Goodbye beautiful!… and THANKS.

This goddess bead started off simply as an experiment in testing a new colour and a more subtle female shape.  Then, over the past couple days I was introduced to the many different ways her shape can be interpreted – some of them, to be frank, quite traumatizing to my creative ego

As of today though, my bruised ego has almost fully recovered and I am once again superbly proud of her.  Once I calmed down, I realized it’s actually kinda fun to hear what each person sees in each of my creations.  Sure, it may not be what i intended but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a bad thing.

Once i really thought about it, I realized I never intended to create anything very literal – my own personal tastes run to art that can be interpreted in many different ways.  This is, however, my first time being on the receiving end of those interpretations.  So shocking yes, but i guess i better get used to it.  And pronto.

I’ve also come to the realization of just how very personal each of my creations have become to me.  With hot glass, even as a relative newb, what i create comes straight from my soul.  When i sit in front of the torch i can start off with the intention of creating something specific but by the time i’m done the result is usually quite different.  Part of it is the inherent lack of limits in hot glass, another part is due to my current level of experience, a significant part is my own personal taste and the final part is… i dunno – i suppose you could call it creative energy?

It’s that indescribable “creative energy” that determines the final look of each of my pieces.  It’s that same creative energy that ensures if you handed 50 lampwork artists the same glass rod, the same frit and sat them in front of the same torch you’d end up with 50 unique items.  And then of course, each piece would be interpreted in 1001 different ways…

Soooo, all this to say this beautiful goddess now represents a major step in my development as a lampwork artist.  I’ve become so very attached to her she’s not leaving my house.  And not just because she developed a crack across her butt.


Why I love hot glass

Would you believe that those boring beige rods on the left created the fantastic variety of colours in this goddess?? I’m stunned at the depth and intensity, especially since this is the first time I’ve ever used this German glass.  I didn’t even do or try anything special.  I hope you can see at least some of the iridescence.  Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!!  can’t wait to play more…

Technical details: 40mm x 16mm, R-106 Reichenbach Iris Dark Brown Opaque (dark raku), 96COE, with a sprinkle of goldstone frit

Struggling with perfectionism

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”.