Reverie Fair Magazine Winter 2016 - Page 9

Reverie Fair / Winter 2016 9

There is a bowl on Erin Miller’s table, filled with stones and shells. She keeps some found treasure from every vacation she takes, every walk she goes on. Erin is fascinated by stones. She senses their age and has learned to read the stories told through their form, shape and color. She has collected rocks and minerals since childhood.

When her partner gave her a gift of a rough-hewn stone ring, Erin's immediate thought was, "I can make these myself." Already a regular customer at the local rock and mineral store, she began to imagine the bits of natural treasure she saw there as rings, necklaces and earrings. She watched some online videos on the basics of jewelry-making. Then Erin got to work.

She learned soon that many minerals are fragile and ruined or cracked a few pieces in the process of making them.

The first 30 or so rings she made were destroyed when they were left on top of her car. She drove away, and by the time she discovered what had happened it was hours past dark. After a frantic drive to retrace the miles, she found her first collection shattered on the pavement. Erin scoured the shoulder of the road with a flashlight, picking up pieces. She was devastated, but instead of giving up she started over, beginning with a ring made from the shards recovered that night. As her craft developed, Erin discovered patience and focus she didn't know she had. It is not unusual now for her to spend hours and days on end creating jewelry.