meet the clip links.

towards the end of last year, i found myself making chains in various forms and formations. thinking all the while how connected i am to my work. that is to say, i operate in one mode and that is “caroline mode”. i approach my job in the same fashion that i approach my every day: gently, meaningfully, deliberately.

there is a reason behind everything i do, from the bowl and spoon that i use every day for my oatmeal to the tiniest of details that i come up with in the studio. i believe that my oatmeal tastes better when i use the old spoon with the letter C engraved on it that my mom gave me for my 21st birthday. and the yellow stoneware bowl that belonged to my great aunt anne makes me feel like the day will be sunny even if the sun isn’t out. the decisions i make while i work look a lot like this. my jewelers bench is positioned in the very same spot that my grandfather had his work bench in his woodshop, my now studio space. my favorite red-handled pliers make contact with almost everything i make, like a blessing. my mentor, who is no longer living, gave these to me shortly after i started working with him.

all the rivets, cut-out silhouettes, design choices, are all on purpose and have been thought about in great length. i don’t make things that i don’t like. this may keep my pace slower so while i can’t crank out the work, i am able to infuse everything i make with a fully present mind. i believe this translates into and out of my work. and the best part is that the people that are drawn to the things i create have that same sort of bone in their body. they notice the details, the subtleties, and the space in between that prompts them to ask: “how did you come up with this form? what does this signify?”

so, in my connectedness to my work, i found myself illustrating just how attached i am. forever chained, linked, and undetachable. this body of work not only describes this solidarity but it also represents you and your place in my process. you participate in one way or another in that you affect me in my life in big and small ways, and therefore are a piece to my life puzzle. (i think we all have life puzzles but that’s a whole other deal.)

just as each link in this series is able to slip in and out of the next link, i think of all the people who have helped me get to where i am today. i should make a point here, to say that this series is not only about how embedded i am in my work, but also that these necklaces in particular are a collaboration between us. i designed and made the links but you can arrange them in any fashion that works best for you. for years i’ve been asked to make something longer or shorter or “wouldn’t this be nice asymmetrical?” or “i like things more symmetrical,” etc, etc, etc. i’ve wracked my brain trying to come up with something that could please everyone. well, i think i got pretty close with these.

every silver link has an overlapping section that allows you to slip the link on and off of the next one…

wear it long…

remove a few links to wear it short…

wear it without the chain…

wear what i like to call the “Y” version by connecting 2 links in the middle…

i also made a version with smaller links—the silver clip link interval necklace—which is my longest, most versatile necklace…

remove 2 sections of chain and join more links together…

remove a few more sections of chain creating just a hint of asymmetry…

remove all but the longest chain section for a sleek, symmetrical look…

wear it short and classy…

i’m tellin’ ya, the variations are endless!

and if you don’t want to fuss with re-arranging things, just wear them in their original arrangement!

i round out the collection with two earrings and a necklace with three tiny links…

find these beauties in the shop.

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meet the pacem medals.

pacem is the Latin word for peace.

while i don’t know much Latin, i do know a little bit about peace. i know that it’s necessary for a good night’s sleep. i know that it keeps blood-pressure down and sweaty hands dry. i know that it helps the mind think clearly and the heart beat gently. i know that we all want it. i know that we all need it.

i’ve been working on this small project for a little under a year. and now that i’ve just typed that last sentence i see how strange that is. why has it taken me so long to get these out into the world? it’s not like they’re an elaborate masterpiece. i guess the reason i took my time, was that i needed the words to be right. i knew what i was saying in my mind via these little medals but i didn’t feel confident in being able to properly explain where i was coming from. and i don’t do half-assed. i only do 100%.

let me back up a little bit.

