Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Creative blocks


#1

I’d like to start a new thread. I’m sure it has been here before but
I have only been coming here a few weeks (and already leaned a wealth
of info).

What do you out there in jewelry land do when you get a creative
block? Usually I make bezels or parts until it passes knowing I’m
making stuff I will eventually use but my shop is getting over run.
Any thoughts?

Dave


#2

Hi David…

First, I look for a new technique to learn. Usually learning will
inspire me to get out of that creative block. Second, I peruse art
books. Sometimes reading about some aspect of art history will also
create a moment of inspiration.

When those fail…I eat Twizzlers, kick back, relax for a short time
period. Sometimes the brain just needs a vacation, like with anything
else!

Miachelle


#3

I try to look at anything that has jewelry. Not to copy but to give
me inspiration. I don’t want to get involved in the "art/not art"
conversation. But I’ll look at it all. It may not be something I
would like to wear, or even think is wearable, but If I learn
something, like a unique cold connection, that can inspire me. My
problem lately has been the “avoidance pendant” A piece for stock.
Fairly simple, stones aren’t too fragile, has given me a little
trouble “no I don’t want to be jewelry”. But I just keep putting it
off. I’ll clean the polisher before I’ll work on it. Perhaps its the
design, the bosses, or perhaps I’m just waiting for spring… one
day I’ll wake up, sit down and finish it, probably quickly. With
this piece it’s not a problem, it’s for stock but when it’s for a
customer with a deadline I need to get out of that slump. Fortunately
I work with other jewelers. Sometimetimes it helps to have other
people to bounce things off of or even say…“I’ll trade you my
avoidance piece for yours”

Good Luck,
Candy


#4

When I just come up with a big black hole where the ideas should be
and no motivation… I surf the web looking at jewellery, plants,
insects (Google image search), look at the galleries on Orchid, page
through jewellery books and my own sketch book until my muse returns.
Sometimes it takes an interesting color combination of gemstones or
metal, sometimes just looking at a variety of different styles hits
the “on” button in my brain. If I get really stuck, I get out one of
the “how to” jewellery books and start with project one (or where
ever I have left off from the last time I was stuck) and work through
it. I gets me going again.

If I am having a bad idea day, I want to make something but the
designs just don’t come, I take out my stones and move them around
until I have something that pleases me… colors, texture, shapes.
Then I figure out the metal around them. If all else fails and I
don’t want to leave the bench, I hammer. Wire, sheet, scrap,
whatever. Hammering is cathartic and usually I can let my mind
wander. I either end up with something that I can incorporate into a
piece or a headache. =)

If I don’t want to sit in front of my bench but still want to make
something, I make chains somewhere other than my bench. (I work at
home so I have the freedom to move around)

When none of the above works, I abandon it and garden or cook or
play with my kids. Then I am up the next morning with a brain
overflowing and no way to get it all down on paper before the ideas
flee, much less get them all made. I am hoping the good ones are the
ones that survive, but since I can’t remember the others I’ll never
be sure.

Michelle


#5

Hi David,

I suffer from blocks all the time - especially after a series of
difficult shows after which I am craving some down time, but I find
that too much down time becomes an enemy. I imagine it is different
for everyone, but it is very important for me to keep working at
some kind of even pace to keep the ideas flowing. And when I do get a
serious block all I can do is work through it, little by little. If
I instead avoid my studio, it only gets worse. My advice would be to
stop making bezels etc - it’s kind of an avoidance thing - just
start making pieces, even if they’re bad- keep moving and eventually
you will find your pieces morph and spring into ideas and you can
start moving forward out of the abyss.

Good Luck.
Grace


#6

I’d like to start a new thread. I’m sure it has been here before but
I have only been coming here a few weeks (and already leaned a
wealth of info).

What do you out there in jewelry land do when you get a creative
block? Usually I make bezels or parts until it passes knowing I’m
making stuff I will eventually use but my shop is getting over run.
Any thoughts?

At this point I’d be absoloutely thrilled to deal with a creative
block while I’m looking at my job box overflowing with orders…
Dealing with the occasional creative block is a piece of cake
compared to having angst because the phone is not ringing and the
job board is bare. Try visiting a gallery… you might see your own
reflection in a piece just waiting to be created.

