No-Work Weekend Jewelry Making

I'll be making jewelry on the weekends...

...but it won't be for sale.

I can’t believe I just typed that. Being a working artist, everything is always for sale, isn’t it? Well, I learned the hard way that that’s the fastest way to take something that you love and turn it into a j.o.b., which leads to b.o., I mean, burn out.

On top of that, if you’re like me, when you’re not making stuff to sell, you’re always thinking about new ways to sell it.

You may rationalize with yourself and say, “But really, I *do* like doing it all.” And I wouldn’t argue with you. I love being immersed and as passionate just as much as the next guy, and it’s all good…until it isn’t. It creeps up on you and once you get to that point, it’s H-E-double-hockey-sticks getting out of it.

So, this weekend, I proactively said no more. Or in the wise words of Beverly Hills Chihuahua: NO MAS!

I declared a no-work weekend.

I argued with myself over this, and whined a little, “But I looooove making jewelry…I don’t want to stop on the weekends.” So, I came up with a compromise I could live with.

I recently took a class with Cynthia Toops, the master of the polymer clay micromosaic. Y’all know I love me some micromosaics. Did you know I used to do polymer clay? Yep. Back in the day that was my first bead making and selling gig, before I got into glass. I feel like I’ve come full circle.

Anyway…spending time making something that someone else taught me will guarantee that I won’t turn it into a product line. Why? Because that’s just damn tacky. Cynthia is right when she says that the technique isn’t hard, it just takes a lot of time. Just how I like it.

I had this setting laying around from a failed glass stone setting attempt so I used it for my second polymer clay micro mosaic. The one below is the first one I made, in class, with another bezel that had a snafu with the stone I was going to set.

So, Friday came and I thought, I need to get a bezel made for my no-work jewelry making weekend! I’d spent a lot of the week working on designing an upcoming collection and I didn’t have it in me to toil with more. So, if it’s not dots I’m falling back on, it’s eyes, of course.

I liked the setting I’d already worked on so I set out to create one that was similar.

I realized that the method I use for creating the decoration around the edge is also mosaic-like. At this point I’m thinking I can probably relate anything in life to something to do with mosaics. Art mirrors life. Or the other way around?

I like it. I think it’s going to be a good one.

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Glass Disk Rings Continue.

I’ve been busy and probably not focusing as well on the things that I should be, with my studio tour show starting this weekend. Remember I wrote about the rings I was making for the show? Here are a handful more that I’ve created:

I like the earthy tones but I think I got Kerry Bogert stuck in my head last week. And when that happens, you just gotta let her out. She’s relentless.

They’re then epoxied onto a base of a Burgard Studio sterling silver adjustable ring band. The disks are silver cored and it’s not necessary, but it’s in there.

Here are more, waiting to be made into rings:

And here’s one that would have been really cool. I used a Lauscha Tri-Colored rod and I’m wondering if the layers of glass weren’t compatible? I’ll have to look into that.

Check out part two tomorrow about how this has spurred me forward in many ways…

We all have scars. Even my beads.

Stitched WedgeI am being overrun by beads. At one time I thought that was a bad thing because it meant, to me, that I had a lot of beads that I didn’t feel were sale-worthy. But now, it’s because they’re so beautiful that I don’t want to release them. I wrote a bit ago about the process that has been going on with these beads but I didn’t really describe the inner process.

There have been discussions in part of the glass community about the beads known as ‘end of the day’ beads or ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ beads. Two very different styles but two styles that have lots of activity in the design in common.

I’ve tried before to do busy-design kind of beads and I’ve not succeeded. But as these beads got more popular it was hard to keep them out of my vision as I surfed around the internet and eBay. I knew I couldn’t do them and when I can’t do something it bothers me…that is usually when I get my own motivation and inspiration to explore what it is that I can do.

So I started laying down some design elements that I knew I could do and was good at. I started ‘stitching’ them them to the surface with stringer and dots and holding them back from taking over the surface of the bead. As I worked I had the vision of not letting that busyness take over my bead!

Because I was more focused on the intent behind the design rather than the design itself, it started to take on a life of it’s own and other things started to come to me. The stitches that bound the design elements started to take on a life of actual surgical stitches in my mind…but they were beautiful.

It made me think that we all have scars and wounds and they are what makes us what we are today. The beauty under the surface of the scars is still beautiful too. It also made me realize more fully that we’re all the same. No one is perfect. We all have our stuff and it’s not fair to judge someone based on their wounds and scars. It takes something really superhuman to be able to live your life believing that every moment but it’s worth remembering and working on…for me.