I've always loved trees, leaves, everything 'branchy'.
For a while I was making leaf jewelry using sterling silver, copper, and some karat gold accents, as well as making fused branch rings out of karat gold or sterling silver ... and I was happy with that.
Then after more than 10 years of researching my family history, searching for family where we had been told there was none, I struck 'gold'! I came into contact with a cousin in Israel! He proceeded to connect me with other family members: two 1st cousins of my mother's ~ a miracle!
We had a family reunion, we all corresponded, it was wonderful. The oldest cousin, Edgar, was the only one of the three 1st cousins who could remember details of life and other family members in the old country and I was in awe... Edgar passed away 2 years later, leaving us heartbroken with our loss and yet so grateful to have known him and have had him in our lives for those two years.
The morning of Edgar's memorial service, I awoke at 4:00 am from a dream. In my dream I was making fused tree earrings... I even remember the conversation going on about how and why to make them. I quickly drew out the design and made them within the next couple of weeks. Edgar's Trees: each with a sage green briolette-cut sapphire 'tear' dangling from below.
And this was the beginning.
I made a tree pendant for both of Edgar's daughters, my mother, and my sisters and kept the original earrings (and wear them to this day). Edgar's Tree was my first tree... a remembrance tree.
I now make Remembrance Trees, Trees of Life, Lone Trees, Blowing In The Wind Trees...and it goes on! I occasionally make a fusion tree, but am now doing more with the hand- sawn/pierced technique.