Transition is never easy. Moving from an area of comfort, reliability and predictability into the unknown is daunting. I find myself seeking comfort in habit and routine, while at the same time rebelling against the desire for consistency. I can only stay so long in reliability and predictability until I feel the urge to break free, start a new path and see where I end up. I feel the same way about people. I am energized surrounded friends, but then I need to recede back into my own world of thought, allowing myself time to reboot in order to be ready for the next round of social interaction. I see this pattern of engagement and withdraw in so much of my life. I am intensely consumed by a project and then I pull away, off to something else.
This push and pull can feel maddening at times when I have a project sitting on my bench for month, just waiting for the last step to be complete, such as pearls waiting to be glued on to their posts or even a finished piece that needs to be priced. I so quickly transition from one thing to the next leaving in my wake half realized ideas and partially finished work. At times frustrating, I wish I could be the type of person who sees every idea to its end, but then again maybe that skill would come at the cost of the scattered ideas that pop into my head at a moments notice.
One of the challenges of jewelry is the sheer time it takes to complete one piece. The initial idea is the easy part and then comes the more structured thinking of the steps needed to complete the task at hand. What component should be soldered first? What technique is best? Which tool is the right one for the job? Do I need to order more supplies or components from a supplier? I find myself constantly transitioning from a state of creative thought to analytical problem solving and back again, perpetually in a state of fluctuation and never resting too long in one realm or the other.
Part of the beauty of jewelry is the investment of time and effort in an idea that popped into the mind in an instant. It is a challenge to embrace that momentary spark of inspiration and maintain a sense of whimsy and happenstance in a piece that takes hours or days to complete. One of the striking aspects of jewelry (or any work of art) is in the integration of free flowing thought with practiced skill. The inspiration is what breaths life into a work, while training and technique make it look effortless. I strive to strike a balance between those two concepts in my work. Fostering a feeling of effortless grace, while maintaining high standards of craftsmanship. It is a process that is never fully complete. Ideas can always be further refined down to their essence, while technique and training can be improved and practiced. The lines are forever being redrawn and the rules are constantly changing. I see the boundaries that other jewelers are pushing and it inspires me to keep exploring. To keep pushing towards the unknown. To transition out of what is know and easy, in order to uncover what spark of inspiration might be waiting in the future.