Monday 20 August 2018

Blog Neglect, Cats and Woodpeckers, Old Doubts and Responding to The World

Well. . . I always start with that word! (Except every now and then when I don't of course). Somehow it makes it all a bit more conversational, as though I had just sat down with a cup of tea and was about to tell you about my day. An imposition of course, as you didn't actually ask, but as is the way with us bloggers, we just carry on as if you did. . . I know, "What are we like?".

Do they say that anywhere but the UK? I hope not as it should be said in a London accent, preferably South London. . . . Oh yeah, and the three dots thing, I do that a lot too. . . see? . . .
How much do you bet that I'm going to start the next paragraph with "Anyway"?

Scratched 'African' influence focal rectangle thing

Anyway, (Hah!) I have been neglecting this blog, not through choice, but through lack of opportunity, or at least a space of time that wouldn't be 'better spent' doing something else, and also through the paralysis brought on by guilt. It is ironic that the longer you leave something the louder the voice that tells you that you can't possibly do it now, as everyone will have given up and gone home.

I've got over that one. Mainly coz I have no shame but partly coz you are all nice people and weren't exactly waiting around for my verbal meanderings, but are quite happy to give them the once over when they decide to turn up. I assume anyway. . .

Different size grids

The other morning I got up early, ( I do this a lot, not through choice, but because I am awake and know I won't drift back into sleep however much I would like to. It's an age thing I think as I don't need to get up early anymore being retired and all.) As I was saying, or writing rather, I got up early and glanced out of the window into the back garden, where, in the early morning light, I discerned the cat, (Boudicca, the skinny, wriggly one) wrestling/sparring with something on the lawn. A flippn' Green Woodpecker no less! They aren't small birds, in fact, you may remember the photo of a woodpecker with a weasel seemingly riding on it's back, it was one of those. About three quarters of the size on the cat. . . Anyway, I rushed down and opened the back door ready to rescue the silly thing. Luckily that was enough of a distraction for Boudicca to look away and the bird to scarper, making indignant woodpecker noises. I admit I was also a bit worried for the cat, as those woodpeckers have serious beaks on them. They do frequent our lawn, as despite their name, they much prefer to eat ants out of the ground than indulge in any of this pecking wood business. I think it was an immature one, as I saw a couple of them with their parents on the lawn the other day.

"The Wildlife Diary of a Polymer Claying Man" eh?

Hollow Image Transfer and wire thingies 

My 'beads' thing has been going well ;-) I don't think 'beads' is quite the right word for what I am doing at present. I'm not sure what the correct term would be. Jewelry components' is a bit general maybe? 'Thingies' is kind of convenient but doesn't make it sound like I know what I am doing ;-)

Offset scratchy squares

I seem to sell most things I list on FB these days, which is great, but brings up the old doubts about what I should be making. It's the classic 'problem' that rears ugly head (maybe not so much ugly as unwelcome) when things start to sell. Vis - Should I make more of the things that I am pretty sure will sell, or should I continue the creative experimentation and follow wherever it leads, sales or not?

Not making things that people actually want seems a bit ungrateful somehow, but repeating yourself, and risking losing the spark that makes you You as it were is not such a good idea either. The real crunch comes when you realise that if do the arty thing rather than the more commercial thing, you are turning down an almost guaranteed chance to make a useful amount of money. . . Not easy for a lifelong freelancer to turn down. It's a good dilemma to have though I suppose.

I think the answer is to make enough time to do both.
I'm working on it.

I am also lucky in that I have a client base that seems to be interested and involved in my creative journey, and seem happy to come along with me so to speak. That is pretty special I think ;-)

Texture Squares, new poly clay beads for  change

My recent work has mainly been about upcycling things, beads I put aside for various reasons, and various bits of wire and wire mesh I found stored here and there dating from before this house was ours.
I am always alert to the possibility of reaching a kind of saturation point with particular techniques and concepts, and producing uninspiring work as a consequence. I was feeling like this point was approaching vis a vis wire and poly clay orphans. . .
Until I found some old 'pod' beads I made about three years ago, in one of my bead boxes, and got all inspired again!

Captive Pod, looks kind of Inuit maybe?

Pod Suspended, Organic form meets Geometric Grid

It did make me notice something very obvious, but that had failed to penetrate my thick head, namely, that my work is very much about responding to what is around me. I don't plan anything. I don't sketch or design, I find that it all works better if I let things occur to me and see what happens. I have a general idea, some techniques and an aesthetic worked out, but other than that it's fairly spontaneous. That said, I like to think I have a trained and finely tuned instinct for what 'works' and what doesn't. It's all totally subjective of course, all about me and my personal tastes and preferences, but for better or worse, love it or hate it, take it or leave it, at the end of the day I think I am quite good at being me ;-)

Jon x


  1. These are beyond compare! you really are soaring with your latest designs!
    I'll be in Norwich in a few weeks to pick some up, tee hee!

  2. I absolutely love where your creative journey has taken you Jon! The addition of your wires and bits puts what you do on another level then anyone else.

    I'm so impressed that additional words are failing me...I'm just so agog at the visuals in front of me!

    (imagine tiny print here) btw...was wondering about you and your work just the other day ...thinking..hmm..haven't seen a blog post from Jon in a while. I wonder how crispy his lawn is...wonder what he's obviously missing hearing from guilt..just saying...

    1. Thanks for the support ;-) I m enjoying the creative journey and trying to stop my head swelling from all the nice things people are saying. . . .

  3. Awesome and interesting article. Great things you've always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post. what is cat spraying no more