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Work avoidance on a grand scale


So I have this jewellery evening coming up. I need to make the
jewellery of course.

So far I have Tidied the workshop, emptied all the boxes of old
documents in there, sorted and thrown away anything I have not used
for 12 years (which of course guarantees I will need said tools

I have built an Ikea cabinet to house the stray tools on my bench,
put up magnetic boards on the walls, put up a wipe clean whiteboard,
cleaned every surface to pristine condition, and installed a roller
blind to hide the boxes in my cupboard.

I have cleaned every dish, pot and receptacle on my bench and moved
the cat’s drinking water so that I don’t trip over it every time I
get up from the bench. My reasoning for all this is that I cannot
work in chaos, although I do a pretty good imitation of this most of
the time.

Is it just a fact of life that everything interesting on my to do
list is near the bottom of the list? I just can’t get started. Too
tidy perhaps.

Oh yes, and now I am sitting at the keyboard. My partner is
threatening to leave if I have only fresh air to put in my lovely
new boxes at the deadline. Where have the ideas gone. Perhaps I
should ask the cat. Help…

She’s not doing any jewellery
!!! (Partner)

Ruth, UK.

That’s not avoidance behavior, that’s dithering. All the while
you’re tidying your workshop, putting up cabinets, and filling the
cat dish, ideas are percolating in your subconscious, just waiting to
spring forth when you finally sit down at your bench.

It’s all part of the creative process, like a concert pianist
settling more firmly onto the bench and adjusting his cuffs before he
reaches for the keys.

Janet Kofoed

I have visited this particular place more than a few times in the
past 35 years at the bench. I finally came to the conclusion that
when I reach a point of no productivity it is time to
PLAY!!!. Grab some new material or wax or what ever
and just Play with it. No purpose in mind, no goal, no deadline just
enjoyment at the bench. See what the new material or new tool or new
technique is capable of doing. I usually wind up with some pieces of
Proto-plast (that wonderful plastic that softens when placed in hot
water and then hardens as it cools {available through the Aquaplast
corp.}) a pan of hot water and let the creative juices flow. The
proto-plast also burns out and cast beautifully. Anyway doesn’t
matter what you play with it is the freedom that counts. Give it a
try you might be surprised what happens.

Frank Goss


Time to get your hands moving. Make five quick thick round wire
rings. Now make everyone different. Hammer, file, rivet, make square,
make a triangle, forge, set stones one end.

Before you know it, you will be back making things.


School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854

I need to make the jewellery of course. Where have the ideas gone.
Perhaps I should ask the cat. Help... 

Hi Ruth, the closer your deadline gets, the easier it becomes to get
creative… :slight_smile:

been there, doing that, Christine in S Aust


I have a doctorate degree in work avoidance!!! Having no fresh ideas
is usually the excuse, for me anyway. Or the household chores need
doing…one of the hazards of working at home! And I commend you for
cleaning your studio. Mine is still mostly a shambles, although not

One way I break through is to drag out all my stone inventory and
start playing with the gem jars. Then taking the pretty gems out and
arranging them on a small AOL CD tray, like the ones they used to
send in the mail, that has a thin layer of beeswax in it. The wax is
pliable enough to allow you to stand the gems upright without marring
them. This can jumpstart my creativity. Or it can remind me of the
original idea I had when purchasing a particular stone(s).

Then doodling in my sketchbook with a particular stone in mind. Or
sometimes just grabbing a slab of wax and drawing directly onto it
with a sharp point. If you have ideas already drawn in your
sketchbook, start making one of them. It might not be the one you are
enamored with at the moment but at least you will have a piece to
show and sell. Pretend you are in school and it is an assignment.

One trick is to get away from the computer…I put a rather
uncomfortable chair in front of my keyboard! Only an hour and I’m
over it! Whilst in architectural school twenty years ago I was taught
that to get started you need to just get started drawing
shapes…circles, squares, etc. But just do something in the process.
Give yourself maybe 10 minutes every hour to get up to refresh your
eyes and then get back to it.

It all sounds so simple and impossible at the same time but it will
work. Oh, and I also got a small mp3 player and loaded an audio book
onto it. It keeps me going for hours! Currently listening to Sidney
Poitier’s “Measure of a Man”.

Best wishes!!

Been there…done that…many times…at least your bench is clean.
I detest getting ready for shows…you just never know if all your
hard work is for naught…If the sales are bad…so it is hard to
motivate…good luck!