It’s incredibly difficult to be a trail blazer. When there’s no road map to follow, the temptation is to stay safe, do what you know, but that’s not an artistic option. An artist can’t follow a pattern. The item may be hand-made, may be beautiful; however, the piece lacks the spark of uniqueness if it’s someone else’s idea.
What any artist needs is the courage and endurance to try and keep trying without loosing heart. The first attempt may be great; more likely it will need further refinement, so another experiment begins until the masterpiece is born.
These are some phrases that have help me through those difficult days when all I wanted to do was throw the paint, glass, computer, ect… in the bin and eat chocolate.
“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” Jack London
“Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.” Nolan Bushnell
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt
“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Those that dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. Edgar Allan Poe
I hope these are helpful. Please add in any other inspirational quotes that have gotten you out of a slump in the comment section. I’d love to hear them.
Now then, it’s time to log off and get back to creating. Cheers
I’m so excited about these. I love the places creative exploration can take design. The little lady birds are the cutest thing I’ve made for awhile but I didn’t start out the day planning to make them. It was only after making some little red and black pokka dot ball earrings, I got inspired to try tiny lady birds. With a little practice, I was able to make the eyes and head small enough to match the body.
Just in time to go with my next idea. Summer’s on the way and roses are one of my favourite flowers. Of course you need lady birds to keep away the aphids, so I plan to combine the two in my next project. Watch this space for photos of that.
The second great idea I got this week came from a customer last weekend asking if I could make paperweights. Unfortunately I’ve tried, but my torch isn’t powerful enough to melt the correct amount of glass for a full size paperweight. However small is beautiful. Tiny has a special charm, so I tried making miniature ones. These turned into gorgeous earrings that I’m really pleased with.
Today’s experimentation was incorporating copper into an implosion pendent. I’ll have to wait until it come out of the kiln tomorrow to see if it’s any good, but it was great to try the idea and play around with materials.
To me that’s what art is all about. Trying an idea that pushes the materials you use, then evaluating the results before trying again. It’s no use just copying someone else’s design. However beautiful it may be, it hampers the creation of your own style. And that is a shame, cause if you don’t do it…. no one else will. No one else has your perspective on the world. Don’t hide it in a crowd of mediocrity.
Looking forward to Saturday! I’ve got more galaxy pendants and mini animals ready for this fab day out.
New design, miniature glass dogs
This is one of my latest sculptures.
I love the way he turned out, for although there are some thing I could have done better; overall I feel he conveys the essence of this legendary creature as I understand it.
He has the rain and lightening coming out of his wings, which was a particularly tricky step, as each tiny glass trail wanted to melt into its neighbour as I pulled them out in the flame. Also I made an ‘implosion’ fire in the base of this statue with more colour overlaid to represent the storms, fights and lightening the thunder bird is master over.
I love trying to get inside a myth or legend to understand it enough to create the characters in glass. Any suggestions for my next creature?
I’ve been trying to familiarise myself with graphic design and how to make useful visual displays. After reading ‘white space is not your enemy’ I came up with this for a local show I’m attending. I think it’s turned out rather nice, but there is so much more to learn about. Never enough hours in a day to match all the new skills I want to acquire. Ah well, at least I won’t get board.
Been a busy week, but I managed to find enough time to make two more dragons/ serpentine monsters. These will be up for sale at next weeks conpulsion in Edinburgh.
I’m really pleased with the way the tail and body loop around, but always see room for improvements. I’d like to find a way to make good wings, something to keep working at.
How to contact the creative muse
*Sit in complete silence
*Walk in the woods
*Listen to the weather
*Draw a mandala
These are the things I go back to when I need some inspiration, some way to lift my mood and try to put feelings into my art. Anything that snaps me out of the habit of everyday can bring a new idea, or new perspective on a current work in progress.
Personally I find moving meditation particularly helpful when stuck for ideas. The easiest is walking. It can be anywhere that you feel safe letting your mind roam without full attention on where you’re going. Let your feet move and let your mind wander with them. Notice things then let those notices drift off topic to other associations. Wonderful free associations can pop in at random when they’re least expected by doing this. If daily problems plague this time, acknowledge them then dismiss the issue by saying it can have all your attention in an hour, just not now.
Also fun is the free drawing. Kids doodle but a lot of adults have fallen out of the habit. When there is no need for a result, interesting patterns and shapes can emerge. The trick is to really not be interested in what you’re making at the time. Keep judgements well away and let the pen flow over the page, then put it aside. Come back in an hour or the next day and look at it from different angles with a soft focus. What the mind wants to tell you is there, you just have to be quiet enough to hear it.
I think one of the problems we have with the world right now is that there are too many village idiots and not enough dragons. So here’s my solution…. I’m going to make lots of dragons this year. They may not eat any idiots, but they remind me, and hopefully others, to have the courage of a dragon. To be vigilant, stand up and question the establishment. Questions where the ‘facts’ have come from. Have they passed through a filter that could cast a shadow on them?
Plus dragons are Cool!
Today’s kiln findings were a mixed bunch. I knew they would be, but it’s always a little sad seeing the reality.
First up, the best of the bunch. I had an idea for a weeping eye sculpture and this is the result. I like the central tear falling motif , but it’s not straight and the whole thing is too tall which makes it top heavy. It went back into the flame today with mixed success.
Next up are the ‘bad’. These little fellas just didn’t hold it together, (much like how I’m feeling in the current political maelstrom). My fault for the first one, I knew it was probably a little cold, but put it straight back into the flame to polish off the punty mark and it shattered. Two hours work down the drain due to my failure to give due care and attention to my material. The second one is a little more mysterious as to why it cracked. It was fine when I put it in the kiln, but I heard the ominous ‘kink’ as the door shut. Could have been an air bubble in the wrong place, or I’d heated it unevenly so when it touched the kiln floor one part was much warmer/cooler than the rest.
Lastly is the ‘ugly’. Now I know that can be a devise word, and it doesn’t entirely describe the piece, but it wasn’t what I wanted. It seems in the modern world that perhaps the best definition of ‘ugly’ is out of step with the acceptable/expected appearance?
This little guy has a certain charm and I was hoping it would be the start of a free standing dragon sculpture; however, on closer inspection he looks more like an over grown worm. The beige colour, made from NS butterscotch, could pop out with some lovely purple, blues or greens but I must not have struck it right since none of those lovely reactionary colours showed up. I’ll try running him through the flame again, see if I can improve the structure and colour, otherwise he’ll have earned a place on the fuggly shelf. That’s where all the miss-shapen critters, that only the creator would love, go…
Any other makers out there have a similar home for their less-than-perfect creations?
So there haven’t been many posts this month, I’ve been a bit distracted.
One of the projects I embarked on last year was puppy walking for the guide dogs for the blind. I took charge of a lovely little yellow lab last February and now she’s just set off for the next stage of her training in London. Strangely, when we were out walking the first question most people asked was ‘How are you going to be able to give her up?’
Of course, I knew that day would be difficult, but why do people automatically jump to the problems rather than the benefits of a situation? I had the most adorable, clever, cutie sharing my life for twelve months. That’s a pretty big plus point in my mind.
And now I can say how I gave her up. With a few tears and an ache that will probably last forever, but also pride and joy for being allowed to raise her. She jumped into the van with a waggy tail, attacked the chew toy and sniffed her travel companion. She was ready for the next stage of her life and so am I.
This week I’m back to work making glass sculptures and vessels, hopefully with some pictures soon. This year will be a new focus: creatures from myth and our own pagan past, including dragons, gargoyles, witches, and fairies. Blessed be.