Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So, I'm in a bit of a funk. Like I said in a previous post, I'm having trouble finding a balance in my life. I feel pulled in lots of different directions and it doesn't leave me lots of time for free thought or flights of fancy. Consequently, the pieces I have been dinking with in the studio and not well thought out and are, frankly, dumpy and unimaginative. It's frustrating.

In an attempt to get my groove back, I have been trolling the web for images to think about. Something to fill the pot, so to speak. I have long been interested in Mid Century Modernist design and want to explore this design sensibility. I like the straight forwardness of it and the lack of frill and sappiness. Valentine's day is throwing me for a loop, I think. I'm not a sappy heart person, or an unsappy heart person for that matter. I had a baby on Valentine's day, that's my holiday. So, I think I'm going to forget Valentine's and concentrate on looking and listening to myself and making some pieces that speak far past the coming holiday...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

trying to do it all

So, this week I looked around my house and around my life and had the realization that "all" can't be had. My laundry lays in piles, I'm listing items in my Etsy store and trying to play Play-Doh at the same time, I'm stamping boxes and printing out shipping labels while I'm cooking dinner, I work until the wee hours of the morning and come to bed only to realize I haven't said two words to my husband all day. I realize, at this very moment, I have bitten off more than I can chew. So what gives? What has to go? I can't get rid of my kids, not yet anyway, and they are all going to have to wear clothes (clean ones) and eat, my husband is definitely a keeper and I love my book club. The jewelry, the jewelry,...where does it fit in? I can't live without it, I'm a crazy person if I'm not working in my studio. It actually happened, the crazy non metal working person. It wasn't pretty and I have several poorly knitted afghans and sweaters to prove it. But the jewelry studio, at this point, is a blessing and a curse. It keeps me sane, sure, but it's a drain on our tight finances and a drain on my time with my family. It's so hard to find balance in a life with so much love and so many interests. Right now, my children are sleeping and my husband is away and I should be in the studio working but I feel pulled to sit and to think. All this rushing from thing to thing, from love to love, has made me into a sort of robot who completes her tasks without much thought, a domestic and artistic automaton. In this new year I want a challenge, I want to relax the "sell stuff" part of my brain and flex my "make stuff" muscle. maybe even "make crazy stuff". So, I can't do it all, but let's see how it works out if I just relax and do some.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A new year, a fresh start and a good long look back

So, it's 2010 and I had a great year on Etsy. Actually, I had a great December, really great. It made me realize a few things. I can handle way more orders than I thought I could, my family is super supportive and if the laundry doesn't get done or the house is messy, nobody else cares.

One of the gifts I got for Christmas was a slide scanner. I was so excited!! I got out all my slides from printmaking grad school and jewelry grad school and started scanning. Hunh. Not so hot. Aparently, you have to spend BIG money on a slide scanner to get good images. I was hot to see all these old pieces though so I took them to the camera store and had them scanned. Viola!!! There they were, 6 years of artwork that I hadn't looked at in as long. Working as a goldsmith after graduation taught me how to work fast, work clean, polish, set stones, carve waxes and deliver great customer service but it did't flex my art making muscle. During the first 15 months of running my Etsy store I was so interested in making sales that I wasn't making work that really spoke to me. I love the pieces I make for Etsy, almost every piece has an inside story. I think that it's time, though, to make some pieces that are closer to where I was in 1999, along with pieces that are very 2010. Can it really be 10 years ago?

So, look for pieces from Hartleystudio in the future that include wood, found objects and color!

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Color! When did I loose my ability to think in color?? The surface of the piece with all the nails (a piece for a Valentine's themed show at Objects of Desire in, maybe, 1997?) is probably my favorite handling of color ever.




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In the past, I have used wood as a primary material. I need to revisit this. Ben being a woodworker is such a great resource! Why am I not using him!!!???




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These pieces are giving me some interesting ideas for bezel setting and for using found objects in my work for Etsy. Using found objects has always been a very important element in the past:




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