I recently had the opportunity to work with a lovely couple designing a set of lights for their kitchen. They knew the color scheme they wanted and the shape of the lights that made them smile. Then they left their project in my hands. After a number of emails and conversations, I narrowed down the choices and to my studio I went.
The creative process involves many more decisions than one would first think.
And the weight of those decisions is amplified when the work is being created for someone else, not just for the artist. Having art flow from my head to my hands to create something I love is one thing; trying to get it right for two other people in addition to myself can be a daunting task. I must say that all of us are thrilled with the results (check out the photo on the Visual Voodoo 2.0 page) and I truly had a blast working on this project!
Perspective is an interesting thought to me today. Actually I’ve been shifting perspectives over the last couple of days due to an unfortunate fall that left a large knock on my skull and the fog of a concussion in my head. I have had to slow down, not from wanting to, but rather from having to. My brain zones out when it wants to and leaves my body just sitting there. Just sitting there! (The nerve!) I tend to move with oomph and dialing it down is a foreign flavor to me. I grasp at thoughts…ideas…only to lose my grip on them and I watch them float off. I vow to recapture them someday. I will seek them out and engage them and create wonderful new….”what-evers”.
As a result of my recent misstep, I haven’t been in the studio much. Prior to that, I was on a trip to the east coast of the US. A lovely trip! A chance for me to explore new surroundings and revisit some familiar ones. To once again feel an ocean breeze and smell the sea on the air. To hear song birds singing beautiful songs to celebrate a sunshiny day. To see parents show their young ones the fun in a carousel ride or a balloon hat. To be surrounded by different languages and cultures on the subway. And to realize that no matter the language so much of human conversation is universal. A teenager will have the same expression of exasperation with their parent on their face regardless of their spoken language. An elderly couple holding hands while strolling through the park speaks volumes.
I came home with my head swimming with new ideas and inspirations. I was ready to hit the studio and create with some new perspectives. Little did I know my head would also be spinning and I would be seeing things from another new perspective….laying on my back, looking up at the sky with a lump on my head. I am planning to get into the studio later this week and see just where all this will end up. It should be interesting to say the least.
Well things at the old studio here have been a bit final-result unproductive. I have just been squished between other projects (life) and creating the elements for future final projects. It is a weird feeling…you know in your head that you are making progress, but when you look at your workbench you just don’t see much you can feel a sense of accomplishment about. Pieces of glass here and there, scattered like so much dandelion fluff. (Ahhhh— the stuff we always call “wishes” around here)
Colors and ideas pulling at you, begging for your undivided attention, urging you to toss aside sleep and food so they may live.
I have spent the last 3 days experimenting, puzzling, plotting and planning how best to get the glass to do what I want. It is being stubborn. As am I, I think. And that is probably the coolest part about working with it. You actually have to work WITH it. And you have to figure out HOW to do that because glass doesn’t actually speak and make it easy. It talks in other ways and getting the communication aspect figured out is precious and time-consuming and can lead to a lot of cursing. And a feeling much like this
I shall now go and make a wish on all the dandelion fluff on my workbench that the glass and I get our communication in sync. If only it were as easy as clicking a button….
Enjoy your day and may good red voodoo surround you.
It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. There you are, humming right along, working on a project, thinking your master plan is a terrific one…When you open up your kiln, only to find something that bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to your original vision. A strange emotion washes over you……
Yeah.. THAT’s the one!
And in those moments, when it is tempting to question the voodoo of the Universe, I am reminded of the late, great Bob Ross painter of “happy trees”. Every time he would say “A nice, old pine tree lives here”, by God, he was right!! He had an incredible way of taking a blank canvas and after 30 minutes, finding all the trees and bushes, streams and rocks that lived there, just out of our initial view. He was always reassuring us, “It’s your world….you can do what you want” and “There are no mistakes…..only happy accidents”. And I believe him.
It is not easy to see a raving disaster in your kiln, feel the panic that goes with it, and know that it truly is a “happy accident”. Having to figure out a new plan is tough. It is a challenge.
And I like challenges.
And I like Bob’s approach to them.
I also like a nice Canadian Mist and Ginger Ale with crushed ice. And usually, that will help with the “raving disaster panic” part….Rarely does it help with the “figure it out” part.
So thank you Bob Ross…..you always offered the best kind of voodoo to the Universe!
Click the photo.
Ok, so this is also exactly how it feels when you open the kiln and your item has turned out the way you envisioned it.
A feeling beyond all words.
Welcome to Red Voodoo Glassworks’ blog. This is an exciting time for me here at the studio. The store is up and running after many, many a long day….night….day…night…you get the idea. I have a nifty link to the store site on my “links” page and also on the home page (Thanks, Nikki….O great computer Swami!) Please check it out.