Lately I’ve been “shopping my stash” for new design ideas–going through my countless drawers of goodies (beads, findings, wire, chain) to see what inspires me. It’s a concept that’s become popular in home decorating, seeing what’s already on hand that can be repurposed/rearranged/upcycled.
I have some examples today, riffs on an older design. I’m using tiny, tiny hand rolled silver beads culled from strands of Thai hill tribes silver beads. I used these a couple years ago, alternating the silver beads with turquoise chips.
But this week I’m using tiny, tiny, tiny turquoise chips. And teensy tiny pearls. And very, very small faceted crystals of smokey quartz.
How tiny? Well, the pearls are about 2mm. The turquoise chips, about 3mm. I cannot even imagine how the holes are drilled in such tiny beads. (For reference, I’ve put a #2 pencil in one of the photos.)
My thumbs hurt from picking up such tiny things, and when my eyes began to swim a few minutes ago, I decided to take a break and write instead.
But it’s worth it. Because I love the extreme delicate look of these. And I especially love how the tiniest of my artifacts (stones, otters, birds, bears, horses) look with them.
The weird thing is, sometimes as my brain struggles to wrap itself around this miniscule work, I can feel my thoughts narrow down, too. For example, this is what popped up as I made a little stone for one of these necklaces today.
I realized I’ve always hesitant to show my work in “real time”–as I’m making it, etc. So much of my work has been copied over the years. A “crafter” here in NH actually “borrowed” my popular Sea Stone and Pearl designs a few years ago, to make her own line of jewelry with the same colors, identical components, even a similar-sounding name. She was on my mailing list for awhile, so she either bought some from me or visited my booth the year I introduced them. She now sells them at smaller fairs in the region. Ow. Last year, a customer came in who’d bought a piece from her and raved about her work, saying that I would really enjoy it, because “she does stones, too.” I had to bite my tongue….hard. I see some evidence she is evolving in her designs so that it’s more her own work.
I console myself with the idea that I must be one of her artistic “heroes”. And pray for her to evolve faster….!!!
My lizard brain wants to dwell here, nursing old hurts and grudges. But I try to let go.
After all, I can’t control this. And though it’s painful, I’m trying really, really hard not to give it too much energy anymore.
We are ALL inspired by others. I am. I just try to make sure that, as an idea comes to me from someone else, it gets substantially transformed into something that’s truly mine.
It also happens that different artists work through different ideas from different directions, and innocently converge onto similar territory. That’s happened to me a lot, too. There are, after all, very few truly new things under the sun.
Whatever. It happens. It’s time to move on. And so, in that light, there will more images in my blog from now on.
Who benefits? YOU do! You get to preview my new work for the show. You get to sneak a peek at
the less messy parts of my studio.
Hopefully, I benefit, too. I get to spread the joy as I work.