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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.



Filtering by Tag: jewelry work


Kelly Clark

I will never be someone who tells you that a serious and life threatening illness is a blessing.  It is not.  But the truth is, I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.  I think about who I've become over the past seven years, the ways I've grown and changed and I know, without the catalyst of fire I would not be who I am now.

A few months ago I created these tiny Saturnian pieces.  I wanted to speak about what it is to look back and recognize the upheaval and subsequent life changing, life realigning force that is the Saturn Returns.  That time in life when the ringed planet swings back to the exact place in the night sky it shone at the moment of your birth.  An astrological phenomena that happens right around age 29, then again around 58, and if we're lucky, again around 84.  A time when life seems to throw some serious curveballs, hardships, ripples of self doubt or straight up trauma.  A time, in reality, when we are being offered a chance to course correct, to shed the old skin of who we no longer are and step into the possibility of who we wish to become.  This is not easy work my friends.  This is not simply a time to do a little yoga and eat some pretty foods and wait for it all to get better.  This is when the nuts and bolts of our contracts in this lifetime get REAL.

For me, smack on time at 29 years old, I got cancer.  And for the past nearly seven years I have vacillated between medications and treatments, between tumor markers rising in fear and falling in relief, between times of incredible strength and times when I've looked Death right in the face.  I have stripped away layer after layer of non-truth, of shame and guilt that was never mine to bear, of fear and fury tangled up in my organs, and now I have found I'm no where near done.  But I am still here.  With a gold-filled backbone of determination and a bloody warrior's soul.  I am here to do the work.

When I sawed out the saturn silver and formed it with fire, my medical charts were looking up for the first time in a long time.  Stable.  Hopeful.  Decidedly not in crisis.  I wanted to tell you about coming up, out and away from the period of that Saturn Return.  How I wanted to invited you to celebrate with me the end of hardships and the start of a bliss-filled era.  An existential springtime if you will.

And then the tumor markers showed a concerning spike.  And the scans confirmed new activity in bones, the sparkling highlights of cancerous cells multiplying.  And so I put the necklaces at the back of a dark drawer and didn't look at them for weeks.  I felt betrayed, unsafe and if we're being honest, ragingly angry.  You see, every cell in my body holds a copy of a mutated gene.  It's not a simple matter of eradicating what's already there; it's the life long work of trying to keep healthy cells healthy, every single day.  

I come back, yet again, to this: I am here to experience life fully.  This does not mean I will only experience bliss and joy and happiness.  It certainly does not mean I welcome in the hardships or call them blessings.  It simply means I will experience life.  All that it is to be human; this human in particular.  And right now, what this means is that I need to focus fully on the living.  Especially as I am a few days out from beginning a new protocol of treatment, stepping into the simultaneously hope-filled and terrifying realm of clinical trials.  I don't know what next week holds; how I will feel, how my body will react.  I only know that today, right now, I am experiencing this life and grateful to choose how I show up.

So.  Today I clasp my Saturnian around my neck, not because the hard times are over, but because I know each day I am stepping into who I have the capacity to become.  Because each day I shed a little more of the old self and show up a little more my true self.  Because I am learning, sometimes rapidly, but more often slow as honey, how to love myself for who I am right now.  Because each day I have the privilege of deciding how I will show up, how I will honor my emotions and my physical body in the exact state they are in.  Because each day I get to engage with my sense of the universe, with source, with magic, with the way I can gift love and with the way I can open myself to receive it.

It is from that place I wish to offer you these small reminders.  To invite you, with great love, to hold truth around how every day you become a little more you.  But also to open my own heart to receiving.  Because my truth is that I need a little ease.  A time of boundless breath and less hustle.  A space to ask my heart, my body, my soul exactly what it needs to feel fully alive.   To step back from work for at least one full week with the intent to lean deeply into just living.

 The Saturnian pendants will be listed with multiple pricing tiers; from the base cost of metal plus labor, to several options for gifts-of-love toward a fund for ease and living life for me.  A way to know I can rest and receive space for whatever this season of treatment brings, to ignite a tiny spark of trust that maybe, just maybe, I - we - are held. 

Here is the truth: asking for help is one of the hardest things I know.  It shakes me down to my very core.  Perhaps second only to receiving.  But if I believe (and hear me friends, I deeply, truly do) that you, You, YOU are worthy of love, of rest, of ease, of receiving, that I would sing that truth from every mountaintop, then I also want to believe I am too.  That maybe if I ask now, then when you need it, you will ask too.  That by the seemingly simple act of asking for what we need, and then being open to receiving it, we can radically shift the paradigm of what it is to give, to ask and to receive.  And THAT I can get behind.  After all, we are here together, on this earth, and we have great capacity to ripple out goodness of every kind.

Know this friend: I believe in you.  In me.  In us.  Thank you for the myriad of ways you support my life and the lives of your own beloveds; trust me when I say it truly never goes unnoticed. Pop on over to the etsy shop and you'll find my Saturnian Pendants and know that I deeply appreciate YOU.


Kelly Clark

[In the spirit of my "Day in the Life" posts, I wanted to bring a "Birth of the Art" post to life.  A photographic account of where a necklace begins, how it grows and is built upon, the various (but not all) steps and phases of bringing the intangible spark of an idea to fully fledged and tangible life.]

- Nectar -

(a celebration of the sweetness of summer)


Observations, sketches, playing with line and shape.