in college i made a wooden box in the shape of a red cross- a medicine cabinet. inside it contained five little hand-bound books that described stories of mistakes made, lessons learned, and the healing process, written by each one of my family members. this idea (mistake-making, the aftermath, and the journey of recovery) has stuck with me over the years. i often crack open my cabinet, revisiting its contents. i imagine my parents as children and my siblings as adolescents, as described in their stories. i think about how, even though each of their stories were different, they all experienced fear and they all sought peace. last year i felt the urge to pursue this idea in a slightly different way. i wanted to make little reminders of the process that we all undergo in the pursuit of feeling whole and safe, secure and peaceful, and that it doesn’t have to look pretty and it certainly (at the time) never seems to be ideal.

this time i wanted to use the scraps, mistakes, and bad ideas that i’ve amassed over the last couple of years and form them into something representative of real living with a nod to the healing and inevitable growing that follows. each little blob of silver is comprised of misfit odds and ends that i melted down into a nugget and either flattened smooth or left craggy and odd. much like how we emerge from our decisions, slip-ups, or the errs of life. did we come out unscathed? maybe just a little rough around the edges? or are we cratered and pocked and unusually different than before? and maybe it doesn’t really matter because it’s all beautiful just the same. with all of our weird angles and funny shapes. we have become unique and changed and maybe even a little wiser than before.

but who did we look to? what did we need? how did we find the comfort we sought? we all have different cures but we all have to look somewhere for them. we gotta follow that exit sign, click the “help” button, find the white flag. this is where the red cross from my college project comes in. the red cross, as used in this small collection, is a protection symbol referencing the red cross that was created during the Geneva Convention. this symbol was one of the first humanitarian aid symbols, meant to signify aid and refuge during wartime with the assurance of neutrality. it’s a sign of safety.

each silver pebble is flattened just enough to hold a cross shape that i pressed into the surface. some of the little nuggets i smoothed, while some i left blemished and misshapen. each one is unique. the pacem pins are paired up with various fibers which i found to enhance the badge-like appearance. the origin of these threads are special. they belonged to my mother-in-law. since MS has afflicted much of her fine motor skills, she’s given up her needlepoint and knitting and passed along her materials to me. i think this use of her flosses couldn’t be more perfect. i also knew i wanted to incorporate the color red, however small, so i unearthed the tiniest red seed beads that i dug up out of my husband’s middle school crafting box (match made in heaven!). i love this detail. and i love its origin: picture a twelve-year-old boy stringing absurdly small beads to make a necklace. could you imagine something more sweet or a-typical!? and now those left-over beads are EXACTLY what i needed to incorporate that subtle flash of red that alludes to my red cabinet. the seed of this project.

i really enjoyed taking my time with these, making one here and there, slowly, gently. peacefully. i hope you find these little gems relatable and comforting and maybe even useful. wear them as proud reminders of whatever trenches you’ve trudged through. or wear them as signals to others, that you’re safe, that you won’t judge, and that you’re here to help. the international committee of the red cross was given the motto inter arma caritas, meaning “in war, charity”, but it was revisited years later and given a different one, which i like so much more: per humanitatem ad pacem, “with humanity, towards peace”.

find all 13 of these one-of-a-kind pieces here.

be well, my friends!

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the post holiday hibernation and an interview.

the holidays came on full force and then simply evaporated before i even knew what was happening. i was left pooped but happy. luke and i hosted my family for christmas this year. it was the punctuation at the end of all my shows, online orders, and boutique re-ups. i’d say it was a pretty darn successful first go at it too. there were 12 of us when we were at full capacity. everyone had a place to sit and didn’t starve which was basically my goal. everything else would just have to be acceptable. oh, and the house had to look cute too. obviously.

but then i was left to deal with january. which i actually love and welcome with open arms because that’s when i get to sleep. and that’s pretty much what i did. i took some time off from social media and the studio (though i would put in a couple of hours here and there). i played catch-up on paper-work-type-stuff, cleaned house, and got my life back in order for another full year of beautiful things. it was during this tidying up of biz-life that i was approached by Robin. she’s a writer, editor, and hype-man to other creatives. i met her last year at a show in the berkshires and must have gotten under her skin because she asked me to do an interview for her blog. i think it does a good job at giving you a little glimpse into my life, process, and personality. i actually surprised myself with some of my answers. like they were lodged in the back of my brain and came rattling out when i hadn’t even noticed they were in there taking up space. it felt really good to revisit the young me and how i came to be where i am today. i hope you give it a read and then maybe ask yourself some of the questions that i was asked. it might dislodge some memories or renew inspirations of years past.

read the interview HERE.

