Happy New Year!!

encased stringer pic run thru iphone Percolator app

batch of encased glass stringers pic run through the iphone Percolator app

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are raring to go for 2011!

I’ve been pretty absent from this blog this past year… 2010 was a year of extremes for me: when things were good they were wonderful but when they were bad they really well and truly sucked.  All of which apparently left my muse in such a state of confusion, she completely abandoned me which meant I had so little creative energy, I barely torched at all in 2010.  And what little I did make I wasn’t terribly excited about – at least not enough to put out the effort required to photograph, blog and list everything.  Artistically speaking, 2010 can be summed up for me as a great big old… “meh”.

If you’ve been following me on Facebook then you have some idea of what i’ve been up to – it so much easier to do a quick update there vs. here…  Anyhoo, I’m back as my muse seems to have somewhat rejoined my world plus I’ve decided to torch regularly regardless to work through whatever creative block I’ve been experiencing… I found not torching left a big empty hole inside me that just couldn’t be filled with anything else.

Finally, this blog is due for a major overhaul.  I think a new theme, some updated pages and pictures of my latest beads would do a world of good. 

(Coming soon…)

A “snotty, selfish arteest”.

jlvn1422l

Stick to the plan.  Always follow through.  State your goals then go out and achieve them.  Uh-huh.

How about… follow your heart?  Now there’s a classic.

So why am i spouting these cliches?  because after reading Lydia Muell’s blog post from a few weeks back about being perceived as a “snotty, selfish arteest”,  i finally realized why i’ve been so blocked! 

In case you’ve been wondering why i’ve been so quiet: until our November show, i hadn’t torched at all for the past several months.  Why? because i’ve been stuck.  My mind would either be spinning with ideas – so many i couldn’t single out one to action or i’d think i had one and then sit in front of the torch and watch it flit away.  I thought maybe i was in a creative slump… yet i still had lots of design ideas so i couldn’t understand why i couldn’t get myself to torch. 

Looking back now though, i realize that maybe i was trying to force myself into being something i’m not.  Since i started selling my beads last year, in the back of my mind there’s always been that practical little voice that would remind me of: 1. how much money i’ve invested in this art form (my most expensive hobby ever!); 2. my initial goal for it to bring in a certain amount of money each month; and 3. to be practical so i could recoup my investment as soon as possible.  THEN and only then could i let myself relax and just make… ART. jfa1881l

But unfortunately it’s just not that easy. Life – at least my creative life – just doesn’t work that way.  I’ve been trying to make beads to fit what i thought i would have wanted as a former jewellery designer and it’s just not working.  Why?  Because i can’t stand making practical, wearable beads.  I can’t stand making repeat beads.  I can’t stand making little beads.  And i especially can’t stand the beads i make when i try to make beads to fit that perceived market.

I had myself on an “acquire specific beadmaking skills” schedule: ok, good donut beads? check.  good pressed beads? check (sorta). heat control? check. basic technique #1: stringers? check.  Basic technique #2: florals? check… etc., etc.  The problem?  B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!  Plus, i don’t even like making any of those beads:  i don’t give a damn about fine lines, dots or flowers.  I’ve been able to easily encase since my first attempt but how often have i ever made encased beads?  I could count the times on one hand. 

What DO like?  Easy… frit, powders and big chunks of hot sculpted glass.

So what now?  i think i’ve decided to become a “snotty, selfish arteest” – not literally of course…  Just that i think from now on i’ll only focus on  making glass art (beads or otherwise) purely for my own pleasure regardless of whether or not i think they will sell.  I’m just going to make whatever tickles me and see where i end up on this creative path.  Of course I hope i’ll continue to have buyers who appreciate what i create but if not? so be it…

Don’t worry, I’ll still accept custom orders – they’re so challenging and fun i doubt i’ll ever stop taking them.  On my own time though, from now on i’m stepping completely out of the traditional glass beadmaking mold.  I will concentrate instead on just exploring my creative side through hot glass and  making only what my muse directs regardless of how mundane or bizarre the result… should be  interesting!

I hope y’all stay with me for the ride…