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Hey glass bead makers. Are you up for a challenge? One that would help us to really push ourselves creatively?
If you work on new designs for each season or just new designs in general you know that coming up with them is no easy feat. Yeah, sometimes you’ll get a great idea or something comes to you but I bet it’s not as easy as that sounds.
Are you in a slump? Do you wish you could develop your own style? Do you want to share the process and maybe even show the world along the way?
I ask again, are you up to a challenge? One new bead design a month for 12 months. That’s a pretty big committment, yes? Come on. I know there has to be a handful of you out there that are up for it. Depending on how many of you are out there I have some ideas.
Email me or comment here if you’re game and we can toss around ideas. All I ask is that you be committed.
Do you ever get that feeling of ‘oh no. what did I just do?’ I’ve had that feeling a few times in my life when big decisions were made and there was no turning back. Even if I was happy with the decision it was the feeling of being forced to stay committed to something based on my own choices. I felt that way the day we signed the papers for our house. That was a big decision. I felt that way the morning I woke up after I got married. Hee hee. I felt that way when I took my first pregnancy test. No turning back now guys. So no use in worrying about whether it was a good or bad decision.
I also felt that way the first time I turned my torch on in my studio. I had previously been working in polymer clay and sold everything to fund the new glass lampwork studio. I was fully committed to glass in all of my beginner-ness. I was so excited. I had been renting torch time at Cave Creek Glassworks and decided I was ready to have a place where I didn’t have to pack up my supplies every time I worked.
The day came to light my torch and and aside from being terrified of it exploding because of the way I hooked up the gas and oxygen, I was giddy with anticipation. It lit just fine. The fire stayed where it was supposed to. Ventilation worked perfectly. Time to melt some glass. I made my first donut bead (I worked very tiny in those early days) and it didn’t work like I expected. I tried a few more and it wasn’t feeling as good as it was supposed to or as it had in the past. It was then that I had the distinct feeling that I had made a big mistake. I missed my polymer. What had I done?
I still get that feeling every once in a while. I have so much time and money invested into this thing they call glass lampwork. Some days (usually after a long day of production work) I wonder what would happen if I started to lose the desire to do it? What if someone moves my cheese? What would I do? What if one day the designs just stopped coming out of me and never returned? What would I do? I see people changing mediums and working into different areas like painting and precious metal clay and it scares me a little bit. It’s like breaking up with a boyfriend and having to start all over.
And then I tell myself to stop it and focus on what I’m doing. If that day were ever to come, I’d be ready for the change, right? Yikes.
How many times can one person step on tiny shards of glass, in a glass studio, where tiny shards of glass are known to live, before they realize it’s time to start wearing shoes? While that seems like a hypothetical question, it isn’t. So I ask, when will I learn?
Since moving to Arizona 10 years ago I have developed an aversion to shoes. Definitely an aversion to shoes that require anything more than sliding my foot in. I do wear tennis shoes (are they still called that?) when I know I’m going to need long-standing comfort. But other than that I wear big clunky slip ons or flip flops. Yay! It’s flip flop season again.
Now, not that that flip flops are that much of an inconvenience that I couldn’t be wearing them in the studio but my feet don’t like anything on them. They tell me this. And I know, I know, open shoes are not the best for flying glass safety either. I can’t work with shoes on for some reason. I was concerned that at my demo this weekend that I’d want to take my shoes of and work barefoot. Don’t ask me why. My feet have nothing to do with my work.
As I think about wearing something at least on the bottom of my feet for safety from stepping on tiny pieces of glass I hear a voice in my head telling me, ‘But it really doesn’t happen that often, and when it does, it’s really not that big of a piece of glass, and you do get them out pretty easily, and it really doesn’t hurt for that long. It’s worth it.’ What kind of reasoning is that??? Put on some dang shoes Greenberg!
Oh, and obligatory bead reference (see how long I was able to stay on track with only talking beads and bead business? A week? Maybe two?) The bead shown here is an earlier experiment with the encased stringer cane in shades of purple. Once again using a large band of color and some dots to fill surface area in order to not have to place as many dots. You guys aren’t falling all over these and you really should be because I showed them at the demo and they were well-loved. I hate when I hear ‘you really need to seem them in person’ but it’s the truth. I’m going to bring lots to my show in August and then Tucson in September. This design is a winner if I do say so myself.
So, it was Monet’s then Stitched beads and now these…still don’t have a name for them but they will be my line this year, for now. I can’t wait to be called to the earth tones some more. I’ll still have some Stitched beads for a while too since they’re still popular.