Today I played with silvered ivory stringer. For those who don’t know, I got a good hunk of dark ivory (the color of the glass) on a punty, covered it in silver foil, burnished it on there real well, and then added another punty, got it good and hot, and pulled it into a thin length of glass. I then made lots of lentils in different colors with this silvered ivory stringer.
It was a play day. I tried out a new technique, and had fun with it. I experimented. I had a good time – something I hadn’t done in a while with the glass.
Most of this last month, when I’ve sat down at the torch, I’ve had an order or request or something to do. I haven’t had much play time, or time to do whatever I wanted. And, it has been wearing on my. There’s this thought that I need to make things to sell. That I need to please people – make what they want. And, that’s good! I do want to be able to sell my stuff, but not at the expense of making my stuff.
Evelyn, over at ShebaMakeda, wrote a post recently that describes her very similar struggle. I reference it here because reading it reassured me that I am not alone, and reminded me of the important things. For me, the important thing is to have fun with the glass. And, if it means that I have to delay trying to sell my beads until I have more of a style and more experience, then so be it.
Saturday I sat at my torch just trying to come up with something to do. I had a very nice color combination out that just wasn’t speaking to me. I just didn’t have any good ideas about what to make. I thought, maybe I should make this… or maybe I should make that… but nothing seemed appealing. I just didn’t want to torch, and I hadn’t torched in over a week! So, finally I picked some stringer ends out of a jar and made three random bumpy beads shown here. It was fun! I know these aren’t great art, or technically difficult, but they made me so happy. And credit where credit is due, when I told my mother this, she said “Isn’t that the whole point?”
So, that’s what I want to remember as I head into the New Year. I want to remember how to have fun with my glass bead making. I want to remember how to play with molten glass. With my mother’s support, I’m sure that year two of my glass career will provide many opportunities for the glass bead making to make me happy. And, if I can make some money at it, so much the better. But that isn’t the main focus.