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There are two kinds of light – the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.
One of the first big projects I took on this term for my fibre class was felt making. Our class had such a wide variety of things, needle felted critters, clothing, hats, even a needle felted wall hanging. I stuck to wet felting and chose to make a very gauzy, delicate fabric and turn it into a lamp shade. Glass beads are hand stitched on while edges and spines of the shade are embroidered. The lamp I gave no real thought to liking when I was done now sits on the fireplace in my bedroom and I love it.
While everyone was throwing around ideas for their feling projects I was wracking my brain for something a little less traditional. The memory of my mother making lampshades when I was a kid popped into my head and I took it and ran. My teacher tried to steer me in the direction of figurines, clothes or even an iphone case, items along the lines of the rest of the class members, but those didn't make me even half an ounce eager to get to work.
Sometimes going into thing completely blind is perfect. “How hard could it be?” was one thought I had when thinking about a shade. Well, this was a much more time consuming project than I had ever contemplated. Had I had an inkling of what I would put into it I may have chosen differently, so thankgoodness for being blissfully ignornat (thought even now I would do another).
Yesterday was my first class of Fibre Arts (2D) and we did the usual chatter with tours of the department, etc. but after that we got to dive in with some felting, which was completely new to me, and did two small samples.
The first was simply four colours. Black and white on the one side (1/2 and 1/2) and the other side could be any two colours we chose. It was interesting to see how the black and white come peeking through and totally change the intensity and tones of the colours. I did some blending on my black and white side too, just to try it out.
Next was using what's called a resist and though I like how my little pot thing turned out I wished I had used different colours. There's always next time right?
Sketchbooks and journals are the street lamps that illuminate the artist’s journey.
I decided a couple days ago to start keeping a sketchbook. This is not my first attempt at this, but it will be the one that sticks. I figured I’d show you a few of the things that have come out since I first cracked open the cover.
I am still waiting for my street lamp to turn on, but so far it’s been enjoyable.
I think one of the keys for me is trying new things right now so it doesn’t get boring, and seeing what draws me in.
It is after all, about enjoying the journey is it not?
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
Last night I went into the school, grabbed some light reading, and got to work on my first paper. Or at least signed some books out so I could start to work on my first paper. Two books safely in my trunk I headed to the ceramics lab where I messed up the project I started on Saturday.
Three plates, varying sizes, with lips. Plates seems an odd word to me since they are more of a dish, but really, what’s the point of arguing? Now, on Saturday I just loved working on them and shocked myself with how much I really enjoyed it. My type A did a great job on the construction on my first real ceramics project.
The second thing I learned was a little more altering than “I hate painting with slip”. It was simply that I didn’t fail just because the outcome was hideously ugly. No people, I would have failed if I hadn’t tried. I will fail if I keep this from trying something new again. I succeeded simply for the fact that I did it and learned, and am open to seeing if there are other ways I can do this that I will like (glazing perhaps?). I’m not in art school to become an artist, I’m here to try new things and expand my love for what I do. I will run into things I will never do again, find things I like, and fall in love with other unexpected things. Each and every one of those is perfect.
Interestingly enough I read these amazing words from Neil Gaiman just yesterday as I was sitting there not failing:
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
So this week I’m going to go and make more ugly things, and not fail. I’m going to try new things, and surprise myself.