Saturday, January 1, 2011

rules, schmules

Hold on one second I need more coffee, :) K, so Its a new year, a new day, I'm totally not so sure why everyone uses this day on the calendar as the magic day of new beginnings etc, but ya know whatever works :) I personally think the New Year should be celebrated on the first day temperatures hit 75 degrees,:), which kind of brings me to todays thought process, well in my head anyways.
Rules and limitations others enforce in your creative journey. Here is some observations Ive made about myself, and my students in glass art.
When I teach children, I have found that after the safety and general instructional demo, they have lost all of their attention span and are ready to be glass artists :)
With that I walk around behind them and let them just go with it, break the rules and play. I find the minute I tell them you cant do that, of course they cant. If I totally shut up, I'm actually amazed at the boundaries they cross,and even sometimes I am like, why in the hell didn't I think of that?!!!
We cant be innovators, if we live by rules and limits other people put on us, we do have to be safe for sure, but safety and compatibility aside, run with it!
Leopold and Rudolph Blashka, in my studies were innovators in lampworking, I'm fairly certain they made their own rules as they went a long. Trial and error and the trusty PPP,
Personally, I can remember the very first time I lit my torch, I had read Cindy Jenkins making glass beads book front to back,while waiting for delivery of my tools and glass, I fired up that dragon and made one round spacer, the color was coral, I still have it :) it was perfect in my eyes! dimpled holes fairly balanced :) though I had heard I needed to practice that simple round spacer until it was perfect, before I moved forward, the main reason I wanted to do glass was to make incredible sculptural pieces, for focals etc. so I made a sculptural pink rose, now while this rose resembled the female anatomy more than the floral it should have, I thought it was amazing! I also still have it :) maybe I will post pictures this weekend. Then I made a frog sitting on the bead, my frog looked like Godzilla, my son said,yeah Godzilla after a tragic mishap with Mothra!
I also had the book 1000 glass beads ( or however many ) Instead of taking classes or reading how things were done, I dissected the design I liked and figure out how I could make that happen, MY way. I already knew how my creativity worked, I knew if I took a class, or followed someones limits, I would put myself in a rut.
Everyone learns differently,books, classes,tutorials, hands on etc, It was 5 years before I ever took a class, and I am kind of glad I waited, I also took a class before I started teaching, also glad I did that. I am not dissing classes at all! it is absolutely the funnest thing to do, be around other excited people melting glass, helloooooooooo!!!
I teach at West Michigan Glass Art Center please sign up :)!! I just want you to keep in mind, open up the possibilities, If you were to follow the rules, and do exactly as you're told in a project, you're going to wind up with a lesser copy of the instructors piece. If you take what you're shown, and push it just a little to YOUR way of doing things and seeing things and feeling things, You have just created ART.
Ok I might get flamed here, but its a New Year ( my chance to use that excuse), I study peoples work a lot, when I am excited about a medium I immerse myself in it. I have been neck deep in glass since 2003 :) we call them the Veteran artists, maybe I even fall into that category now, but over the years I have watched some very prominent bead makers, with fantastic designs,people who helped inspire me, get discouraged at sales, and the medium, and slowly but surely losing their passion for it, it shows in their work, it shows in their sales, in all tragic sad honesty I feel a majority of them fall into this trap because they quit pushing themselves to INNOVATE. New artists come along pick things up really fast, lots of info out there now as opposed to then, hints tips,forums,tutorials, classes so many resources!
I can peruse ebay now and actually see peoples work I know was inspired by mine :)
What that means to me is , I'm doing great! but its time to do even more :)
There are other "veterans" who keep pushing and developing and creating such amazing things,I sit back in awe...
You're not really "breaking the rules" You're "making the rules" or strike that reverse that, all in all, get out there , create, innovate, inspire, be inspired, learn stretch grow!

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