Welcome to my site. I am a metalsmith and jeweler. I love to make adornment with meaning. Below you will find my Origin Story:
I am the firstborn child of Harold and Margaret Miller. I was born in Mobile, Alabama and my parents resided in Daphne. Daphne is known as “Across the Bay” as it is on the opposite side of Mobile Bay from the city of Mobile. I lived and went to school in Daphne all of my young life with the exception of the summers. In the summer we lived in Orange Beach, Alabama, which is known as “The Gulf”, in a beach cabin that was built by my grandfather and uncles. It was rustic and made of wood; everything except the ceiling was natural brown wood grain. There was no air conditioning so the windows were always open to get the breeze off of The Gulf (the Gulf of Mexico). There was no TV. There was a telephone, a rotary dial phone - a party line that we shared with the other cabins within a two-mile radius. All summer we swam, we fished, we caught crabs, played games, had bonfires, and walked the beach. Walking the beach was my favorite because I loved to search for sand dollars and shells. I spent hours collecting shells. I loved it when I found shells with holes in them because it meant that I could string it on a thread and adorn myself with it. Sometimes the hole wasn’t quite in the “right” place so once I asked my Mom if you could drill holes in shells and she said no, that if you did that they would break. (She didn’t know about diamond bits. Who knows if they even made them back then?) I spent all my time there on the beach.
The summer always ended and we returned to Daphne to get ready to go to school. The first days in the Daphne house always felt weird. It had a smell, a clean smell that I never noticed while living there. I only noticed it when we came home from the beach. The other thing I noticed was that the walls were white and were so bright they were blinding. There was no breeze and no sound of the waves. There was a TV and air conditioning. During the first few days back there I remember feeling a little bit sad. I’m not sure if it was that summer was over or going back to school or that I missed the beach and the beach house. Reflecting back I truly believe that I missed the natural way of living. We connected more with each other and with the environment. The sounds and the smells of the salt air were very calming and magical to me. We ate the fish and crabs that we caught. We lived the slow life. When we went back to our house with white walls that life seemed so far away. I made it through those days because I had my shells. I added them to my collection and wore an anklet that had the shells with holes strung around. It was my reminder of the slow life that embodied connection, with each other, with nature and with something larger than myself.
Being in nature is spiritual to me. It is where I find meaning, connection with my heart, and the part that is bigger than me. Some people call that part the Soul and some people call it God. Living a slow life is also spiritual to me. I can hear my heart. I can connect authentically with others and with the larger part. I crave connection and it is my theory that many of us feel the same. In our hurry, worry, look to the future life dis-connection can happen. I love reminders that help me stay connected, stay grounded, and help me stay in the present moment. It is my mission to help all of us remember the good and cherish the moments as they go by.
Marian, what a beautiful recollection of your past. Thank you for sharing it.
I really connected with you and resonated with your words about nature as spiritual.
It is definitely where I feel my soul, my connection to the absolute, or God. In my usual hurry, I do forget to remember the good, and to cherish each moment. Your reminder is a rare gift.
I so look forward to seeing you and Matt at Rob and Theres’s wedding celebration. We all have so much to celebrate, including our re-connection to each other. Much love to you, Marshall