I found these beautiful pieces of silver cutlery in an antiques shop over the weekend, and what unique bangles they made! My metalworking tools came in very handy, but I might have to make some smaller bending forks and maybe invest in a jewellers' anvil for this more delicate work. Lots more ideas buzzing in my head...watch this space!
I always feel a little sad when something has reached the end of it useful life.
A house, a car, a piece of clothing...al started out as a dream, a plan, and it was once brand new.
Maybe it is my Calvinistic roots, maybe it is an inherent capacity to look for creative opportunities.
But however, a down pillow has a nostalgy to me, a feeling of homely comfort and memories of the 'old' days.
I have an old one that was, without me having any idea of what else to do with it,
about to get binned when I decided to at least try to revive it.
Making another pillow with the stuffing would have been too messy, as the fluff was already coming out and going everywhere. So it had to stay intact. I did consider giving it to the boys to go have a real pillow fight in the park and destroy it properly, while having the added benefit of making a big mess, but that might be the last resort if this didn't work.
I traced the design on with a pencil and after painting two layers of acrylic paint, it
has evaded the dump and will now be allowed to offer some decoration to a teenager's
bedroom. The great thing about the acrylic is that it sealed the fabric quite well,
stopping the endless fluff from sticking through. I just found another old pillow that is about to expire, maybe it will become a Beetle partner in the Volkswagen family.
When my daughter's new digital piano was unpacket a week ago, the lovely boxes just begged to become something new. So a few ideas came up as they tend to do, and for a week my art table and most of the living room was posessed by pieces of cardboard in different stages of being cut, folded, glued and painted.
I just love the way you learn about a material by manipulating it, the different ways the box folds when it is single or double layers thick, the little surprises that just 'happens' like the shingles on the roof of the one fairy tower or the grass in the alcove. I just love the feeling when a corrugated piece of cardboard folds after being scored, and how well wood glue works on paper! Small joys...
The globe was made from cereal boxes and reflects a bit of my yearning for a real, grown-up old style globe on a swivel stand. The world is such a vast place and the idea of reducing it to a cardboard miniature is rediculous I suppose, but making it became a study of the shapes and contours of faraway countries, islands and inland water bodies- an abstract form of travelling and discovery without spending a dollar!
A red London telephone booth was also born. What a pleasure to layer strips of cardboard to reconstruct the mouldings on the original, and I'm still thinking about what I will use to make the little windows. It was my hubbies's suggestion to model a little telephone handpiece for the enterior as well...great idea! Wow, this creative stuff is even rubbing off on my seriously right-brained math and IT boffin!
I'm a recovering artist. I'm learning to be increasingly more fearless and intuitive in my approach, and rediscovering the joy of the inherent and spontaneous childhood creativity that many of us have sadly left behind, often in our fragile teenage years.
This process is essential for the actualisation of our dreams because our inner artist can only come to its full potential when it feels safe enough to create without the inhibitions of external approval and expectation, like a young child. I'm blessed to have precious, supportive people around me, and deliberately spend time with other unblocked, or recovered artists, who create and share and encourage freely.
But now and again it happens that I cross company with a still blocked artist, with all their preconceived ideas, rules, limitations and judgments...and it is absolute poison to my process. The person may be quite acceptable as far as character goes, but their exclusive and single-pointed philosophy about art and life in general threatens to put me back in the box I worked so hard to get out of. I refuse to be put into boxes any more, my own or others'. I refuse to sacrifice my artist child on the altar of others' expectations. I turn and run from these, to protect the delicate, happy child that is stil, every new day, starting to discover the wonders of the world.
I'm learning to trust my intuition more, to follow my unique dreams although there is no map, and it often feels like I'm walking forward in the dark. There is no handbook on being me, for no-one has gone before. And although I have learned valuable lessons from precious mentors in different stages of my life, and will keep on learning from the sent ones put on my path, the road is essentially mine alone to travel. It becomes lonely at times, wading through the distresses of artistic toil and the fog of the unknown, but the reward of finding crystallized truth along the way, waiting there just for me, the joy of finding the way opening up to my process, is priceless.
I'm discovering the dream, starting bit by bit to understand the journey, and to understand that the destination really is the journey.