Tracing basic shapes and sizes right onto sheet sterling.

Hand sawing out each layer and element.

Hammer engraving the floral sketch.

Caving depth and relief around the engraved lines.

Texturing the edges.

Hammering specific markings.

Fitting and wrapping the bezel for the [sun]stone.

Soldering the first and second layers.

Quenching the freshly soldered piece.

Tracing the size needed for bee wing elements.

Rolling mill imprinting real bee wings into sterling.

Initial filing, sanding and surface perfecting.

Soldering jump rings.

Deciding on chain length.

Soldering chain components.

Keum-Boo (hand applying 23k gold leaf)

Adding full patina.

Selectively removing patina and burnishing silver.

Setting the [sun]stone.


(Sterling silver, real bee wing imprint, sunstone, 23k gold)

Drink up all the sweetness you can find my friends,

- Umber

Breathing at 4000 Feet

Kelly Clark

Two nights ago I drove east, driving for space, for clarity, for silence and the sacrality of my own sanity.  On winding country highways and over narrow bridges I made the climb from my city home which sits a hair above sea level and drove up, up, for 4000 feet.  When I finally put the Jeep in park, I sent BC a message as is wise when traipsing the back country:

"I'm out of town tonight.  Drove up 2, turned on a forestry road.  Wanted you to know." 

His response?


Good man.  The very best in fact.


The air truly is different there, high in the Cascade Mountains.  I pulled as much of it into my lungs as I could, gulping down that raw, wild space.  And when I arrived home later that night, all those particles of mountain air were still flooding through my system, oxygenating my blood, pumping along through my head and heart.


Breathing at 4000 Feet Ring

(sterling silver and prehnite) 

I can't tell you what that air smells like, but I can build you a window.  A portal into that mountain high, a small place to stop and breathe when the world becomes too loud.  A tiny place to rest and feel the tall trees lift you up.


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I wish you a weekend of heart-space friends!  Be well! 

- U

The Magic Happened

Kelly Clark


This is where is begins, light sliding sideways, the steady hum of moths and crane flies, the evening aviary chorus, and this is where it goes: 


Cloud Gatherer Rings

(sterling silver and various North American turquoises) 

For there were days when the skies grew gray and the waters rose. She would lay in the tall grass, hearing the hum of ten thousand small wings and the cry of the land. With a deft and worn hand she would gather the clouds, weaving yet another cloak for the shelterless creatures, peeling back the mist for the sun to warm their bones. 

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(you'll find them in the etsy shop right now!) 

Ancestral Mythology Vol 2: People of the Owl

Kelly Clark

This is a story of our great grandmothers, of the days when the women still had feathers running down their spines, before we tucked them up below our shoulders blades and slept through the moonlight.


Not many remember this today, but there was a time when the Moon and her twin sister walked among the people.  The Moon showed the women the dark secret of the earth, when to plant, where to gather, how to sing the oysters up from the depths.  She would gather them to her each month, showing them how to dance the wildness into their souls and how blood beget life.  The Moon loved the People dearly, always returning after the day, after the sun, every night without fail.  

But the Moon's sister became jealous.  She was as fair skinned as the Moon, as silvery haired, she knew the ancient dances, she knew the secrets to life.  But she cared little for the People, and so the People stepped cautiously around her with averted eyes.  Her jealousy consumed her.  While the Moon slept and the Sun distracted the People with his dazzling presence, the Moon's sister crafted a plan.  She wrapped her sleeping sister in a black bear skin, tied tight with leather thongs, and threw her into the sky.  When evening fell, the darkness was complete.  The Moon was hidden from the People and they shivered in the blackness.

"Where is our sister?  Where is our mother-Moon? " the People cried in a panic.  They called out to the eagles, to the crows, to the sparrows, "Someone help!  The Moon has been stolen away!"  The eagles, the crows and the sparrows awoke and flapped out of their nests, but the darkness was complete and they stumbled without sight.  The People called to the bison, the bobcats, and the mule deer, "Help us, help us!"  But without even a glimmer of light, they were lost in the forest.  Finally the People called out, "Owl, Owl, help us find the Moon."


Now Owl was known as the seer, for Owl's eyesight was keener than any other living being.  She rolled her head side to side, from earth to sky, and caught the faintest twinkle high above the clouds.  She spread her great wings and flew, up and up, until the air was thin.  She flew until the earth pulled back below her and disappeared in the gloom of night.   She flew until she reached the bear skin hanging in the sky, and with her sharp small beak, she clipped right through the leather thongs.  The cloak fell away from the Moon and the earth was once again illuminated with her glow.  Owl tried to carry the Moon back to the earth, but the Moon knew her time to walk among the People had passed.

She kissed Owl on the forehead, and immediately the brown feathers turned bright white, and the sign of love ringed her face.  "Send my sister to me," commanded the Moon, "for though her heart is dark, she is still my kin and she shall live with me in the sky.  Return to the People, show them your face and they will see me in it.  Tell them to remember the truths I have shown them."

And Owl did everything just as the Moon said.  Now, every month, the Moon dances with her sister across the night sky, swinging each other around through light and darkness that neither outshine the other. 

And that dear children, is how we became a People of the Owl. 


Ancestral Mythology: People of the Owl

(sterling silver, kyanite, larimar, and aquamarine) 

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