. I was so tired of trying to "be" what I thought he wanted. It is such a relief for both of us not to have to do that. I have come to enjoy being apart from my ex. Such freedom to be myself and create when I want to!
    Bless you it will get easier. This is a great time to renew friendships with old frinds too.

  9. i am about 18 years past a divorce but i remember it vividly and would wish it on no one, even an amicable one - but at the same time i agree with willowwalker that in many ways it was a relief and still is.

    in working to get through it i developed new friendships, activities, a self and a frame of reference and way of thinking that i'm still grateful for - out of the ashes the phoenix rises - resurrection.

    you seem like a very thoughtful person and i really enjoy your writing and your work. i bet all three of those will serve you very well in creating your own resurrection.

  10. ::HUG:: virtual hug, Melanie. Blessings.

  11. When I was first going through my divorce (MANY years ago) a friend of mine told me, "you won't believe the difference a year makes". She was absolutely right.

    Here's to your New Life, it's going to seriously rock. :)

  12. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and comments and well wishes. It helps me so much, and I really appreciate it!