Wednesday 22 March 2017

Broody chickens, a landmark age and not doing what I said I was going to do. . .

OK, first things first, before we get to the broody chicken. . .

I had my 60th birthday a week or three ago. I wasn't entirely happy about it. It's all very well going around saying "But I don't feel 60!" (as if you knew what the hell 60 was supposed to feel like in the first place), but the truth is, however un-sixty you feel, the big fat 6 in the number is an inescapable fact. It denotes six whole, full decades. That's a lot of decades to carry around with you ;-) It's significantly different than "In my late fifties". 60 is REAL. So forgive me if I don't go 'whoopee doo' and jump around. . . What I shall do is acknowledge it, bow politely in it's direction and then get on with my life.

The thing is, when I was a kid, 60 was OLD. . . Nowadays it's just a kind of late middle age. . . There is no mitigating sense of achievement on having reached this much celebrated landmark, well, not much of one anyway. I can't help that feeling that the significance of getting to 60 years of age has been somewhat overplayed. You could say that the significance of being 60 is the thing that is getting old, not me. . . ;-)

Actually I feel fine about it now, but it is hard not to absorb the general received wisdom and see it as the beginning of a slow descent rather than a continuation of an upward curve. Who knows, I could have thirty or more years of living, breathing and playing with bits of polymer clay yet to experience. . . But hey, we're all here to experience what we get to experience, and we can take it in good heart or we can moan about it. I'll go for the former. Hasn't done me any harm so far. So let's see how it goes eh?

Anyway, back to the sheep, as the French say, apparently, except they say it in French, one of our chickens is spending most of it's time sitting on its, and the other two chickens' eggs, and not coming out to forage and suchlike. It's very disinclined to move even when pushed or pulled. It gets positively grumpy, making unfriendly chicken noises and fluffing up it's feathers. Apparently it's 'broody'. This can last for 21 days I'm told, (via google) but can be curtailed by rather harsh measures such as shutting her outside the chicken coop for long periods etc. Not sure how to proceed. probably I will just hope she snaps out of it at some point. The eggs won't hatch, as no rooster was part of the equation, so there will be no closure of that kind for her, and anyway I'm still going to take the eggs away, so it has to run it's course. The lady from the farm up the road said her dad used to just chuck them in the pond when they got like that, which changed their attitude somewhat. I can see how it might. You can tell we are out in the country can't you? ;-)

As for not doing what I said I was going to do, well, that was a polymer clay bead making reference to my last blog post in which I said that I was going to wind down with the faux ceramic, pot like beads and the crackly stuff. Yeah right. OK, obviously that was fake news. Sad. Evidently I carried right on messing around with them.
So shoot me ;-)

Jon x

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Roll with it.

My work obsessions tend to happen in short bursts of intensity, concentrating on one area of interest, before running out of creative steam and allowing the next obsession to surface and be indulged. I guess most creative people are like this, but I may be wrong.

This constantly changing focus is a good thing in my view, as hopefully, I never continue a creative idea to the point of staleness. I have a well developed self monitoring system in place that flags up half hearted effort, and alerts me when it becomes apparent that I am starting to just 'go through the motions'.
As I am doing this creative work largely for my own satisfaction I find it unsatisfactory to make things because I 'should' rather than because I want to.
(Yes, that is a kind of creative privilege in action if you like. If I was doing this for a living, (yeah, right) I would have to adapt somewhat. . .)

Not to say that I don't come back to a particular obsession after a while. That happens a lot, but by the time it comes round again, I have regained the spark of originality and refreshed the creative curiosity to tackle it again. Either that or I have forgotten how I did something and have to rediscover the hows and wherefores of that technique.

I obsess about textures, and produce textured beads for a while. Then maybe I get into image transfer and the ins and outs of that, then I might explore jewellery, such as cufflinks and earrings etc, any of which might involve textured or image transferred beads. I might switch my focus onto surface effects, like crackling and marbling etc. Anyway, you get the idea. Round and round I go ;-)

My most recent obsession is using simple, rough bead shapes and surface effects in such a way as to make them look like they have been made out of ceramic clay on a tiny wheel. . . I call them 'pot' beads. I posted a couple of pics of some earlier examples a couple of blog posts ago.

Obviously they aren't made on a wheel, tiny or otherwise. They are actually rolled. Not to give too much away, not that there is much to give away really, I roll balls of polymer clay between various 'things' to get the shape I want, then pierce a hole with a bead pin and play with surface effects, some before and some after baking. That's about it.

I really like them, but I'm probably coming to the stage of repeating myself in a less and less interesting way, so I think my next obsession is about to emerge. I wonder what it will be? I haven't made any buttons for ages, or 'shards'. . . hmmmm. . .
Jon x