THE LAST HURRAH !
This is what the end of a 45-year long jewelry career looks like. That is, 45 years since I graduated from the University of Colorado and hauled my coffee table and silver earrings to a craft fair on the Boulder Mall, and 35 years since I attended my first American Crafts Council show in Rhinebeck, NY. ACC would quickly become the cornerstone of my career as a studio jewelry artist, and ACC is where I had my final show in Baltimore, two weeks ago.
I'm filled with gratitude to the Crafts Council for being "the" national organization for supporting and encouraging an abundance of remarkable talent in the crafts field. To have been part of this rich legacy of crafts artists, galleries, and enthusiastically appreciative collectors for four decades has been an experience I could never have imagined as I sat with my jewelry, nervous and clueless, on the Boulder Mall in 1973.
Enormous thanks goes to all of you who have bought my jewelry, or have sold my work at your store. Art at its best creates a dialogue. Especially with jewelry, one of the most personal art forms, having a relationship between the maker and the wearer adds an important dimension to both creating and choosing an object.
Friendships have developed from business relationships. I'm touched by the thoughtful emails, notes, Facebook and Instagram comments that I've received from so many of you.
I brought my assistant of 24 years, Tammy Rice, to Baltimore, in order to introduce her to wholesale buyers and as an opportunity for her to network with other jewelers. Normally I have 10 full cases of jewelry at Baltimore. After the wholesale portion of the show, and only part way through our first day open to the public, this was all that was left of my collection! (From the response Tammy got showing a bit of her jewelry to buyers, I think Tammy B Jewelry is going to rock it!)
Craig, Sydney and Tammy on the final official day of Sydney Lynch Jewelry.
Whether I call it a "permanent sabbatical" or retirement, this life change definitely calls for a party! My daughter, Nora, took the train from NYC, friends Katherine and Jake drove up from Bethesda, and my friend and pearl supplier extraordinaire Penny, joined Craig and me for a lively feast on Saturday night in Baltimore.
I'm pretty sure we were all having a good time! I can't believe I'd never been to Sotto Sopra on Charles Street before-lovely restaurant, great food. A happy ending.
Since getting home last week, I've been cleaning out the studio: giving away tools, recycling scrap, throwing away junk. Originally set up for 4 bench workers, my studio
feels weirdly empty. I've kept my favorite tools and am considering making a few pieces for myself before leaving for Mexico.
As you probably know by now, the first step of our new adventure starts in a few weeks when Craig and I leave for Pátzcuaro, Mexico., where we'll stay until the end of May.
Just to the right of the "O" in Ocean, you'll see the state of Michoacán outlined in pink. Pátzcuaro is just above the first "A" in Michoacán. Last April, after visiting friends who live there, it seemed like a good base for exploring parts of central Mexico.
You asked for it!
Many of you have asked hopefully, if I'd be continuing my newsletter. Once reassured
in the affirmative, people were emboldened to specifically request, "more recipes,
So here you are: one of my all-time favorites, especially for a weekend breakfast.
From my ancient Joy of Cooking, given to me by my mother when I moved out of the dorm and had to fend for myself in the kitchen, here is the recipe for Buttermilk Crackling Corn Bread. I've taken the liberty of making a few minor modifications to the original recipe.
~Preheat oven to 425.
~Have all ingredients at room temperature.
~You'll need a 9"x9' baking pan. Place 3-4 T butter, cut into 1 T pieces, into the baking pan, and while the oven is heating and you're mixing ingredients, preheat the pan until the butter is melted. Remove from oven.
~Sift together (I usually just whisk together the dry ingredients in a big mixing bowl):
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/2 tsp soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
~ In a smaller bowl, whisk together:
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sunflower or safflower oil (I'm not a fan of the flavor of canola.)
1 T real maple syrup (use sugar if you don't have the syrup.)
~Quickly and lightly stir the wet ingredients into the dry.
~ Pour the batter into the preheated pan, and bake for about 20 minutes.
~Most delicious served hot. Years ago a friend introduced me to what she claimed was the "Vermont style" of eating cornbread, that is, with butter and real maple syrup. I haven't discovered a better way to enjoy it.
I'm not yet sure what form my next creative inspiration will take, but I'm looking forward
to the arrival of a book I read about in my favorite art/design blog,
This is Colossal. Written by an Edinburgh artist and teacher in 1814, Werner's Nomenclature of Colors was way ahead of Pantone in classifying and naming colors.
I'm also stockpiling books to bring to Mexico, where I anticipate having much more leisure reading time than usual. After loving an earlier book by Luis Alberto Urrea,
The Hummingbird's Daughter, I'm excited to read his new book
about a contemporary Mexican family on both sides of the border in San Diego:
Signs of change
Yesterday I did away with my studio phone. Yanked the plug out of the wall, and gleefully tossed it right into the garbage can. Yes, this means I cannot be called in the studio! 90% of the calls on my remaining landline were robocalls and other spam, and besides, I'm officially no longer in business!
Made for my studio door by my sign-maker friend Joy, this sign is in place for good.
One more memory
Here I am, 10 years ago, on the patio writing my very first newsletter. I hadn't realized that I've been doing this for so long!
Arriba y adelante!
Onward and upward! The next time you'll here from me will be an April report from Mexico. Once again, thank you for being part of what was a wonderful career. I couldn't have done it without all of you!