11 May 2009

Helicopters & Flowerpetals: Flying High and Laying Low

I spent the better part of the morning pouring through old design journals and sketchbooks from college.  In 2006, I studied with Susie Ganche at Penland School of Crafts.  In looking over my notes and designs from that summer, it seems I was in a very similar place then to the one I find myself in now.  Feeling a little lost.  Somewhat down in the dirt and yet wanting to soar off into my own life.  The theme I had chosen for that class was one I referred to as Helicopters and Flowerpetals.  Because I felt so rooted and stuck in some ways that it seemed I might never leave the ground.  And also, because I was about to graduate, about to go off and make something of my life (or so I hoped!) I was also almost reverberating with anticipation and energy, feeling ready to take off at any moment, unsure of where I would go and where I would land.

It was really an emotional time.  I feel like that a little bit now.  The good news is that I was able then to create some new rings that symbolized the turbulence inside me.  I dug them out of an old box this morning along with my sketchbooks, and polished them up for you to see.  I think these two rings are perhaps the best work I've ever done; they are certainly the most original and intensive pieces I've ever made.  They don't have names, just themes.  Just feelings. Before I show them to you, I included some scans of my old sketchbook pages where I was trying to get the designs on paper.  Well, actually, I'm more a doodler and word-jotter than I am a drawer.  But you get the idea.

Now for Ring #1.

And Ring #2.

This was a good step for me today.  

It reminds me that I've come through creative blocks before.  I think some of the techniques used in these rings might be worth returning to.  Maybe I've even gotten a little lazy when it comes to ideating.  I always want to be able to make thigns in a hurry now, or feel I HAVE to make things in a hurry.  Why?  When I made the rings above, I didn't have a husband or a son, or a mortgage or half the bills I have now.  What I DID have more of was time to myself, space alone, hours to sleep and dream and doodle and walk. Maybe in some way these rations of spent time and how they've changed over the past three years have had some effect on my creative side.  It seems to have shrunk.  I've heard people say that creativity is like a muscle you have to continually flex in order to keep it strong and at its utmost performance.  

I guess that's TWO gyms I need to get to more often.


  1. "Quality, not Quantity"... the very phrase my brother and I would always bring up in protest anytime someone suggested going to a certain (no longer in business) buffet restaurant in town :)

    These two pieces are amazing and clearly, very skillfully crafted.

    Just take your time and breeeathe.

  2. This ring is like flying through the cosmos... Both micro and macro.
    Have always loved this duality.