Panama City's sparkling blue waters and breathtaking sunsets are the perfect inspiration for creativity. As a result, talented artists of all stripes and colors call Panama City home. Every month we feature the handmade objects and inspiration of this creative core. This month, meet jewelry maker Patricia M. Daly.
Meet PC Artist Patricia M. Daly
How long have you been doing this and how did you get started?
I grew up in a home where art was as ubiquitous as air. Art was everywherefrom the oil paintings my artist mother created, to the woodwork wonderments my father created, to the mountains that hugged my childhood home: Sugarloaf Mountain to the north, Snake
Mountain to the south, Brimstone Mountain to the west, and the sloping shoulders of Sugarloaf Mountain to the east. Art did not begin indoors and end outdoors, and vice versa. Everything was in its own right art. The primary tools for appreciating and creating art were a perpetual amazement at the wondrous world and a perception that perseverancenot inspirationengendered art.
Writing and photography were my passions from childhood onward. I always loved glass and stones, but it wasn't until my early twenties that I discovered my love of beads and realized that wire and beads could become, with practice, perfect counterpoints for whatever treasure I want-ed to showcasebe it a stone, a shard of glass, or a vintage button. My mother encouraged me to study the history of beads and to explore the beauty that my own hands could birth. Holding a bead or a natural element in my hands and allowing that bead or element to guide the flow of wire and accent beadsallowing the focal piece to inspire the form and flow of wire and accent beadswas my original inspiration and remains my primary creative impetus.
How did you learn the craft?
I learned via free-style, free-form experimentation. I believe that technique is subservient to creative vision, so from the start I allowed myself to learn at my own pace and to develop my own techniquesmy own signature style. I admire artists who take classes and execute art with precision, but I do not count myself among them.
How has your work and technique evolved over time?
I am an individualist in art and in life. Each piece I create is a micro-world born of moment and vision. I create jewelry every dayit is my passion, and it relaxes and energizes me (I like to say that when I am creating jewelry, my brainwaves slow down and become "beada" wavesvery calm, creative, and intuitive). Daily diligence has caused my hands to become strong and my fingers to become nimbleboth of which enable me to create intricate wrappings and to en-sure that my wirework is sturdy and that my creations will endure for generations and beyond. Daily diligence has also enriched my creativityperseverance births creativity, and creativity births creations. Each time I create a piece of jewelry art, I am excited and enraptured about the art and its possibilities, just as I was when I first began creating jewelry many years ago.
What are your current focuses or themes?
My favorite media are beads (both vintage and
contemporary); wire; stones and shells gathered from nature; weathered glass gathered from rivers, lakes, and seas; and bits of my original poetry that I hand write in small type on tiny scraps of paper and incorporate into pendants (I call these poem containing pendants "poemdants"). My media, focus, and themes choose methey are the progeny of my outlook, my world-view, and my personality.
I am fascinated by quantum physicsquantum
entanglement, in particularand I like to think
that my random, entangled wire-wrapping style echoes the quantum principle of connectivity among particles, even when those particles are separated by great distances.
How do you source your materials?
I like to say, "Everywhere I go is my studio." Likewise, I believe that "everything I see is my material." I walk through daily life with my eyes and imagination wide open to objects whose patina suggests history and the passage of time. Flattened metal bottle caps, old rusted machine parts, roadside stones, random bits of flotsam and jetsam: all of these jump into my pockets and become the DNA of my jewelry creations. Seemingly ordinary or ugly elements become beautiful and essential when incorporated intuitively and imaginatively into jewelry art.
How does living here in Panama City influence your work?
I was born in New Jersey, and grew up in the lower Hudson Valley of New York State (about 50 miles north of New York City in the undulant highlands and farmlands of Orange County, New York). As I stated previously, mountainsas well as expansive, cedar-studded meadowssurrounded my childhood home. I spent many happy days in art galleries and at art shows with my mother. I loved going to the Jersey Shore and to Cape Cod and the New England coastline; these trips inspired my fascination with weathered shells and stones.
In 1994, I moved with my late husband to the Florida Panhandle, and the first time I ever saw Panama City and environs I was inspired by the plentitude of light, the emerald and sapphire translucency of coastal waters, the phantasmagoric sunsets, the kaleidoscopic array of weathered shells on beach and bay shorelines, the aura and evidence of abundant history in downtown Panama City and St. Andrews, the plentitude of venues showcasing local artists and musicians, and the feeling of forward thrust in the fly-by of Tyndall-based fighter jets. My art is amplified and energized by living in this unique area.
Patricia's line of jewelry, Jumble-aya Jewels, may be purchased at Star Gallery in Historic St. Andrews in Panama City. You can learn more about her work by clicking here.