Today is the first time I have really allowed anyone to look at me as what I do and think, I mean that I am opening up what normally would be only available to friends. I am writing a blog for public view for the very first time. All blogs before this were only for myself or for dear friends, and sometimes some of the general friends that I have. There have been blogs on what I do and what I make and how I feel and how I am pinning and how lovelorn I am...
This isn't going to be one of those that I ramble on and on with the subject of my feelings unless my feelings are related to my artwork. Yes, I consider myself an artist, whether you will is another story. Lately I have found that not only is art in the eye of the beholder, I have found that being an artist is really in the eye of the community, the artist community that is. Whether you are accepted or not is quite the crapshoot. Some people are willing to accept and some are condescending and unwilling to allow one be free with their expressions, and then there are those that I don't see as being artists... beauty is in the eye...
So, I have painted since I was a kid, loved it, and wasn't very good at it, but still had fun with it. I don't paint much anymore, but still use paints with my fabric art. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, it doesn't matter to me what medium I work with, it all feels the same to me... sometimes though there is that overwhelming urge to get out the oils, just because they smell so wonderful and make you have creative thoughts just by the smell alone.
The past few years have brought a fascination with beads my way, the making of jewelry kind of came about with the need for a necklace to match an outfit. I had a dinner to go to and had some beads that were of no use really other than being leftovers. They were the right color so I strung them with some seed beads added in a braided manner and called it a necklace. I got a lot of really nice compliments on it, and even was told that I should make jewelry and sell it. Imagine my surprise! Something that I literally threw together and people really liked it. That is when it started I suppose, that I really thought maybe I could do something other than sew.
Don't get me wrong, I love to sew, and I have made over 100 quilts and sold many of them. I love to make clothes, especially little girls clothing. I missed out on having a bunch of kids ( I have one girl and one boy) and always wanted to make little frilly dresses. So I sew. From baby booties to intricate quilts, and just about everything in between... I love to sew. But this bead fascination has always run around in the back of my mind, through my work in (or rather on) quilts.
I learned to bead from my grandmother. She was a powerhouse when it came to anything creative. She sewed, she quilted, she crocheted, she knit, she beaded, she did just about everything creative. I was always in awe at the pieces that she made, not just any old thrown together item, they were all works of art. Her stitches always even and measured and her choice of patterns and colors were always impeccable. My grandmother's work is truly beautiful even today, never out of date, always classic... that is what I want for my work. Sometimes I fall short on that...
Admitting that sometimes you do work that is dated, or fad is kind of hard. There have been some pieces that I cringe over when I see them or think of them. Some are products of the '80s which sometimes we all wish we could forget like the hairdos and the parachute pants... ugh, but then there are the really nice pieces that I am proud of like the old door panel that I salvaged and painted, that turned out really nice and sits on my fireplace still today. OK, some of the stuffed bunnies and dolls are a bit out of fashion, but really they are testaments to the love of crafts and sewing that I have.
All in all, making things that you are proud of and stand the test of time is what it is about, which brings me to jewelry. Making jewelry is really a release of creativity for me. The timeless pieces one can make kind of make me giddy. learning to make my own jump rings so I would have rings in the right color and size, well, brought me to metal smiting... What a wonderful release of energy, both creative and physical. Tapping with a hammer is very stress relieving! There is some primal satisfaction when you make something out of metal, some deep held need is met. Useful objects, silly art objects, all have this connection with our long fascination with the plying of ore. Man has made it an artform, but it has roots in need... I guess that is why it seems to fulfill me so much!
Learning cold connections and soldering has been fun and a challenge. Smashed, burnt, sliced appendages withstanding! First Aid kits are abundant in the house now, and there is a fresh supply of safety glasses and earplugs always kept handy. The use of hammers and torches has led to another passion- collecting tools. I always thought my father was odd, having a multitude of hammers that I thought did the same thing... OK, so I knew that a good upholstery hammer was necessary but after that, weren't they all the same? Au contraire, there are hammers for every job thinkable. If you want to flatten or shape, or harden or rivet... there is a hammer for that.
The same theory for hammers goes with saws, punches, pliers, tweezers, and the list goes on... Needless to say, there is a full workshop now. But that is amazing and wonderful in itself. That there are specialized tools that make what you are doing so much easier, and they are available now to the general public. Some of these tools I never saw before I started taking classes and a few I saw in jewelers shops when I was allowed back to the workroom for a glimpse of what was being created...I love to look at new tools and old ones that are adapted to new needs...What is most wonderful about having a full workroom is that I feel like there is nothing that I can't do! Everything is possible and that all I need to start is to just start.
I am going to post some of my work in the weeks to come, and I hope that if you are interested, you will follow along. There will be a little of all that I do, so maybe something will catch your eye... if not, just ask, I might have something hidden away that you will find interesting. Welcome to my world!