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the overlap series.

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we all overlap.

in one way or another. sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes it isn’t. i’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. the overlapping of lives. call it the social or political climate these days or chalk it up to the very simple fact that i spend most of my days alone in my studio. my life doesn’t boast a lot of grand things, but one thing i do have, that actually is quite grand, is the time and space for thought. so while i’m cutting shapes out of silver, filing rough edges to become smooth, or forming bends in metal, i’m thinking. i’m always thinking. about her, about them, about him, about you. i think about inequalities, i think about justice, i think about despair and then hope. around and around i go, reflecting on everything minute and everything meta. well, not everything because my mind is not nearly refined enough to go to places that maybe only the buddha or jesus or a turtle can go. but you get the point.

there are so many different kinds of lives out there, doing different things, operating under different guides, and all existing in a shared world. it’s beautiful and terrifying and totally curious to me. we are informed by each other whether we like it or not. your job, your mother, your words, your deeds will impact someone’s life in some way. it’s like that 6 degrees of separation game. only not a game. this is such a powerful thing. i’m glad to be reminded of the kind of power we all possess and that we can use that power to make a life better, someone happier. that is beyond awesome.

so, back in the studio, i’m digesting all of these thoughts and find myself driven to illustrate exactly what i’ve come to visualize as lives overlapping. each piece a little different from the last. morphing, nestling, supporting, affecting. and i think they’re pretty darn interesting. rigid and fluid, organic and structural, they’re almost biological. a whole sympathetic to every part.

the necklace:

a single ribbon of metal has been manipulated into an imperfect oval, ends overlapping and anchored, each with one small rivet. three shapes are then formed: the top slice, the well below, and the piece as a whole. each part is necessary for the other to exist—relied upon, emphasized by, part of. this is the reality of this object. and the two pins holding it all together are simple and straight forward. reminding the ends that they are not a termination but a continuation of a path that travels always around and never back. a whole sympathetic to every part.

the hoop earrings:

two separate strips of brass have been shaped into organic arcs allowing one to nestle into the other while two silver pins keep these paralleling curves fixed. a semi-circle of silver is balled up at one end, threading through the brass and securing itself to the opposite end. now a swaying smile hangs from the silver ear wire, completing a closed form. three shapes emerge. this is a network of systems related and different and essential. a whole sympathetic to every part.

the line earrings:

a blunt piece of silver slightly overlaps a length of brass, creating a longer line. the two pieces are fastened to each other by twinning rivets of yellow, popping through the silver, prepping for the change in composition. this is a concentrated view of the overlap. a simultaneous look at what is separate and what is coexistence and the need for both in order to create a deeper, richer, more beautifully nuanced existence. a whole sympathetic to every part.

i have a feeling that this series will stick with me for a while. maybe it’ll evolve into something else. maybe this series is just one piece to a fuller catalog of sociology-inspired jewels. one thing is for certain: i’m forever affected by the existence of her, them, him and you.

sterling silver and raw brass.
a one of a kind series.
in the shop.

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flight necklaces

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it’s migration season once again and i’m smitten.

seeing those birds in flight always make me think, “alright, what’s next?” they almost seem to remind me to turn the page, hunker down, and prepare for the big chill. winter. not in a dreadful, nervous way, but in a reflective, ambitious way. this is when i start to develop my big plans, you see. how i’m going to use the hibernation season as my think-tank. so even though those birds seem to be fading into the background, they’re really just going to a place where they can do better work. and i REALLY like that idea. we’re all just getting ready to do some good work. so as i prepare for this next season of jam-packed jewel-making and big-idea goal-setting, i hope you too set some gears in action. go ahead, turn that page and prepare for great things!

wear it two ways: long at 34″ or wrapped around at about 16″

oxidized sterling silver, reversible
in the shop.

