If you’ve listened to the episode you already know that I have a piece of Mariele Ivy’s work and it is one of my most prized possessions. One of my dearest friends Mariah sold me that ring, and I knew from the moment I saw it that it was meant for me. (P.S please check out Mariah’s shop Wilder Goods - I want to buy literally EVERYTHING there)
A taste of Wilder Goods and my sweet Mariah / Photos by Mariah Golden
Last summer Mariah interviewed me for a blog post she was writing about what she calls “Inner Life and Outer Style.” During the interview she asked me what items I cherish the most and I said “My Montana agate ring made by Marielle Ivy of Young in the Mountains, a native Montana artist. It feels like a powerful stone. It also reminds me of how far I’ve come. Quiet power. It wasn’t cheap and it represents what I’ve made of myself.”
From Inner Life Outer Style / Photos by Mariah Golden
It feels as though talking with Mariele was a long time coming. I remember tagging her in a photo of me wearing my ring, and getting butterflies in my stomach when she commented on it.
Mariele Ivy in her natural habitats / Photos by L to R: Jen Siska, Carry McArthur, Vanessa Mona
Honestly, regardless of where this podcast leads or doesn't lead, it really has served as an excellent excuse to contact some of my creative heroes. We follow these vanguards, sometimes commenting, but mostly just sending virtual love with little to no hope of connecting with them beyond our tiny screens… but what’s stopping us?
I am overjoyed to think that many of our modern day rockstars are self made craftsman and entrepreneurs with a keen eye, loads of talent, and ferocious dedication. There has always seemed an element of luck in the game of success, with far less talented people arriving at the top as if by mistake while the rest of us toil away at our craft scrambling to make ends meet, but one of the many benefits of social media is the gradual evening of that playing field.
Photos by Jen Siska + Wild Heart Events
I think it is important to remember when we are falling all over ourselves for someone else’s work, that there are likely people out there doing the same over ours. It’s a comforting thought… we are all somebodies hero. Somewhere out there is a full grown woman fan-girling over your illustrations, or perhaps a regular who frequents the coffee shop you work in that thinks you hang the moon. We all have so much more impact on our surroundings then we know.
Take Mariele’s story of discovering Ghost Ranch! My professor Bryan Peterson probably had no idea that a suggestion to a random waitress in Boulder Colorado would set into motion a series of events that would help her to define a unique body of work and, oddly enough, connect her back to one of his own students. It is a magical world we live in people. Please pay attention to the magic.
Video by Vanessa Mona
Mariele's boat, built by her father Stu Williams
I find Mariele’s unabashed confidence really inspiring. It feels wildly refreshing to meet a woman who not only knows her worth, but feels comfortable asserting that knowledge without fear. Perhaps it is that power that emanates from her work, and draws me like a moth to a flame. Her pieces really do feel like talismans, ripe for the choosing, filled already with the gift of confidence. And what a legacy it is to provide so many with what Mariele calls “The physical representation of an emotional idea.”
For me this emotional idea is self love and the representation is this one-of-a-kind Montana Agate Himiwari ring that looks like birds flying over the sea but was grown and harvested in the high altitudes of my home state. It is a subtle indication of the adventures I will enjoy, and the internal power I will cary across the world with me. Everyday when I put on my ring I will think of how the man who taught me metalsmithing inspired a stranger to pursue her own passion, which led her to make this ring, which galvanized me to speak with her, and now we are friends.