a summer-full of events

retrospects, studio tales

so, last time i wrote about the daily in my life was at the beginning of an unassuming summer, just when things were rolling on into the next thing which was slow in coming.

for the first time in YEARS i attended a ‘high caliber’ event here in town, the southwest makers symposium held at form+concept gallery and that had been eluding me the years past.

but this time it was meant to be, got a surprise invitation and was honored with a guest registration ticket from an ancient acquaintance and simply HAD to go!

2019 Southwest Makers Symposium

The Bench – Southwest Makers Symposium 2019

during the course of a weekend, i immersed myself into the depth of discourse of visuals and concepts of an art and craft i have been practicing all my life. saw people i hadn’t seen in years, caught up on the ‘academic’ side of things, taking it all in at once. yes, refreshing, even if it then took me several days to recuperate from the buzzz…

here is harold o’connor (to you harold, at last!) with one of his great pins/pendants:

Harold O'Connor's pendant/pin

Harold O’Connor with one of his cool cool pendants/pins

in between it all and with work in progress and in the making…basically all i did at the bench all summer long were squares and circles:

work in progress

squares and circles in progress

several interruptions came visiting, including the much needed repairs in the studio, which saw construction people and plumbers and electricians roam the space i so dearly guard from strangers for several days, throwing a delaying time wrench into the works…

ahhhh, but the satisfaction of having a functional vent and hood over the stove at last, lights above the entrance outside actually working, a swamp cooler finally blowing in some cool air and, hardly the least important, a much improved shower!

hot it was for weeks on end, time is the studio frantic and in slow motion and the premonition of more change growing stronger by the hour. and still, everything seemed to suddenly accelerate in a bout of decisions-to-make-now.

a big first one was to leave a local market venue i had been doing for the last 7 years, it was draining me beyond the financial, beginning to affect the spirit, which is something you always want to avoid.

SFAM this summer

last few show-times at SFAM this summer

time to move on. away from the windy and rainy days under the flapping tent, away from unreliable market schedules, away and past the cold and the heat and the complete exhaustion that left me flat for days thereafter, always.

good then!

i caught up with the record keeping put off since the beginning of the year, filed taxes, filed away paperwork and, alas!, everything was neat and stored in envelopes and boxes by the end of august and out of site. done!

i have still to pick up speed in the studio, ride the rhythm of things, but this morning, stepping into the back room, where all the soldering and melting and the messy stuff happens, i am reminded of the practical, in black and white:

soldering bench shot

metal room, a soldering bench shot

also, after blowing a crockpot, i have finally up my ‘old’, ever new pickling vat, pulled out of yet another box and now equipped with the right plug to fit into the transformer to match the voltage…another good thing.

italian pickling vat

my italian pickling vat

and and and….i have a tray of ‘candy’ to look into…. squares, squares and more squares to play with.

box of squares



will keep you posted, just stay in the loop.

painting my father

long time coming

2018, new work, retrospects, trips

it’s snowing.

almost spring just the other day, but today it’s winter again. so it goes, this climate change is very real.

snow today

snow outside the studio

here in the studio this morning, taking a break from the bench, taking it all in, hot tea, fire in the stove…it’s time to regroup and look at what has happened these past few months. a lot.

it may seems like a superfluous attempt, to catch up with things past, but they do inform my present and continuously bring insight into all that’s needed next.

2018 was a hard one. full of challenges, delays, enormous stress, quite a few losses, but also, alas, some good news.

the losses were heavy. i lost my father and 2 dogs last year, and i am still mourning all of them.

painting my father

my father

the time to process everything and a sudden trip to italy this past fall, all still in the ‘digestive’ mode. it takes time to grieve, really, and that time has eluded me well into this new year….

but the good news is that on march 8, 2018, after 11+ years of riding the complex and taxing task of keeping my artist visa alive, i finally got my green card

a huge chunk of stressful living was wiped off my slate in matter of hours, literally.

the immigration officer who interviewed me had my 12+ inch thick file on her desk, as i entered the room and apprehensively sat down on the chair in front of her.

the first thing she said was “i love your work!”

