Tools of her Trade

These well-worn gloves that daily bend hardened steel rods into angles, twists and circles, protect the delicate ivory skin within and meld with the heartbeat of the artisan. What dreams and longings do they hold beneath their etched and blackened exterior?

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With the fluid ease that stems from years of practice, the artist uses metal tongs to pull a glowing hot rod of steel out of her makeshift forge and places it carefully on her anvil.

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Then Valerie, selects her hammer and begins to strike the steel, her blows ring throughout her workshop, softening what was once impenetrable. Her short, milky hair tousles in the air as blow after blow forms the steel into the lacy flowing designs of her imagination. Whether she creates loosely woven earrings or the twists and turns of a neckpiece cupping a precious gem, each is uniquely feminine, resilient, yet elegant. This is the realization of unspoken dreams.

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