Monday, December 08, 2008

Adventures in Photography, Insanity, and Invention

Creative blocks stink.

They sit in your head, weigh down your psyche and weight your hands so when you pick up a marker or a pair of pliers, nothing presents itself. Not even the veriest smidgen of an idea. Other people's work becomes a source of wide-eyed admiration and immediate despair, and you want to throw up your hands forever and just give up because nothing will ever, ever be good enough. Words trickle onto a blank screen, you read them and promptly delete everything. You attempt Nanowrimo, because only a totally insane person would do that, start late because of show, fall sick, write in a frenzy and bottom out at 40k words because you miscalculated the cut-off time and besides, you fell asleep in total exhaustion after one hour's sleep the night before - and the one hour nap turned into six hours instead.

The last few months have been like that.

Perhaps it's just because I've been far too busy rushing from one production to the next, but creativity has taken an extreme back seat. Mostly, I've just been too tired to do much more than hope the next day is a little less hectic.

These two weeks have been looking up a bit though - after three horrible days of migraine, I finally staggered out of bed this morning (woken up by Buddhist funeral bells and chanting, of all things) and decided to get to some creative work after I finished the remainder of the costume plot I had to plan out for the Christmas play.

The result was one pair of earrings I've named Venetian Rose, and a lot of photography. And I mean, a lot of photography. I've had my camera for about three years and still never quite figured out how to tweak all the settings until I futzed around with it this afternoon.

So, finally, after months of black-hole-in-the-mind, this is what's been taking shape over the past couple weeks.

The Alien Zap Bracelet, named because the glass beads resembled little alien planetoids floating around. This is probably my favourite bracelet at present. All the colours make me smile.

I had the great privilege of meeting Stephanie Sersich, the glass artist, in Maine several years ago before I came back home - I'm also a proud owner of one of her spiky knotted bracelets, courtesy of a dear friend and his mother. When she published 'Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads', I immediately asked my brother to get the book for me if he could, and he did, bless him. This was an attempt at her Kinetic Earrings - except I couldn't find flat discs so I improvised with some foam cut-outs for making greeting cards, some waxed linen thread and some cheap lucite flowers to pair up with some shell beads and Czech pressed glass. They -were- fun to make!

Rebecca Mojica of Blue Buddha Boutique's Shaggy Loop Bracelet with a Mercenary's Twist. I wanted to make one of them the minute I saw the tutorial, but could I leave well enough alone? Nooooo, of course not, I had to add little bits of artistic wire and beads for colour, inspired by a tutorial in Beading Daily - and since I had to handcoil and cut all those coils, it took a few days to get a relatively simple bracelet made. I wound up making an S-clasp for it as well, and I was quite pleased with how it turned out. Next time though, I'm getting better quality jump rings. These were a -hell- to close flush.

A better view of the entire bracelet. Oh and yes, that's an iPod packaging case. How on earth did I never realise that the plastic casing an iPod comes in when purchased makes an -excellent- photography stand for earrings and bracelets when one has no decent surfaces to take pictures on?

It wouldn't be be me if I didn't make matching earrings of course.

Venetian Rose. These turned out exquisite; it's just that the photographer is lousy.

And that, pretty much, sums up my day, apart from rehearsals at night. Next installment - the Overdue Chronicles of the Great Turkish Drop Spindle Project, and when I've actually -scanned- my London journal, some excursions into that too.


Mei (WireBliss) said...

Hello Shuku, happy to see you posting and creating again. Looking forward to more.

DragonWarden said...

I am soooooooo happy to see you writing here again! And even more, that you posted with some creative items you made for your own sake. :D

Yeah, when you have your schedule loaded down like that, it's not a surprise if your creativity gets sapped! Stick it out, girl, we're all rootin' for ya...

Marcos Mateu said...

Shuku, good to hear from you. I'll get to the tagging business shortly.
I see in your last post you've been busy (lots of pictures of new material!)
I hope all is well and take care in the meantime.