Jan 27, 2010

When things go wrong

January is play month for me. I have given myself the entire month to work on projects I have had in my sketch book for a long time and never had the time to work on. The type of projects that may not work the first time. It tests my skills, challenges me, keeps things fresh and helps clear them out of my head so I can work on my more traditional style pieces.

I finished my marble piece. I started it in copper to see if it would work, then did it in sterling. Next, I am going to make the hole a bit bigger so the marble floats around (but will not fall out).

I finished setting my very precious red orange piece of glass. The design was not the important part here, it was using this very special piece of glass.

Lastly, I made a mess of a belt buckle. I did it in copper (better to learn on something less expensive). I love the patina on it, and my hammering worked out. But I learned two valuable things - the way I will have to set the glass is different (notice that it is broken) and on the back it needs to be a peg not a hook.

Oh and I learned exactly what I was suppose to. January is play month, and playing means that not everything will go as planned. It is not about the outcome, it truly is about the journey. When things go wrong, what did you learn along the way...

Jan 10, 2010

Fly like the wind

I had so much fun today, really! At first I was hesitant, then I was cautious, then I was adventurous, then I was silly, and then... I smiled and laughed. I went tobogganing with my 6 year old.

It was funny to watch all the parents standing around at the top of the hill, politely smiling as their children raced up and down the hill. Once in a while I would see one give in to their child (and their own inner child too) and get on the sled. By the bottom of the hill, I think they had forgotten their 'proper' place. They were laughing and being silly with snow in their hair. Every time a parent tried it, they didn't stop at one time, they went over and over; no longer standing politely at the top of the hill making small talk.

A friend of mine and I remarked about how it was kind of similar to what artists go through. Early in their (our) careers we have freedom and excitement. We try new things, we laugh when we fall and make mistakes and we get back up and try again. Just happy to be on the hill, er um, studio I mean. Then as time goes on, we get more serious. We start standing at our booths, at shows making polite conversation and producing art that sells (and with good reason - we have to pay the bills), taking less risks.

But at some point, we need to jump back on that sled - or even better - just on our bottoms, and fly like the wind down the hill and over the bump. Try something new, take some risks again - SMILE. And when you fall, laugh it off and get back up and try it again.