THAT was promising, i thought. everything was a joyful ride after that, i answered all the protocol questions with a bunch of ‘no’s (you know, am i in the us to overturn the government? was i ever part of the communist party? will i engage in prostitution, human trafficking, or join some terrorist group?) at one point i almost gave her a business card, but refrained. the whole thing took maybe about 20 minutes and i was out of there in a flash, stupefied.

two weeks later, while at the santa fe artists market, my regular saturday showing in town, i spotted a somewhat familiar face among the customers perusing my booth, but could not place the memory. i was busy with closing a few sales, and could not readily pay much attention to this person. but she hung out and kept looking at my work with avid interest and finally, when the booth cleared, she came forward and introduced herself: “ms. aureli, do you remember me? i am the immigration officer who interviewed you!”

she was there with her husband, whom she introduced to me, and then…she bought a piece of mine! a long arc pin, in the black finish.

i was in shock, again. did not expect this at all, it made me REALLY happy and had to go and share the event with a couple of trusted friends right there at market. it was such a coronation of a long long journey, and definitely an honor. i felt so grateful!

the next few months were spent nursing my 19 year old ailing dog, and hanging in there, not wanting to let her go. tasha had been with me since i moved to santa fe, a beacon of light throughout all those years, along with my other sweet four-legged companion, cd, who had passed on suddenly due to a liver tumor just a few months earlier.


I struggled to keep a regular routine at the bench, but pushed on however i could, reshuffling and reviewing inventory, planning to add and remove pieces here and there, a new line, new work, at some point. several trays with work in progress scattered all over my studio, patiently waiting for my intervention to become something.

it all dragged on for a while, a new dog entered my life and things seemed to settle for a while, work days ahead were looking promising and i longed for hours on end spent at the bench to flush away months of stagnation.


kara, a new blessing

then, one sunday morning, right after a very successful day at market the day before, and right when i was ready for a fresh reboot, i got a text message from my brother from italy: my father had passed a few hour earlier.

and so, i dropped everything. 

i felt numb, confused for the next several days, needing to review everything, needing to book a flight to italy almost immediately, needing to go, see my mother, be there with her.

my trip to italy was a 15 day-long nightmare, for so many reasons, but i survived it with minor scratches and quite a few memories to live by.

view of the sea

view from my mother’s house

i was back home mid november, landing in los angeles, re-entering the country on my new permanent resident status and i almost kissed the ground. passing through immigration was smooth as butter, despite my resurfacing apprehension, the custom officer talked to me in italian, asking if i was carrying vino with a smirk on his face and waving me through with a broad smile that made me want to hug him. i was home, i felt i belonged and i danced my way to my next flight to new mexico all the way through the airport.

now, a few months later, i am just beginning to recover from these last events, taking baby steps into what’s ahead: my work, better work, new work, in celebration of life, that goes on, despite it all.

work in progress

new earrings in progress


events, new work, retrospects, studio tales

And so here it is: spring 2016 is happening.

Not too sure how long it will last, maybe it will be winter tomorrow, maybe summer all at once the next day…  Nature is trying to stay sane, winter was dense and scattered in million directions, the apparent stillness fooling some cloudy days.

But now, celebrating!

There are new shoots on my lemon trees, the avocado seed has sprouted after the cold, I need to give it more solid ground.

Celebrating the sprouts of spring, outside and inside my crammed studio…

Still pulling out of the recent past 3(studio) moves, it is all taking so long to stop spinning, from a 1500 square foot open space to a tiny 400…. keep bumping into things.

Hurts to bump into metal, the wire coils, the copper pipes and all the scrap I just could not part with….you get bruises and scars for just trying to work.

But I l love my scars.

Zeige deine Wunde…thinking of ‘der’ Beuys and countless discussions around a kitchen table, so long ago.

(It’s in german, the way he spoke it….)


I put some of my scars in a story in a book last October, a way to pin a few things down after the storm. CraftsPEOPLE: In their Own Words features stories by circa 75 artists and crafts people, their work, the struggle, the pains and joys of following one’s own path…all the tests and difficult roads that lead to beautiful destinations.


It’ll be out in digital version first end of March, in print later in the spring, will keep you posted.





There are things stirring on the bench though, and despite the tight space, trays of work in progress are being shuffled around in search of their own order.

work-in-progress.march16.2-blog         work-in-progress.rings-blog

Something is even leaving the bench….

S:9.ConePendant.HC.3-blog     S:9.ConePendant.HB-blog

Like… the Cone Pendant, a new addition to the Solids line!

