Why Create?

Aster by Angel Russell

When I’m not creating for Sparrow Made Co. I write a music arts and literature blog. In this blog I often interview artists and one of my questions is, “what inspires you to create?” The answer is always different. It is a unique and flavored response for each individual. When creators are in their early teens, or even younger, this urge is fervent and deep-rooted. It’s just “a part” of us and you can’t ever take it away and it totally defines who we are as people. We creators tend to wear this on our sleeves as proud youth, and later in life. Yearbooks ask us, “where do you see yourself in five years?” My response was a musician. I wrote that money didn’t matter and that no matter what I was going to do that because it was in my blood and nothing could take that away. I feel like I was on a high horse then. The feelings were totally genuine and I meant every word of it, but it was a little dramatic. I had that air about me that was an all or nothing attitude, but it prevented me from taking critique and I so defined myself by this “artist/musician” persona that it almost took away from the act itself. Why did I create? Why did I have this overwhelming urge to make something? Why did it pain me when I hadn’t had the chance to do so because of other various activities? Why does it pain me still?

Josephine by Angel Russell
Josephine by Angel Russell

I don’t know if this is a valid question. Why create? It is one I often ask myself. I don’t know if it’s answerable. Is it something you’re born with? Is it something we learn to do because we are taught by our peers or imprinted upon by our elders? George Bernard Shaw said “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” Do creators have overactive imaginations?  Charles Dickens said, “The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.” Where does that will and love come from? Is it selfish to create? If the answer from every artist is different and individual for them, then what is it that unites us as creators? Surely, the act it self unites artists. There again though, why create?

Forest IV by Angel Russell
Forest IV by Angel Russell

Often I think that creating can be self-serving. My desire to hone my art to become the best I can at it has definitely caused problems for me in my life. It causes me to have a lack of income at times, which can be troublesome with family and partners. You can seem to be a burden or lazy even, if you don’t just get a real job. The problem with this train of thought is that for me, creating is a real job. Devoting myself to it fully is the only way I can see myself getting good enough at it to make it a worthwhile means of monitory support, which to me is also of secondary importance. I suppose I still am on that high horse because I refuse to give up on my dream. In that same vein why is my dream any less important because it does not have an immediate financial reward. Why is honing a craft looked down upon in this way? Going to school for seven years and spending exorbitant amounts of money on education is a valid way of life because there’s a magical money rainbow at the end of that journey. Is there even? Look at the people who spent all those years in school only to graduate and have no work. Why is money a factor in deciding our future. Why is it not what is inside of us, the gifts we were inherently born with, that is celebrated and sought after. I feel like my path is valid. I work at my craft as much as possible. I do have to work a “day job” so to speak at this time, to support that craft but it is my end goal to be able to be an artist in whatever shape that takes. Even that day job I chose is creative because I am a gardener. I apply my creative eye there splendidly. I, however, feel that the only way to truly “make it” in an artistic pursuit or career is to devote yourself to this mission wholeheartedly with fervent passion and dedication. All of our personal journeys should be pursued in this way. Perhaps we creators are on that high horse because we have to prove to others that this path is a valid one.

Armor Cuff, to feel protected by Angel Russell

Art can heal. It can express emotions in a way that few things can. Artist Georges Braque said “Art is a wound turned into light.” Perhaps this urge to create comes from an over abundance of feeling. The first example that comes to mind for me is the mother of modern dance, Martha Graham and her dance Lamentation. With her entire body and being she creates a dance so moving that many are brought to tears. Martha Graham said “It’s the tragedy that obsesses the body and the garment that is worn is just a tube of material but it’s as though you were stretching in your own skin. One of the first times I did it was in Brooklyn. A lady came back to me afterwards and looked at me, she had a very white face, and she had obviously been crying. And she said “you will never know what you have done for me tonight, thank you” and left. I asked about her later. It seemed that she had seen her child, her nine-year old son, killed in front of her by a truck. They had made every effort to make her cry, and she was not able to cry, but when she saw Lamentation she said, she felt that grief was honorable. And that it was universal. And that she need not be ashamed of crying for her son. And that, I remember that part. That story is a very deep story in my life. It’s made me realize that there is always one person that you speak to in the audience, one.” If a dance can move us to tears, is creating not a vital part of not only expelling our internal pain, but helping others to do the same. Is this not a valid pursuit? If we languish in our misery but find a path out through creation and that creation can help others to find a light of their own, is this not a valid pursuit?