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at some point one thing turns into another

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it’s bound to happen, right?

you have an idea and it’s great, so you start to make it a reality. but in that process you have another idea, similar but not the same. maybe even better than the first or maybe it’s just the fact that it’s slightly different that makes you wonder. or let’s say you complete the first idea but it doesn’t leave your brain, it lingers because it’s actually not finished with you.

welcome to the brain of a creator. a blessing and a curse. you get it. never ending potential and curiosity…and then never enough time to make all the things in all the ways.

i’ve been wanting to post a little blurb about this series for months now. but something happened with my website and i just have no time for technology glitches so i moved on and listed these pieces in my shop. the website is cooperating once again so it seems only right to introduce these pieces in this space. so ya know, they don’t feel left out.

they emerged from my U-bone series. introducing movement and complexities to an otherwise simple and static design. this collection feels really right to me. it pushes the organic nature of the original shape into a morphing, moving gesture, making contact with the space that your body resides in. it echoes your angles leaving ripples long after your momentum ceases. the U shape is no longer symmetrically cupping space but rather asymmetrically pouring it out. with one end extending further than the other, it becomes curious, reaching, imperfect. and oh how liberating it is to make something imperfect! and i don’t mean the actual making of such piece. i’m all about the metaphor.

i think this series really promotes mind-wandering and free-association-ing. i love getting lost in this type of thing. i wonder what you think of when you see these pieces. if you could touch them, feeling the weight and then weightlessness of the rigid wire and slinking chains, watching them drift and sway. would they remind you of waterfalls or a fringed dress from the 20’s? a weeping eye or a weeping willow? or maybe it’s more of a feeling that they stir in you. something generous and open, or a light-hearted playfulness. whatever it is, i hope it’s curious. leading you on and on and on and on…

sterling silver, copper, chalcedony
available in the shop.

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two more vintage clothespin necklaces.

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now i’m nostalgic. these little wooden objects tucked me into a time machine and whisked me not so far but away.

i’m thinking of summer. i’m thinking of sunshine and clean sheets. i’m thinking about the real “fresh scent”, you know what i mean? i’m thinking of working hands, stiff socks, and sweet-smelling grass. i’m thinking of ballets of color rippling in the wind. i’m thinking of my grandmother. i’m thinking of women and work and tradition. i’m thinking of time.

what do they make you think about?

i’ve made a couple of these necklaces in the past. and when they found homes, several people expressed interest in them. but since they’re not an especially common object, at least ones this small, i only make them as they present themselves to me in my treasure-hunting…and the mood has to strike just right.

one vintage clothespin, capped with silver, hangs gently from an oxidized sterling silver chain, lightly buffed to add variation in the links. a silver “lace” detail that i made with the pressed print of cloth offsets the chain for the sweetest little interruption. wear this in the back or off to the side.

and

another vintage clothespin, capped with silver, hangs gently from the lightest of lavender silk cord. a silver disc allows the silk to move freely adjusting to the length that suits you best.

sterling silver, wood, silk.
made by hand.
one of a kind.

available in the shop until they’re not.

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a new take on an original design.

