Cofessions of an obsession or "how I got the flow"

Hi Gang,

This is a confession of an obsession. On 12-14-2000 I bought Jean
Reist Stark’s & Josephine Reist Smith’s book “Classical Loop-in-loop
Chains”. Soon there after I bought the fine silver wire to make fused
jump rings as per the instructions in the book for loop-in-loop
chains. Somehow I was side tracked by life, other jewelry work and
then major spinal surgery in 2003. The chain-making project was put
on hold. The last couple of years I have been making jewelry but it
was spotty at times. The creative juices would come and go and at
times it was very discouraging. About three months ago I purchased
the small kiln (Ultra Lite Beehive Kiln) to aide in the fusing
process. Well I finally settled my little butt down to learn and
perfect the fused link technique to make chain. Now I think I need
the help of a “twelve program”. I am totally addicted to making
chain. There are meditative qualities about the work. It is very
repetitious and soothing.

Well funny thing, now ideas are forming in my head on a massive
scale for new jewelry work of all kinds. All I want to do is work.
This state is what one refers to as the “flow”. Being totally lost in
the creative process, one loses track of the body, time and place,
all focus is on the process.

Thank you Jean Stark and Josephine Smith for a very lucid and
engaging book. Please know that your hard work on this book has had
an impact on so many jewelers.

Now that I gotten that off my chest here is the feedback I would
like to hear from you. Why does learning something new jump-start the
brain so much? Is it that once your curiosity is piqued your drive is
put into high gear? Do chemicals change in the brain as your learn? I
guess that the fact of creativity being dormant for a period of time
allows the brain to rest and perhaps store energy. Artists do have
creative “burn out” if they push too hard.

Comments or observations please,

Your orchid cyber buddy Cathy Wheless

Hi Cathy,

I too admit to loving the repetitive calmness of the Jean Stark
fused link chains but have never tried to use my beehive kiln in the
fusing. Would you explain what you do?

Betty Belmonte

Hello Cathy Wheless,

Glad you have found your muse again. My personal take on your
ebullient return to designing and making jewelry is that you were
simply “ready.” The other major impacts you describe (major surgery!)
demanded that you place your energies there. Those are no longer
foremost in your life, so your creative flow is unimpeded. I’ll bet
you are having a wonderful time!

Judy in Kansas, who made strawberry jam… more like strawberry
syrup! I dumped in the sugar too soon. It tastes good anyway -
pancakes tonight…mmmmm

Betty, the beehive kiln is used to heat the links so that you need
to only quickly touch them with the torch for fusing to take place.
Jean stark demonstrated this in a workshop I had taken with her a
few years ago.

Eve Welts, certified PMC instructor.