A few last footnotes:

2016 started out on a mellow note, endings and beginnings rolled in and out without much fuzz for once… had my first (for this year) and last (for last year) frozen mango margarita  at Maria’s here in the city different and slid seamlessly into the new year.

Highlights of the first days of this year was going through the experience of sitting on the jury for a local show…. short and sweet, it was very interesting for me. Grateful for the opportunity and the insights it gave me into my own work and on ‘jurying’ in general.

I know, a long post for another time, maybe.

And then, there is drawing…. and that is the next post!

Happy Spring!

13 gift boxes in closing

retrospects, studio offers

2015 is moving out fast, all of a sudden just 5 days to its closing!

it’s been another dense one, caught in between studio relocations and time spent in catching up with studio relocations… i still have most of my tools and equipment with me, amazingly so i must say, after all the dirt and rocky roads traveled this past year.

to the south

view from the studio window


right now, staying put.

outside, the mesa to the south









inside, looking in…




inside a much smaller (but ahh, so focused!) space now, studio is slowly in becoming again and taking on a new shape.

it is going to take some time.



in retrospect, not much work at the bench….

most of all the new and old ideas, thoughts in the making, drawings and visual notes scattered about and on hold, for all the right times to come.

a closing wish for a year ahead of new things and new beginnings, welcoming all the unknown and intriguing challenges to come…

and so, to celebrate and summarize a time of seemingly unchanged progress, in these last few days of these last 12 months, this came to mind:

13 gift boxes for closings and new beginnings!

gift boxes

put together a ready-to-go last (or first!) minute gift idea, small collections from the twisted&wires line arranged, as per arbitrary play of color, in suggestive line drawings…

offerings, tokens of appreciation and gratitude we gift one another with.

snow storm is intensifying outside, firewood, black tea, honey within reach.

and a tool or two, beckoning.

can be here  for a while, hands begin playing again, rhythms of continuity for the making.

wishing all reading this a peaceful end of this year and a joyful beginning for the new.

to you!


2013, events, retrospects, trips

a bit of regrouping and re-countings for 2013, it slipped through the door of yesterday so fast.

quick notes… a couple of shots from the last CraftBoston Holiday show in Boston this past december.

CraftBostonHoliday 2013 - booth 519

CraftBostonHoliday 2013 – booth 519

drove to this show all the way from nm….in a stealthy and unyielding subaru on teen spirit, packed with booth display et. al., trash cans and lots of black tea……..  cut across the country in 3 days on the way over (i was late…! from the open spaces of the west to tiny corners of the east, desperately looking for parking! wrong turn on (or was it off??)  the turnpike between nj and ny  put me off by 3 hours on schedule, when i was oh… just so close!


CraftBostonHoliday 2013 – booth 519


on the way back – after 5 days of busy busy boston city life – took the high road and stopped a few days later to look yonder lake erie, just across the fence…

subaru around erie/pa, back from the east -dec 2013

subaru around erie/pa, back from the east -dec 2013

all and everything  frozen in deep cold….. canada, just on the other side.

erie, pa

erie, pa

the sun, at last!….. on the 3rd day and well into endless kansas.



ahh… space, again. and almost home…4 days total on the way back!

it was a good trip.


2011, events, retrospects

boston fashion week 2011-emanuela aureli

Emanuela Aureli/Boston Fashion Week 2011

Spirit 3 necklace and copper Ball earrings on Andele – BFW 2011

introducing… ‘retrospect/‘.

reflections on the year just passed, quick recap of one event at the peak moment of that time.

(as soon as i figure out what really happened in 2012, btw….)

for now:  the  boston fashion week/emerging trends 2011 in boston/ma was one of the peak events for my work for that year.

a couple of quick shots of what i got myself into in 2011… ;-|

never wanted to do much with these, was not too happy about the whole experience but, in retrospect…. it was, of course, a great learning opportunity which, i am happy to say, i didn’t quite miss…

boston fashion week 2011-emanuela aureli

Emanuela Aureli/Boston Fashion Week 2011

shots of  Spirit 2  necklace and copper Bar  earring on Libby

boston fashion week 2011-emanuela aureli

Emanuela Aureli/Boston Fashion Week 2011

Cu-no  pendant and Square + Circle vermeil earrings on Agnes Bradbury

boston fashion week 2011-emanuela aureli

Emanuela Aureli/Boston Fashion Week 2011

Ruby is happy…me, just trying to walk straight.. 😐