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my little birds on a wire drawings have been around for awhile. since the beginning, really. and i’ve yet to get sick of them, though i know a day will come when their ship will sail off into the horizon of fully fleshed-out artworks. so until that day comes, i will continue to make these little pieces of personal history, memories, portraits, and whatever other idea they embody for you and for me. because i have more to say about them, and maybe you do too.

i decided to change up the format a bit for these little creatures. fixing them in an expanding world of horizons, rather than the contained and cradled space of the circular domed home that i first designed for them. i found that when you view something in the context of a landscape, it feels more rooted to the world that surrounds it. it resides in the great expanse of space that your eyes can’t fully absorb in one gaze, but you know it’s there and it’s never ending. i like that the horizontal shapes capture singular panels of vision, framing the quiet silhouettes of my little perching birds, like a movie still or a graphic novel story board. just one piece to a whole life of unknowns. and since these birds are based on family units, you know as well as i that that isn’t a fixed state, just a state of being at one time. there is loss and there is gain and there is always unknown. a totally terrifying thing but maybe also a little exciting. coming from one who doesn’t love to live on the edge, i admit there is a beauty to impermanence. so before i get ahead of myself i should just stop there. because this necklace is really just about simplicity, a fragment of a wider, broader, dazzling scope.

handmade from start to finish.
sterling silver

available in the shop.

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guest instagramming: ok, i’ll try it.

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my husband, luke, has always been my computer guy. my krang-brain of modern technologies. he helped me buy my first computer at the ripe age of 26. two years ago he talked me into getting an ipad. naturally, i didn’t want one, but finally conceded when he told me i could have sudoku and weather.com on it. he’s the one who made me have a website and then crafted this beautiful space that i can fill with whatever i please, just for me. (i still marvel over this.) seeing the benefit of social media, he encouraged me to have a blog and a facebook page, twitter account, and, finally, instagram. and thank goodness for all of his help because otherwise i’d be stuck in 1988. i don’t like computers or fancy technologies. i don’t have a mind for it and i certainly don’t have the patience, that is, until i met instagram.

if you aren’t already, you can follow me @cegoldenjewelry on instagram.

i’ve been a starer ever since i can remember, entranced by colors and textures, people and places, and this is exactly what instagram is about. i’m into it. i’m so into it, that now i’ve been asked to be the guest instagrammer over on the alchemy inititiative‘s instagram account. i’m pretty pumped about this, and so happy they asked me to participate. i’ll be posting over the next few days to help promote their holiday show that i’ll be a part of on December 5 and 6. i hope you check it out!

follow the activity at @alchemy413 on instagram!

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the feather fletching series.

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meet the feather fletching series, born of arrows and a little lack of direction.

i should start off by making a confession. i began this series because i was a little lost and a lot bit stuck. that’s the honest truth. i felt like i’d hit a wall and slid right down into a heap of muddled cartoon color (think wile e. coyote). i felt directionless and undisciplined and every idea that popped into my head was a bad one. i decided to just stop for a minute and think about my stagnant mess and what would draw me out of it. i started by asking myself really basic questions. what does movement look like? how do you make something change its course? what thing helps forward progress? i rolodex-ed through my visual dictionary and landed on arrows. and just to be clear, i’m talking about the aerodynamic kind of arrow, the one that you launch into the air with the goal of it landing in the red of your target.

after educating myself about the various parts of an arrow and their responsibilities, i learned about fletching—the deceptive flair at the base of an arrow, typically taking form as a series of feathers. feather fletching acts as the support system, the guide for the aim of your arrow. aim, of course, is always good to have. aim is like goal. but is not goal. now couple the archer’s aim with the fletching’s silent partnership and you’ve got something more true than before.

i immediately loved the idea of using this symbol as inspiration to get out of my rut and into the designing of an object that is based on this very thing. simplified even more it becomes only a reference point, suggesting movement while maintaining its home base. feather fletching will be my guide.

so here is an arrow, diluted and stripped down to simple action. because this is what we all need sometimes: guidance in movement. i’ve designed it to both represent and act as a reminder of motivation, progress, and ambition. at once the tip of what’s to come and the tail of what’s already in progress. i hope you’ll enjoy the little extra nudge in your mission to achieve great things, big and small. here’s to hitting your mark every time.

handmade by me from start to finish.
sterling silver.
available in the shop.

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