Sometimes an artist needs to evaluate the what and why of their art. That's what I've been doing lately. Learning and doing should bring me joy. That joy comes through in my creations and when there is no joy perhaps I should try something else. That little voice in my head questions me and asks "Have you practiced enough and do you understand the process? Should you try one more time to improve your skill and see if you find joy?" So I take another class or watch another video and try again! Sometimes that works and sometimes not. This year I took a class with Susan Lenart Kasmer at Art Unraveled - a little different technique and using liquid enamels.
Susan's classes are always enjoyable as I love her art, jewelry and her outgoing personality. She is a good teacher but this time I was frustrated with my progress and my project. Usually I have a lot of things to show from the class. Not so much this time. When I got home, I decided to get some liquid enamel (which is a fine powder until you mix it with water or fire it with a torch). I have all the other supplies needed and want to improve my skill set. One of my objectives became finding joy in the process or final piece.
|Map Gas and Torch|
|Cutting copper discs (26 gauge copper)|
|Dapping or forming copper domes|
|Different sizes of domes|
|Counter enamel on the backs and liquid enamel on the fronts - ready for the torch!|
All this took time and I actually enjoyed the disc cutting and dapping. I admit to dropping a couple of discs after the powdered enamel was sifted on and having to redo those pieces. This entire process took about 3 days. When the discs were fired and arranged by size and color I started stacking the beads for necklaces. The necklace with 5 beads was my initial concept. I certainly did not need to make so many discs but it was nice to have several to choose.
I had enough extra discs to make 5 necklaces with one stacked bead each. Putting these together, deciding which to put on top and how many was fun. I'll have them in my fall collection.
The question remains: Did I find my joy? Do I want to continue with enameling? I know I can but do I want to? The answer is still out there. I'm not ready to sell all my supplies nor am I ready to focus on enameling. So I'll just wait a while and see what develops! It's always good to expand your skill set.
Enjoy the up close video of the original concept!