Square One

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Materials and Process – Passions of a Goldsmith – that was the title of my graduating exhibition at NSCAD University’s Anna Leonowens Gallery in 2004.  So long ago! Good early perception, though: I already knew that my passion for the materials and processes of this amazing trade of gold/silver/copper/metal-smithing is what drives me.

My heart and soul went into my NSCAD U graduating exhibition

My heart and soul went into my NSCAD U graduating exhibition

That exhibition marked the end of a tremendously important time in my life.  It was hard to figure out the logistics to keep going following graduation, two kids in elementary school and suddenly no studio. But my passion kept driving me further. I set up a studio in the Arts Annex of the Seaport Market and kept working towards another solo exhibition two years later, this time at the Mary E. Black Gallery. It was a time of tremendous outpouring. I think I will post some photos from those shows, one of these days.

Tonight though, I happened to stumble across a poem which I wrote somewhere around that time. It’s a little intense – I hope you don’t mind my sharing it here. Even to myself when reading it again after quite some time, it illustrates what’s ‘behind it all’, this passion for a dialogue with the metal which drives me, and which – incidentally – is also what makes me happy. How lucky is that?

Gotta look for some of those still ‘listening’ moments in the next bit, I think.  I am so glad I found this. Brings me right back to square one. Best place to be, hands down.


And such is my passion for making

that the search for the right form to
emerge from the material before me

And such is my passion for making

that this search pains me in the
innermost center of my soul – the same place love hurts –

And such is my passion for making

that when I see a form which is perfect for
its moment in time and space
(some call this ‘good design’)
that such a perfect form brings the sun to my face.
I weep with joy over such good fortune.

And such is my passion for making

that I wither when I stop
that I dream it day and night
completely unshakable.

And such is my passion for making

that I drink its textures its sounds its weight its dirt
I drink them like nectar
like frozen Bombay Sapphire
never enough.

Such is my passion for making

that it hurts.

When I realized this
I became terrified.

Now I stand in awe
before the materials which are
pregnant with stories, laden with hidden forms.

I want to draw them out
I wish to help them emerge
I desire to see them.

I concentrate, still,
examining each step carefully
Listening intently.

Dorothée Rosen, 2006

At my bench in 2007. Photo by Paige Littlefair

At my bench in 2007. Photo by Paige Littlefair


7 Responses to “Square One”

  1. Susan April 13, 2016 at 12:05 pm #835

    The voice of an artist ,well said Dorothee

    • Dorothée April 13, 2016 at 12:09 pm #836

      Thank you, Susan. When ‘running a business’, even in the arts, it can be easy to forget the root of it all. Always good to revisit square one!

  2. Heather April 13, 2016 at 12:15 pm #837

    Very well said, Dorothee. Love the photo as well.

    • Dorothée April 13, 2016 at 12:25 pm #838

      Thanks, Heather. Paige Littlefair was a student at NSCAD U when she spent that day in the studio with me. I believe she had one of those old-fashioned square cameras with her, the kind you see in Western movies, that is held at the belly, and the photographer looks into the top. Big square negatives … an artist observing an artist.

  3. Martine April 15, 2016 at 7:07 am #839

    You’re an exquisite passionate lady. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Dorothée April 15, 2016 at 11:39 am #840

      Ah, Martine, Thank You, Merci! Dear reader: Martine is the gemologist who goes through great lengths to find me the special precious gems that I need to make all these pretty things. The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) has just appointed Martine their ambassador to Canada. I am certain this is because she herself is very passionate, as well: about coloured gemstones! She has been a wonderful ally. Congratulations, Martine!

      • Martine Lavoie April 15, 2016 at 8:44 pm #842

        Oh my! I’m just reading this.
        Thank you dear Dorothée. One day we will communicate in french right 🙂 ?

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