Copper Feather Earrings for strength. Angel Russell

Art is not solely the result of suffering, but as humans we are able to create art, dance, poetry, topiary, jewelry, etc that evokes mood, feeling, eases pain, brings joy, power, overtakes resentment or loss, or just plain makes us feel good. I think that through that experience, that commonality and ability to connect on a deep level with a stranger, just one, that is why I create. Creating eases a place in me, whether that place is loneliness, pain, happiness, anger, presence, inspiration, imagination, or the unexplainable. I hope that through my creations others feel a kinship, a similar easing and through that we are able to join in healing that place in all of us. Marianne Williamson said “The only work that will ultimately bring any good to any of us is the work of contributing to the healing of the world.” That’s as noble a pursuit as any if you ask me.

Find Sparrow made:





Martha Graham’s Lamentation:

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A New Year

2014 is upon us already, surprising and unready as I am for each new year I am still ready to create and forge ahead. Another year has gone by. 2013 was one of the hardest years I’ve had. I experienced a great loss. My health and mental state suffered because of it, but I refused to give in to my heartache, though I was consumed by it many times. I wrote, and created after the dust settled. Pain can often stop us dead in our tracks both creatively and in our daily lives but with determination we can find new strength. The last thing you want to hear when you are suffering are those one liner quotes that are meant to make us feel better. “One door closes and another opens.” “This too shall pass.” “God doesn’t place before you anything you can’t handle.” When you hear these during painful periods in your life you can feel angered and frustrated, because that’s the last thing you want to hear. You might hold on to the pain like some wounded warrior nursing your battle wounds. These one liners come to be because others have suffered and healed and through that healing new light and hope can be found. Looking back it is easy to say, “this too shall pass.” During the pain however, you just want a hug, you want to back into a corner like some injured beast and lash out at those that come near.

I was there in my anger and hurt in that corner when my friends and family rallied. They didn’t give up on me and in my pain came to me and nurtured me back to my old self. They made me food, held me, brought me jars of honey from their own hives, listened and cried along with me. They welcomed me into their homes when loneliness was too much to bear on my own. They held my hand and helped me to remember I was loved. They reminded me to breath. Through that I found hope again. I took steps out of that misery and began to look around me. I was sitting in a self made box of despair. I decided to return to the studio to create, and while I was there I made a large and powerful pendant.


The stone is a druzy quartz. Through lore this stone is believed to be a powerful healing stone. This necklace became my talisman for strength. It reminded me of who I am as a creator and the feeling of peace I attain through creation. It’s weight reminded me to be grounded. The heat of my flame molded the silver into a warm embrace around the power stone as I too worked to heal myself. I took up archery again which helps me to focus my thoughts and breath. As I hold the bow and focus on my target, my mind must be still, my pains must be forgotten, and my breath must release. I cannot fire until every part of my being is stilled, and only then can I aim true. This reminded me of my own focus in life. How every day our spirits can benefit from stillness, our minds can be calmed by slow breath, and we can let go of our past hurts just as we exhale all calamity can escape us.


It is my wish that this year you are lifted up by those you love in times of need, that you find an outlet for what ails you. Remember or learn that you have beauty, strength and power. You only need to believe. And if you cannot, I hope that you find the will to come out of that corner, no longer injured on the path to healing, the path to hope. I have come up with my own one (technically two) liner for this past year; every day I try to fill myself with positivity, love, and light. I don’t always succeed, but every time I try it gets a little easier.

The Sparrow Made Co Fundraiser for the Typhoon Haiyan survivors


Sparrow Made is doing a fundraising campaign to help the survivors of the Typhoon Haiyan.

Donate HERE

In the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan, millions of people in the Philippines need our help. The massive storm has caused catastrophic damage throughout the island nation.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and are in urgent need of food, water and shelter.

Mercy Corps has launched immediate relief efforts to help meet these critical humanitarian needs of survivors.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting this important work. Together, we can help families devastated by this disaster survive and rebuild their lives.

I am fundraising through Mercy Corps; Since 1979, they have helped people in the world’s roughest places survive the crises they battle and have turned them into opportunities to thrive.
Their staff work in the environments they are needed most. You can gather information about why you should donate through Mercy Corps here. . I have had successful campaigns in the past for the Japanese Tsunami, and the Pakastan Floods. Please help this to be a success too!
love Ange

Sparrow Made Feature!

