Glad you are along for the ride as I gear up for Glitterfest. This story really began the day after my last show in March. Exhausted , I needed a few days to rest before I could even think about what was next. I had my application for the fall Glitterfest but I needed to decide what to create. Jewelry? Yes, but how was I going to grow as an artist? What new techniques could I incorporate? How do I come up with something fresh? Many more questions than answers.
All artist are challenged by those that copy. I really try not to worry about those that imitate. My goal is to constantly push myself and work slightly outside my comfort zone ( more on that later). It is funny to me when I hear jewelry artists complaining about people copying their designs. Much of what we are seeing now like wire wrapping and using found objects is not really new. In the late '70's I bought a necklace at the Sawdust festival made of leather, chain, shells and old bolts. Looking at what artists on Etsy are selling you would think it was made recently. The bottom line- it has all been done before. So worry more about pushing yourself as an artist and less about who else is doing something. There is one very important rule though! ALWAYS give credit to those that came before you and taught you , inspired you or helped you grow as an artist.
I am grateful to many many people for their knowledge and support. Robin Dudley Howes taught me to solder and shared so many tips and techniques. Many have showed me how to wire wrap over the last 30 years. I admit, I was a little slow to catch on to the wire wrapping. Artistic classes not geared for jewelry always stretch me creatively and are just a whole lot of fun. They always add to my skill set. Lisa Loria taught me a lot about composition in her Bling Baby class and reminded me how fun it is to play with power tools. Michael DeMeng reminded me how much I love to paint and sculpt. His class brought back so much that I thought I had forgotten and left in the fine arts department at Campbell University. Ann Besack, my wonderful and crazy advanced sculpture and 3d design teacher encouraged me to trust my own aesthetic. Most recently, Brenda Sue of B'Sue Boutiques has inspired me with her blog, youtube videos and Five and Dime Challenges. You must visit her store and read her blog. She is beyond generous and knowledgeable. I buy a ton of my findings from her and she always has hard to find vintage items. (Bsueboutiques.com) Remember and acknowledge the artists that have helped you.
To reignite my creative fire I headed to Treasures and Junk in Ontario. There is nothing like a good antique store to get me thinking. I have always used found objects in my sculpture and interior design elements. I find that a theme just sort of emerges for me. The theme for my next show is often inspired by a piece of fabric, ephemera, an object or a piece of scrap book paper. Once I have some over arching theme to create a cohesive line I am ready to shop. This time around it is all about the 1940's, the dust bowl, traveling shows and gypsy souls. I have chosen colors, textures, design elements and ephemera. Have I made you curious? Save the date October 15th and come to Glitterfest to see how it all comes together.
As soon as I had the "theme" I made a few pieces and decided the scope of my line for the application to Glitterfest. With that in the mail it was tome to gather the things I needed to bring my vision to life. The above photo is a small pile of collected beads and objects I will be incorporating.
The next couple weeks are often filled with shopping. ( I love that part). I assemble and arrange the bits and pieces in my studio and the ideas start coming. I keep a sketch book handy for design ideas, to do lists, note and lists of supplies needed.
The next step. Planning how I am going to get it all done before Oct 15th. It is good to have a game plan. Tune in next time for the chaos portion of our journey.