you: Hey, what’s up?
me: I’m finally launching that website for my glass beads
you: Oh really? congratulations!
me: Thanks, I’m almost finished. Just have to upload some pics and by next weekend everything should be ready to go.
you: Great! (pointing to my pendant) Very pretty. Is that one of yours?
me: This one? ummm, well no, actually…
And there you have my dirty little secret: I almost never wear my own jewellery or beads. Sure, I’ll wear them for shows or to test for comfort and durability but for pleasure? Other than one or two pieces here and there, nope.
Why? well… plain and simply: perfectionism.
When i sit down to torch i generally have a picture in my head of what i want to create. But just like in any other art medium, it takes time to develop the skills necessary to accurately bring that vision to reality. I’m not there yet. I’m progressing nicely and I’ll get there, eventually, but for now, I’m not there yet.
It’s not that I’m unhappy with my creations – I am happy and proud too. With each torch session I can see how far I’ve come from my first lumpy misshapen attempts. I can see my gravity and stringer control, shaping and dot application improve. But they’re still not fully what I want to create. When i look at my pieces I see every error or miscalculation, a reaction i didn’t expect, a colour combo that didn’t turn out etc., etc., etc. Simply put, I don’t see my vision. Closer each time, yes, but still. no. damn. cigar. So sure, I sell them, donate them, give them away to friends and family but wear them myself? Rarely.
Now intellectually of course, I know that my work can and should just be appreciated as is, especially by me, for the stage in my development it currently represents. I’ve heard it takes at least two years to learn how to control hot glass and a lifetime to master it. There is no fast track, just the three Ps: practice, practice, practice.
Sooooo, since I’ve had some variation of the above conversation at least four or five times over the past couple weeks, it needs to change. I think it’s time i learned to put the perfectionism aside so that the next time I’m asked that last question I can say “Actually yes, this is one of mine”.