Wednesday 19 September 2018

Just When You Think You're Done With That Idea, Long Furrows and One Thing Leading To Another


Just when I think a certain creative avenue has run its course, if avenues can be said to do that, something catches my attention and I'm off again. . . This time that something was these old springs from a knackered and previously mouse invaded and occupied armchair we eventually burned on the bonfire in the garden. The metal bits were left in the ashes, looking interesting, so I clipped a few of them out and took them into my workshop. On a whim I used them in a pair of drops/beads/dangles/pendants along with the usual upcycled wire grid stuff. They looked a bit nuts, in a good way, but I listed them on FB anyway as I figured they might raise a smile. They sold, and someone asked me to make two more pairs ;-) so smiles all round. . .

Digital Nouveau tile beads

I've been making variations on a theme rather than indulging in new explorations lately, which was why I was feeling that this furrow had perhaps been ploughed long enough and that I was in danger of repeating myself. But as with the old springs, some older rediscovered beads inspired some more interesting and creatively satisfying explorations.

Like use of more open wire structures and use of an almost traditional cross shape.

And the use of incised/scratched African influenced designs and a diagonal grid as a sort of 'loop'.

Some old two tiered earrings sparked the idea of twin beaded pendants on a rigid wire frame.

And some old faux ivory dragon teeth beads (from an online tut I read), two thin textured flake like beads and two electronic component thingies just seemed to work together once placed on a wire grid. There is something about the formality of a grid that seems to infer logic to the most illogical of combinations. I find this fascinating ;-)

I have picked up various bits of rabbit skeleton dug up from flowerbeds etc over the last year or so, and kept them aside as I liked the look of them. I also kept the filament from very old bulb/valve which had a mishap and broke. The two just seemed to go together once tied to a rigid frame. No idea how or why. Explanation is an unnecessary distraction. It either 'works' or it don't.  If I think it works it stays. . .

Taking the idea a bit further. .

A couple of very recent things. I love how the textured tube bead echoes the grey resistor or whatever it is. And the little black feet make me smile.

Old and new beads combine in another quite open frame to make something more than the sum of their parts. Which is the whole idea really isn't it?

Anyway, until next time, 
Jon x

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Enforced Creative Pauses and Their Usefulness. Conclusions. And Retrospective Introspection feeding Changes in Direction

I'm having a bit of a creative pause right now. Due to my workshop being out of action while a new window is put in. Quite timely, as the sill and the wooden lintel were pretty much powdery crumbly rubbish held together by a thin outer crust and/or layers of paint.

The old window was old, but nothing like as old as that bit of the house. The walls are brick and therefore comparatively recent, but the ceiling has a big beam across it with smaller ones at right angles every foot or so, the implications of which are that the room must be quite a bit older than the main Georgian/Queen Anne (1780) bit. We guess that it was part of the original building that was built around when the owners got grand notions. Nothing wrong with grand notions btw.

A fair bit of wood boring beetle activity is in evidence in the beams. Most of it historic, though I am not entirely sure about that. I have treated it with evil, anti-beetle stuff just in case. Someone who knows about these things reckons the timbers are fine so I won't worry unduly. The timbers will outlast me, beetle or no, so I'll pass the issue down the line to the next owners, which will be my kids. . . Thanks Dad. . . ;-)

Organic style

Anyway, or 'Any road up' as they say up north, this creative hiatus has got me considering things and weighing things up. This year has been a good, creative time for me. I have been busy making my beads and 'things' in the time available between DIY projects and general life stuff.

Most of the stuff I have been making has sold, often within a week of me making it, which is great, but means I only have photos to remind me that it ever existed. This is still something I am getting used to. Not a complaint, merely an observation ;-)

I made more in this shape and they sold, then I forgot temporarily

I have spent some of this downtime looking through my photo folders on my computer at what I have produced this year, and finding there were quite a lot of things I didn't remember until I saw the photo. This surprised me somewhat. The result of this retrospective introspection is that the mental list of 'cool things I really must make more of' has just grown exponentially!

lovely texture pattern

Looking at past work does make you see how your work has changed without you realising. This is all useful stuff whether you think it has changed for better of for worse. It gives you a chance to re-evaluate your creative decisions and adopt any lessons learned in the process.

subtlety. . .

As a result I have made a couple of decisions about what I am doing. I have tried making earrings using my beads and components, but found it a bit frustrating as I was very aware of how much I didn't know about the process or about the practical considerations that shouldn't be ignored. In short, it made me uncomfortable with what I was producing.

Ok but nothing special, how to find specialness, my ongoing project ;-)

I enjoy making beads and other components, then leaving it to others to decide how they might be used. I like to play with techniques and processes in an unpressured way. There is not very much to 'get right' when making beads, and if they go 'wrong' I haven't wasted much time or expense.
I may be in my comfort zone making beads, but as yet it isn't restricting me creatively so I see nothing wrong with hanging out there, it's a big place ;-)

minus ear wires. . . this sort of thing

So. . . I will be breaking up the earrings I made, which sounds drastic, but mostly means just taking the earring wire off in many cases ;-) and selling the components as just that - components. I may return to earring design at some point, but I will need to get my head into the right space if you know what I mean.
So until the next time,
peace, out ;-) Jon x