M.Mersky
www.mmwaxmodels.com


#7

Hey David-It’s a good question and I am sure you are going to get
lots of good answers…For me I have several things I do to stay
inspired.

  1. Music… Weird I know but I have pieces I listen to over in over
    depending on the kind of work I am doing and pieces that help me get
    back on the creative track. What works for me likely won’t for you
    but then again listening to music that inspires you in one way or
    another might help.

  2. Walk about… Getting out in away from my studio helps when I am
    stuck. Walking in the park, zoo heck even the mall and watching the
    world a round me will often get me thinking about my project from a
    new angle.

  3. Brain flush… That’s a term stolen from my 1st father in
    law…When he got stuck he’d take a day to get out in nature (go
    fishing or hunting) … Here in the Metro I flush by going to the
    Chinese or Japanese garden. One of my writing buddies hits the hot
    tub or sauna for a break. He also makes a practice of sitting zazen
    at least once daily to prevent writers block

  4. Fact finding… This is going to sound pretty odd but getting
    out and walking the galleries, fairs and festivals around here helps
    me alot when I am stuck. See what fellow artists are doing with the
    same materials.

That can be damn eye opening.Hope this helps and good luck!

Amy


#8

I’m going through that right now. I finished the season completely
burned out- didn’t have an idea left in my head. So I took a couple
of weeks off over the holiday and did other things, mostly cleaning
and sorting projects. Now I’m trying to get the motor started again,
since I have several commissions I’d been putting off until now.

This week I’ve been doing easy things, trying to get the hand
working again before I even touch the two sets of expensive
watermelon tourmaline butterfly wings I’m supposed to be making into
a butterflies-on-a-branch pin. I’m not there yet, but getting there.

Janet Kofoed
http://users.rcn.com/kkofoed


#9

A sketch book. The time honored tool for ideas, doodles, sketches
and general record of madness. Always keep one with you through
sickness and health. It’ll be a valuable resource for future
projects as well as a reminder of forgotten images and ideas.
There’s nothing better in the world.

In the meantime…take a vacation or, if that’s out of the question,
a long hike in a wilderness.

Peace. Kim.


#10

In a way creative blocks are a blessing for me. It is during these
periods that my studio gets cleaned and straitened out, tools get
polished, inventories of supplies are made, Kiln gets a new coat of
kiln wash. If I still have a creative block, I make bezels (guess
there are a few of us who do that), weave chains, make jump rings
(they come in handy), and make toggle clasps. Just routine stuff,
which takes no real creative efforts.

This summer, I was really blocked, and getting desperate. While
cleaning the studio I found a batch of cuttlebone,left over from a
workshop I had taken some years ago, and I decided either to put them
to use or to get rid of them. Decided to do something with them, and
made some cuttlebone castings. That shows how desperate I was, as I
am not a fan of cuttlebone castings. I may, or may not do anything
further with them, but they did help in getting me out of the
doldrums.

I also took a workshop in a new technique in enameling, and am eager
to put it to use.

Alma


#11

I second the sketch book idea. I always carry a small notebook (it
keeps me organized) and whenever I’m stuck somewhere, I do stream of
consciousness sketches. I usually end up with one or two ideas that
can be turned into pieces, so something useful comes out of that
wait at the auto shop or that bad, bad show.

Janet Kofoed
http://users.rcn.com/kkofoed


#12
In a way creative blocks are a blessing for me. It is during these
periods that my studio gets cleaned and straitened out, tools get
polished, inventories of supplies are made, Kiln gets a new coat
of kiln wash.

Me too. I reorganize, scrub down surfaces, do filing (the boring
paperwork kind), inventories, labeling, tool/machine maintenance, and
finish up half finished but boring simple pieces that are not so
artistic (e.g. a line of wire wrap and bead rings I make for teens).
I do prefer a semi-neat bench but often end up having multiple pieces
on the go at a time and that is what usually clutters up the bench
top.

Karen Bahr - Karen’s Artworx
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


#13

I also second the sketch book idea but with a twist. Having a photo
cell phone, I take small digital photos. This is something I keep
with me any time I am out. Being tight fisted I transfer via a Cell
phone to USB cord. $ 30.00 at Radio Shack.