Staying inspired while growing a business February 27 2015

I'm a big believer in trying something new or learning about how things work... in any field. For instance, how to brew beer or fix your own electronics. I have a fairly healthy background in technology from a professional standpoint, but it has always been interesting to me simply because the straight-forward mechanics of something can be fixed with figuring out how something works. Like magic, but all the parts to solve a problem are in front of your face and you just have to re-arrange it... so perhaps, maybe more like a puzzle.

Since it's Friday, here are a few things I did with my week that don't directly relate to my ceramic work but in their own small way yield creative returns that at some point later in time will influence my professional work with porcelain; if not a healthier lifestyle.

Making green tea and lemongrass lip | face lotion for folks like me that are sensitive to who knows what. These large tubes have only four ingredients in them: rice bran oil, beeswax, raw shea butter, and the ground up tea or spice that gives them their spring-like color.

I had a giant urge to decorate my walls in some fashion this week and I had some plywood leftover from building out my studio closet. Years ago I took Art History and Chemistry that focused on authenticating art so I learned a very wee bit about looking at artwork and how to pick it apart into a sort of step-by-step process. Essentially, what I took away and from what I learned after looking at various art from the daily habits of living in Boston was that love for a fun base color that sort of peeks through a painting. I. LOVE that. 

It looks like this, but probably better in a painter's world:

There were a handful of comments that I received showing how completely intrigued some folks were as to why I would be painting red if I wanted a blue painting. Well, here's some basic observation put to good use my friends. I'm by no means a painter, but I have always loved abstract painters like Wassily Kandinsky and folks that can really control paint with their brush. Other than that, I never ventured outside of learning more... except of course, the awesomely scientific part about history of colors' chemical makeup and being able to date a painting or seeing the layering techniques, etc. [A joyful crazy face begins to emerge if anyone wants to talk art detective!]

For one of my courses at Wellesley (a long time ago) we had to figure out which terra cotta statue was a forgery. I fretted and worried and figured I would have no idea, but we were made to plug away and do the research... in old books mind you! In the end, I actually did identify the statue that was a fantastic forgery based on body positioning, certain color variants and who knows what else. Those days were so long ago. What I really wanted to do back then though, was to get behind the protective glass and hold the piece. Oh well. That certainly wasn't in the cards for that assignment and apparently it wasn't necessary to touch the piece since only a bit of elementary research was required. Thanks art forger! You're the not the best. But, I will go root for White Collar's Neil Caffrey to fool them all.

Meanwhile, more torching of metal was happening in the studio and it is all for expanding on wearable designs.

Tiny 14k gold and gold-filled rings with porcelain pieces locked in for a long-lasting century old process. Porcelain lasts forever, didn't you know?

If studio explorations of melting wax or throwing paint around don't inspire, it's always a worthy cause to get your body out into nature. Hailing from Vermont, I figured it was about time I learned how to ski. I have gone skiing a few times already this winter. I have always been a fan of snowboarding and sledding (or standing up on a sled), so this cross-country skiing business has been a fun combo of standing up on a sled with ice skating techniques. It sure beats running on ice since I'm too klutzy to continue running when the snow hits the road.

Whatever your current focus is, I definitely recommend taking a break to do something of another creative pursuit to free-up your maker ideas and just re-focus yourself on what makes your life experiences so wonderfully human. Enjoy yourself as you grow your respective creative endeavors. Be yourself and you will easily be original.