Sparrow Made was featured today on a local Martha’s Vineyard blog, Point B Realty written by Guinevere Cramer.  You can visit her blog here: Point B

Here is a picture Guinevere took of me in my studio!


Spring 2013

I have begun posting my new Spring creations on my brand new website!!

www.sparrowmade.com Click here to purchase.

I hope you enjoy my new creations!

New Heart Earrings !

I have been working on some new Heart earrings.

Brass is cut out, each heart is stamped, sterling silver studs are soldered into place, and each piece is filed, sanded and polished by hand.

You can find them in my store, here.

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New Sparrow Made Photos and review!

Sparrow Made has a new face! Model Emma Wajda and I went to one of Martha’s Vineyard’s beautiful Island beaches and did a lovely photo shoot of some of my new items. The animal totem necklaces, copper armor cuff and a variety of earrings were featured, including the abalone and shell feather earrings. Keep an eye out for more photos to come! Hair and make up were done by yours truly thanks to my past life as a cosmetologist! Most of the clothing in the photos is from my own vintage collection!

Sparrow Made was also featured by the lovely Tara Mackey on her blog, My Organic Life. Click the link to view her lovely photos!

emma point arm cuff feathers

emma ocean arm cuff feathers

Emma stand leapord arm cuff

Emma Smirk Ring

Emma Ring Coat

Emma Rhino White coat

emma stand leapord cuff

emma up close arm cuff

Emma white Rhino Twigs


Happy New Year!!

I had quite an amazing 2012. My creative style continues to grow through my work with Sparrow Made, my jewelry company and with my music. Sparrow Made was featured all over the red carpet in Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week! Designer Noava Knight used my work on all of her models! Many pieces were made specifically for the show including my new Super Noava Pearl and Gold Earrings:

Gold filled wire, brass beads and natural pearls.
Gold filled wire, brass beads and natural pearls.

It was such an amazing experience putting together the looks with Noava and seeing my hand made items on all the lovely models!

Martha's Vineyard Fashion Week Backstage.
Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week Backstage. (Angel and Noava on left)

Minor adjustments to the gold airplant necklace worn by Noava's Mom! Photo by © 2012 • eli.dag [photographer] • All Rights Reserved

Minor adjustments to the gold airplant necklace worn by Noava’s Mom! Photo by © 2012 • eli.dag [photographer] • All Rights Reserved


Going through all my jewelry! © 2012 • eli.dag [photographer] • All Rights Reserved

I designed earrings, necklaces, head pieces and armor cuffs just for the big night.

Sparrow Made Earrings, necklace, and Agate Ring accessorizing designer Noavakay Knight.Photo by Kye Howell of Martha's Vineyard Nite Life.
Sparrow Made Earrings, necklace, and Agate Ring accessorizing designer Noavakay Knight. Photo by Kye Howell of Martha’s Vineyard Nite Life.
Sparrow Made Earrings, necklace, and Agate Ring accessorizing designer Noavakay Knight.Photo by Kye Howell of Martha's Vineyard Nite Life.
Sparrow Made Earrings, necklace, and Agate Ring accessorizing designer Noava Knight. Photo by Kye Howell of Martha’s Vineyard Nite Life. Model: Žaneta Nguyenová.

Here is some of the jewelry up close!

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I also got to be a model myself!! Citrine MV, where I sell most of my work, used me as a model for their runway show!

I’m on the far right !

Sparrow Made was also featured on a lovely blog:

Beauty by Britanie

a blog on fashion and organic items



I have begun work on my next album The Fall.

The Fall Cover

It is a piano based record with a lot of trumpets and choral arrangements throughout. I am about half way done to date and have a few more songs to go before it is complete. You can listen to some rough drafts on my band camp page:


I played trumpet a while back at Old Soul Studios for Johnny Society. Their newest record, Free Society, is now for sale on iTunes. I just found out that their music is to be featured in the next Christopher Walken movie, The Power of Few. That is very exciting! Congrats guys! You can hear my trumpets on the first track!

Buy the record here.

Me at Old Soul Studios playing Mellephonium.
Playing Trumpet for Johnny Society at Old Soul Studios.

Sergeant Sparrow, my other blog and musical endeavors!

Wishing you much love and happiness,