Thursday, July 8, 2010

Etsymetal Blog Carnival - If you couldn't make jewelry, what would you do instead?

Every month, members of the Etsymetal Team blog on a different topic and this month the topic is "If you couldn't make jewelry, what would you do instead?" At the end of this post you will find a list of links to other bloggers writing on the same topic.

At first, I thought this would be a snap to write. Afterall, I already did this. I had a two year stint with no studio and no tools.
Write a blog post, easy. Then, I got to really thinking about what I would do if I couldn't make jewelry. I love the "what if" questions, they plague me. "What if we never moved here?" "What if we never had kids?" "What if I had taken that spot at RISD?" What if, what if, I could go mad on what if's.

I got to thinking about what I would do if I could do ANYTHING but not jewelry. Let's let the obvious careers of bikini model and Italian film star go by the wayside, it's too easy a wish and I might not like those jobs once I had them?? No really, they might suck. So, what would I do if I could do anything? Dinking with my new iPhone this week makes me wish I had majored in computers in college. I'd write apps that actually work and I'd know what an MMS and SMS were without having to ask my 21 year old sister in law. I would be a textile designer and maybe work for Marimekko. I would design incredible new textiles on my iPhone. Then I would sew, I would make incredible clothes out of the fabric I designed myself, kind of like Lotta Jansdotter. Yes, that's what I'd be. I'd be Lotta Jansdotter and have a fabulous studio and make great clothes out of fabulous fabric I designed myself. Oooohhh, it's making me all swoony just thinking about it.

But, back to reality. I don't know how to design textiles and I probably won't ever learn. I have a modest little life with two young kids to raise and a husband to be married to so I probably won't ever have a fancy NYC studio where I sew and design all day. This is just about as probable as my becoming a bikini model. I could probably do it but it would hurt,...a lot. So, when I can't make jewelry, and there are lots of times I can't work in the studio, I knit.

I started knitting at the end of two really unproductive and dark years. I was pregnant and sick and unhappy and unfulfilled, didn't have a studio and was very lonely. I stumbled across a book in the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble and I taught myself to knit. My mother was a knitting teacher way back when and she helped me over the phone as much as she could. I hung out on forums and joined Ravelry. This was 4 years ago and I can't imagine my life, now, without knitting. To knit is to create something beautiful but someone else is telling you what to do. It's a relaxing refuge from the studio where it's all pressure to create something unique. It's the clicking of the needles, the triumph of mastering a new stitch or finding that a particular pattern isn't as hard as you thought. It's color and texture and pleasure and warmth all bundled into a ziploc bag in my purse. If you make a mistake, no biggie, just rip it back and start over. How often can you do that in metal??

So, the easy answer this month is, I knit. If you decide to join Ravelry, look me up. I'm Hartleystudio over there too. :) What do other metalsmiths do when they are away from the bench? You know we all have busy hands and minds, we gotta do something!! Find out here:

Victoria - experimetal
Tomi - metal riot
Brooke Medlin
Maria - fluxplay
stacey - wildflowerdesigns
Inbar Bareket
Beth Cyr

Thanks for reading all the way through!! Hey, if you want to learn to knit, head on over to Etsy and send me a convo, I'll get ya started!!!