Monday, March 29, 2010

One thing leads to another...

I've been on a creative tear lately. Probably because at this time of year I have the luxury of time. During show season I'm in full production mode and really can't take the time to experiment. The winter months, though, are my play time in the studio.

I started experimenting with brooches, using a few more layers and textures than I normally do. That segued into a pendant design, since pendants seem to be my best sellers. Yes, there is that commercialism peeping through again. Art pieces are important, even essential, for creative fulfillment. But they don't pay the mortgage. I'm always looking for that balance between creativity and marketability.

My next step is to streamline the process without sacrificing craftsmanship. One of my strengths as a jewelry artist is that I'm good at engineering and problem solving. It takes persistence and logic and lots of prototypes. Plus a constant conversation between the left and right sides of my brain!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Synergy2 and my comfort zone

Last week I was at Synergy2, a polymer conference held every two years in Baltimore. I must admit I got more out of it this time than two years ago, simply because I am more comfortable in my work and feel that I am in control of the material, instead of the other way around.

I always like the panel discussions best - and the challenge these wonderful artists throw out to us. Susan Lomuto of DailyArtMuse says it much better that I can - be sure to read her essay on polymer and its evolution as a medium.

My head is still spinning, but I've decided to spend more time working outside my comfort zone. That's hard to do because I make a living at this and it's so easy to fall into a rut - the 'as long as the work sells, keep making it' syndrome. But here goes...

Brooches are new for me and I know they don't sell well at my shows, but what the heck. I now understand why so many art jewelers make them - they're an awesome canvas!