Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When It Doesn't Come Easy

I usually don't struggle with the creative process.  I think this is because I buy pendants that inspire me, and that makes it easy for me to create with them.  But recently, I REALLY struggled, first with a custom order I had, and then with another piece.  The custom order was really tough for some reason.  A dear friend gave me four lovely pendants she'd bought on a trip to New Zealand, and asked me to create long necklaces with them, on silver.  I had free rein to design what I wanted, with the caveat that she didn't want anything that was "too much."  No worries, I thought.  Famous last words!
So when I returned home on the Sunday before Memorial Day, after a lovely day and night in Monterey with my family, I set to work on the order.  And it was like pulling teeth.  I guess it had a lot, if not everything, to do with the fact that I was trying to create something for someone in particular, and that I hadn't chosen the pendants.  And the pendants were lovely, but not what I gravitate towards lately - one was abalone shell, one green jade, one black jade, and one bone.  Besides the green, not really colors I typically start with. Then I felt like I HAD to make them symmetrical, because past pieces this friend had bought from me were all symmetrical.  Lately, symmetry makes my head hurt - I just can't do it, it feels wrong.  (Ironic, given that I'm someone who for years loved and reveled in the symmetry of nature and wouldn't have dreamed of creating an asymmetric necklace!)

But then I started pulling beads out and setting them next to the pendants, and starting wire wrapping, and gently coaxed the designs out.  The results are shown here, all four asymmetric! but my friend loved them all, she's already worn three of them.  So I guess I did ok!  But it bothers me as to why this was so tough.  Because it was for someone else?  It can't entirely be that, because all the pieces that go into my shop are in theory for someone else.  The key thing there though is I don't specifically know WHO those pieces are for, where here I did.  Was it because it was something I felt I HAD to do, rather than something I wanted to do?  Yes, that's it too.  That seems selfish somehow.  Anyway, while I'm happy my friend liked the pieces, I don't think I'll intentionally take on any custom orders.   This felt too stifling at first, and stressful.  And that's NOT why I do this, at all.

1 comment:

  1. I can so relate to your post, Grace. I decided to give up custom work not only for the amount of time it took away from what I really wanted to make, I found it so difficult (as well as stressful!) to make something for someone I didn't even know. The necklaces that you made for your friend are just perfect!