2013 left me feeling drained in the creativity department. I thought that by taking the entire month of December off that I’d magically become inspired again. I was wrong. I’ve spent weeks feeling blah, uninspired and just uninterested. I finally decided I’d avoid bead-making a bit longer and work on jewelry. That was the first step in my creative turnaround. I submitted several pieces for publication and they were all accepted….YAY!
With that spark, I decided that 2014 would become a year of exploration for me. I need new skills and a new attitude about my bead-making. After speaking with some friends, I chose a few things to work on that I hope will re-inspire me.
Jenny suggested I engage in some sort of mini challenge each day. Since I don’t have decent drawing skills I’m going to attempt a small doodle every day in my sketch book. Craft-a-Doodle by Jenny Doh will be my guide.
It makes sense to then apply those simple drawing skills to my ceramics. I headed over to Dick Blick and stocked up on linoleum blocks for stamp carving. As you may recall, back in July I attended a workshop at CREATE Mixed Media Retreat and wrote about my experience in a rubber stamp carving class. I”m finally going to make regular use of what I learned there.
I also picked up two books to assist in my stamp carving; Carve, Stamp, Play by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Making an Impression by Geninne Zlatkis. I see myself using original carved designs for pendants and for functional and decorative pottery. I’m not giving up on beads, I just can’t see myself doing 100% beads at this point. I need some pottery time back in my life.
Now I couldn’t continue to avoid making beads because I’ll be vending at Berks Bead Bazaar in March so I had to force myself to get back to work. Those beads are just a few of the pieces I made last week. I’m working slowly but I”m also allowing myself to play with simple shapes. I’ve decide that my pieces don’t have to be complicated. I can use simple shapes and play with layering glazes instead. I also intend to finish my new raku kiln this spring and get that started up again.
The reality is that I needed change and I’m going to allow myself to do just that. Sometimes we have to step out of our box or comfort zone and try new things (or revisit old things). My resolution for 2014 is to explore.
Will you be exploring something new this year?