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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 2... or 364 to go...

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, you want to know why.

I’m a big believer in intuition… following it, that is. Sometimes I feel the intuition before I understand it, though.

For a while now (years, actually), I’ve had a little feeling in the back of my creative spirit that I wasn’t following the exact right path. Close, but not exact.

But you know how it is… if you don’t know what it is you’re supposed to be doing, how can you do it?

I have huge respect for beaders. I laugh at those who think beaded jewelry is synonymous with assembly jewelry. Beading requires the ability to recognize quality components, to design visually appealing creations, and to craft a long-lasting, comfortable, balanced piece of jewelry.

I love beading. I truly enjoy it with a deep passion and enthusiasm. But over the past few years I’ve begun to feel dissatisfied with my direction. Something seemed to be lacking in the process of buying beads (even if by other self-representing artists) and stringing them into artistic creations.

I had my first hint of a solution to this gnawing dissatisfaction when I realized how much happier I was if “I” had made the components in the piece of jewelry. Although I haven’t taken making my own components to an extreme (yet), I knew it was important but it wasn’t quite all.

I continued to think about many things, but it wasn’t until recently that one of those things “clicked”… felt right… felt like it’s something I’m supposed to be doing.

I’m not sure I can put it into exact words, though. But I can at least say it has something to do with recycling… or reusing… or otherwise trying to decrease my carbon footprint.

Sometimes when a problem is overwhelming, it’s easy to have the idea that whatever you do, it won’t be enough… it won’t make one bit of difference. We all know that’s wrong thinking in pretty much every instance, but I think big things tend to overwhelm individual human beings. We don’t think collectively. We are groomed to think ego-centrically. “If I can’t fix the whole problem, I don’t want to even try.”

But I am going to think collectively. I’m going to think that if I can do a little to help reduce waste, then I’m helping rather than causing more problem. I am responsible for myself.

I’m not big on bandwagon-jumping, but this is a trend I’m not only embracing… I’m also promoting.

I know I’m not the first, won’t be the last and I’ll never be the best… but I can do MY PART to reduce the carbon footprint.

A couple weeks ago, I caught an episode of one of those cooking, reality shows where chefs’ creations are judged by a panel of experts. Prior to the tasting, each chef was to give a little spiel about the dish they had prepared and served. When one chef talked about the “healthy” aspects of her meal there was much frowning. The experts said (paraphrasing), “Don’t tell me how nutritious this is for me as though that’s the selling point. The selling point should be what I think as I taste it, the flavors of the food. If the dish happens to be healthy, and that’s something that interests me, then that’s a bonus, but it’s NOT the selling point.”

I want to make jewelry the way I feel I must, but I don’t people to buy or be interested in it BECAUSE it’s an attempt to reduce my carbon footprint. I want people to be attracted to my creations as art, first and foremost. And for the record, when I say “art”, I don’t mean it in any kind of hugely important or esoteric way. Just art… like all creations. Not “artiste”… just artist.

Aside from thinking about working with recycled components, aside from thinking about the quality and strength of my piece, aside from thinking about how balanced my piece will be on the neck or wrist, aside from all of that, I MUST remember that art is art and if my creations don’t speak to others on some level then it’s all for nothing.

Can a beader go for a year without buying any beads? How would I make jewelry?

1) I can work my way through my gluttonous, already existent stash
2) I can make beads and components from polymer clay that I have and I would continue to buy Hadar’s metal clays
3) I can use recycled components from around the house, including jewelry from my extensive personal collection

While I was thinking about this, I saw a new beading component in a magazine and I thought to myself, “Oh, I should stock up on this before I begin my adventure”. Then I realized that would be like “starting my diet tomorrow”. There is no tomorrow. There is only now. I am starting now.

I even went to a bead store today… didn’t buy one single bead (even though Rubies were 30% off… Aaaaaaaaaa!!!). I bought liver of sulfur.

I haven’t made any jewelry since this started (yesterday), so I have nothing to show you yet… but I’m doubting it’ll be anything too weird to start with. Like I said, I have a ton of beads here.

Okay, talk to you later!

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