Okay, time to take a deep, cleansing breath and look back at 2009. When I read over the post I wrote in Dec. 2008 laying out my goals for the year, I see that I was able to stay reasonably true to them.
Goal #1, making a piece every week, was not met. Unfortunately, I got blown off track by a serious personal issue in October. I’m still dealing with its aftermath. My energy levels are not where I would like them to be, and I’m still finding it very hard to motivate myself to do what I know needs to be done.
The process involved in documenting my pieces every week often takes longer than the actual making. Part of that is because I now take multiple photos, from multiple angles, in an effort to make every piece “Etsy-ready”. So where in previous YOJ’s, one photo would have been enough, I now take five. That means editing takes 5x longer.
I will quite often write a post, walk away from it for a while, then come back and edit. I used to be an avid diarist, which makes the composing a bit easier, but at the same time I eventually gave up keeping a diary because it took too long to write things in longhand. One of the smartest pieces of advice I ever got from my Dad was to take a typing class! LOL
The time demands of this project cannot be underestimated. In 2010, I’m going to be prioritizing my commitments, and seeing which ones can be let go.
Goal #2 was to incorporate mixed-media and flame-worked elements into my pieces. The mixed-media work did happen early in the year, but dropped off as time went on. I did start adding torched elements into some of the pieces, as planned. My “purist” attitude has become much more flexible than in the past. It is largely influenced by time/cost pressures, but I’ve also recognized that some of the designs I’m thinking of just need the structural stability soldering offers.
Goal #3 was to explore haute couture vs. ready to wear in my work. Originally, I had intended to create a “designer” or “art” piece, and then rework it into an affordable line. I got it backwards: the Marquise Series, which has been my focus for the past few weeks, started with the bread-and-butter pieces, and is now moving into the complex and involved “art” work.
Finally, Goal #4 was to rediscover the joy and fun of making jewellery. I’ve certainly been having fun with the Marquise Series, but looking back over the year, I see a lot of seriousness. Some of the pieces are narrative; that’s a new experience for me, drawing on my spirituality and life stories for inspiration. There is a lot of emotion tied up in them. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter of the year that I started to let myself loosen up.
I have a few favourite pieces: The Moonrise Pendant, accepted for exhibition in the Metal Arts Guild of Canada’s “MAGC 2067 – Crafting the Future”; “Shiva’s Pomander”, exhibited at the Rails End Gallery in Haliburton, Ontario as part of the HSTA Faculty Show; the Mother & Child Pendant; the Viking Knit Torus; and the Art Nouveau Cabachon Bangle, which has proven to be a hugely popular tutorial.
It’s been a challenging year, but also a fine journey. I’m looking forward to what 2010 brings!