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[Digest Post] Inspiration and influence

Dear Richard, Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have always heard
the perfectionist never completes a project. Well, I do complete
projects but always know wherein lie the hidden imperfections. No
other person seems to know or care that such “imperfections” even
exist. I thank you specially for this note from you post:

...The greater the artist, The greater the doubt, Perfect
confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.
-  -- - - Robert Hughes, Time 

So, Richard, this does mean I am a great artist(I am not) or
perhaps that I at least I see some of the reasons for the personal
connection in my work and seeing others observe it. In that, I am
somewhat shy, never boastful. Looking for approval? Perhaps. Hoping
others will see what I see in the creation and somehow “feel it”?
More of the latter I suspect. Thanks for a confidence builder.


 Nothing is any harder to do than anything else; It just takes
longer to do. 

I have to respond to this Larry, because I have come to the exact
same conclusion!

And as to the point of constraints being a help to design, I agree
with that too, that’s one of the reasons I make things that are
functional. To me, to be a painter or something, would be
overwhelming, too many choices – esp. now when some artists place
more emphasis on the idea than the execution. (i.e., the idea that
the artist slept in a bed in the middle of a gallery and then said
the bed was her art.)

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Metalsmith and Certified PMC Instructor
eluther@copper.netFrom: “Renate Sommer”

Dear Ochidians, This has been such an interesting thread and has set
me thinking (and waxing lyrical) about inspiration … I seem to
have so much these days and would love to share some if I could work
out why it’s there or where it comes from.

I stopped working full time nearly two years ago to look after my
aging father and, having a workbench in the shed, and he being
nearly 90 and (of yet) fairly sound body but slightly scatty mind, I
get about 4 hours daily, on average, to do some jewellery work.

I had on occasions, in the past, tried to depend on jewellery work
to survive but generally, after a while, found it to hard to keep up
the momentum, and the ideas, and had always gone back to some office
job or other until the final one, where I worked for 17 years. But
now …


Since I gave up my full-time office job I have had uninterrupted
enthusiasm in my jewellery work and designs seem to come unbidden
into my head. I get an idea, design it in my head, roughly jot it
down and make it. This frequently leads to a variation or two. Often
after two or three I get tired of that idea and get excited at the
thought of doing something different and after about five minutes or
less of thinking ‘what?’, something pops into my head. Related
perhaps to the piece before or something entirely different. On
occasions, I have a lineup of ideas, some of which fade by the time
I get to them, but there is always something to grab and work on.

I long had the feeling that I did not have a “personal style”, but
perhaps now (after all these years, there is something emerging). I
love simplicity, strength, beauty, durability and practicality (in
as much as jewellery is practical – I mean, do we really need it at
all — silly question, you other jewellers know what I mean) and
these five ideals are always reviewed in relation to the current
idea. I also love colours and texture and the mixing of treasures
… silver, gold, steel, titanium, … oh delicious
combinations are constantly popping into my head.


My former teacher … Christopher Neave … who passed away recently
and far too early … but whose teachings will always be with me. He
always knew how to make one think … even if it meant doing random
scribbles with the left hand (for right handers that is) to alter
one’s state of mind (left hand effects right brain and vice versa).
He would frequently suggest unusual design projects … handbags and
fountains spring to mind at present … for jewellers just to get
the thought processes flowing. He was a master at thinking outside
the square and I think perhaps he somehow subliminily passed this on
to me.

Georg Jensen … always admired the strength and simplicity in his
(the company’s) designs.

NatuRe: so much going on … the strength is in the detail … where
things meet … the curve in a leaf…

Let your mind wander … there are infinate paths.


From: “Judy Willingham”

Hello Orchidians, I agree with Larry’s statement:

    I have to say that to a large degree I disagree with the idea
that constraints are a problem to creativity.  In fact I think they
are necessary. 

Limitations are another mother of invention. I have the most fun
with solving “limitations” - those problems are fascinating. Take a
problem to sleep and I find that many times the solution has been
worked out by the subconscious over night. Cool!

So far as influences, can’t claim much from dreams, but I enjoy
seeing what others have created. Museums are a great source of
thought fodder, as are books by Untracht, McCreight, Revere, etc.
Ansell Adams’ photographs, sculptures, petroglyphs, paintings by old
masters and Grandma Moses - are other fountains for new concepts.
Perhaps, vampire-like, I feed on others’ creativity to stimulate my
own ideas. Now there’s a thought. This is an interesting thread.
Lets hear some more, Judy in Kansas

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936

From: Noel Yovovich

Maybe the Greek aesthetic is working or I just have blurred vision.

Ogden Nash wrote a ditty that went something like

I’d have missed wonders plenty

If I had vision 20-20