Back in the saddle

Hello again, it's been a litte while. Things have been brewing away here, as our country collectively tries to collect itself back together from the past few months of turmoil. There is a lot of grief to recover from, for us all.

For now, however, I must focus on the times ahead. I've started my Master degree in Fine Art, so my time will be further divided going forward. Finding the medium between work, study, art, life, etc... It was my intention to get a regular blog going this year, and to try to rengage and reinvigorate my online prescence, curate my feeds and the quality of my online publishing... I'm not sure if adding further study to the balancing act will make this more or less possible. On the one hand, it's another responsibility to be attended to. On the other, it makes a fine sound-board. Even if no one is there to hear it.

So lately I have been trying to find the middle ground between my tendancy to make beautiful work and my desire to create more meaningful and relevant pieces. I have been very much drawn to using recycled, found, reclaimed, and donated materials, unconventional and uncommon elements such as plastics, bottle caps, recycled cardboard, etc. Unfortunately, these materials can be quite... ugly...unless one changes them considerably to disguise their origin, and then what's the point?

It seems that the more I thought aboout it, the less I was able to reconcile the tension between beautiful work and ugly materials, and more and more it seemed like I was condemning myself to making sharp, unfinished pieces simply for the sake of being 'ugly'.

My first few classes back at university have been eye-opening, simply for seeing the work of my cohort. It's comforting to see that others are also still finding their feet in this way. I do at times feel woefully inadequate, however. I spent a couple days questioning my entire practice, and wondering  whether I was making a mistake, following the wrong path, whether I was in over my head.

I tried to work through it all. It's hard to stay productive when you are feeling these things, but I have found that jewellery making can be a meditative process, and sometimes it's easier to mull over things while I'm meticulously filing away at wax, or fossicking through metal scrap and rearranging all the shapes.

I can't deny some parts of my nature. Something I have alway loved about jewellery as an art form is its mobility. Jewellery can be worn on the body or on the wall, it can be moved about, touched, and traded (n.b - yes, I know, wearability isn't everything. There is plenty of art jewellery that is specifically NOT for wearing!) 

Anyway, as a general rule, people want to wear jewellery that they find to be beautiful, or aesthetically appealing enough to adorn themselves with. This can include the beautifully grotesque, as we well know. For me, wearability is such an important element that I feel compelled to make work that is aesthetically enticing because I *want* people to *want* wear my work.

While I'm still not all the way there, I feel like in coming to these realisations, I have given myself permission to make appealing work and I can move on to the next phase in making. I have to pull out all the stops to sell some work and get materials to make new pieces. I have lots of ideas, I hope you'll hang around to see how they pan out! 

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie.

Legal imprint