Sunday, September 21, 2008
Serendipity Versus Tidiness
I hear a lot of fellow lampwork artists talking about cleaning up their work tables, and it makes me feel like I should do this more regularly. I admire artists who are orderly and neat, and have a place for everything. I really do, and secretly, I wish I were one of you.
But I'm not, so I decided to think about the role that disorder (from here on out known as "Serendipity") plays in my art. Could I be a neater person? If so, how would it affect my art? I'm starting to think that it might not be a great idea for me.
When I sit at my torch, many times I don't have a plan. Sometimes, it takes lighting the torch and picking up a rod before I know where I'm going. Colors are often chosen by my mood, or by whim. Sure, there are designs that require advanced preparation, such as those using striped cane, murrini, etc., and I usually have that stuff lying around.
I have found that often my best work comes from using remnants from my Serendipitous table. My predominant style affords it, as I don't usually make clean, tidy graphic designs nor do I often make matched sets of beads. I'm not always able to recall what colors went into a leftover 1" length of twistie, so many times I'm forced to be a bit vague in my descriptions. I'm not being deliberately cagey, just honest. Making a bead can be like a treasure hunt. What can I find in my pile of Serendipity to add just the right finishing touch to my bead? Wow - a little 1/2" piece of encased goldstone - perfect! A tiny corner of foil that blew off my marver - just the thing!
Frugality is another reason I suspect that I don't just take the whisk broom and banish the Serendipity from my tabletop. I will use every bit of a rod until it's gone, using either my tweezers to hold it in the flame, or by attaching it to the end of a new rod. I know it doesn't cost much, but wastefulness comes hard to me. But seriously, do I really need to keep all of those rod ends that shocked in the flame, and sent little 1/4" chunks across my table? Probably not.
How does your studio style facilitate your art style?