I won’t so much as forecast the future but I will continue to tell you what I plan to do, even though it seems to change as fast as I declare it.
Times past I would state goals and desires and like many, not reach many of them; especially the big ones. That used to bother me and has often kept me from calling the field into which I intend my home run ball to land. Fear of failure, or looking like one in someone else’s eyes.
Well. No more. I once read that you must cast a lot of nets to snag one big fish. Or something like that. Not everything is a success, nor does everything keep your attention. I will cast a lot of nets and pursue those that keep a tight line and continue to reel me in.
Just this last week I posted on facebook that I needed to get down to business and figure out how to turn my micro mosaics into complex murrini. This idea/decision/desire was brought about by many things converging in the last couple weeks.
First off, the interest that my work drew at the Bead Bazaar at the Gathering by multiple boro workers walking the show. I caught reactions of awe and encouragement to delve deeper into that area.
Second, a nice gentleman who got it. Really got it. With a strong European accent he pointed out to me the nuances of my Reclining Buddha piece. How the background colors were broken up by subtle swirls of complementary color, the decorative spirals made out of solid stringer, the different length of murrini chips, the outlining. He actually saw what I intended, that which most others don’t, even if they mostly get it. He then proceeded to tell me I should make it into a murrini pull and that the time invested in my piece isn’t worth the price I ask/get. He might have also been the one that suggested sending it to China to mass produce into a murrini but I politely tuned that part out.
And then, as I contemplate this changing world of glass, glass beads and the way in which they’re presented and sold I am continually reminded of the marble and murrini worlds out there with their network of collectors and it starts to seem even more appealing. It sounds like a brilliant idea…like it’s something new to get in to. I’m gung ho!
And then I start to look into it more. I follow some links from a friend pointing towards who is doing the stringer stack method, other murrini makers, methods, history, etc. All very very impressing. I don’t doubt that I could do it given time and lots of practice.
Last night it hit me though. Something about researching others’ work and methods felt like copying. Not that I’d be copying outright, but just the mere fact that I was looking to others in order to move myself seemingly forward seemed like a step back at this point in my development and the development of my body of work.
What if I didn’t follow that path that seemed so obvious and more safe? What if I continued doing what I was doing and developed my own work and style more? Who is to say that my pieces, one offs, detailed and intricate, wouldn’t start fetching collectors and be a part of rejuvenating the tradition of micro mosaic glass art? Why go and do what is already on the rise because it seems to be the gravy train?
So, after my huge declaration of delving into cold built murrini making it is clear to me. (for today anyway). Continue to follow that drum beat in my chest. The one that continually leads me back to my core desire to be a driving force, to be different, to leave something behind that says, “I did that. And I did it on my own.” In 25 years I want to be remembered as someone who contributed something, who forged forward.
Ask me again tomorrow what that means and if I’m still on that track.
One thing I do know is that I will continue to seek the drum beat of my heart and when I start to veer off the path towards what sells or what people may expect of me, I will do my best to come back to that which makes my soul sing, no matter what it may be nor what I may have declared previously.
Anyone care to join me?