embracing imperfection

Whale TaleThis one’s not for sale. I will wear it as a reminder… to embrace imperfection and go with the flow – swim with the tide. When I made it in Cynthia’s PMC class, I had a vision of a flat whale charm with swirlies on his back, and that is what I had… for a few minutes.

After it came out of the kiln, I broke his tail. I spent a few minutes with Cynthia talking about how to fix it, but Jill had a better idea. “Why not wire it back on so it can wiggle?” hmmmm. Not what I had in mind, but sooo much cooler than the original idea.
A bump in the road turned into an opportunity to make it better.

I am an anti-perfectionist. I grew up seeing first-hand that perfectionism can be a curse, so I went in the opposite direction.

In my classes, I try to take the pressure off of my students by teaching them to enjoy the process, not to focus on the final product. Embrace the journey, have fun, trust, create without a pre-conceived notion of what you want your art to look like. In this instance, I did not take my own advice. It took a few moments for me to give up my ‘whale vision’ but once I did, I was much more satisfied. When I look at it now, I don’t see a broken whale; I see innovation, collaboration and trust.

So… once again art lessons and life lessons are one. Trust the process and the Universe. Go with the flow. Let go of pre-conceived notions. Have fun. Everything will work out in the end.

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precious…

CLASS: PRECIOUS METAL CLAY SILVER / TEACHER: CINDY QUESENBERRY

LOCATION: RAWLS MUSEUM ARTS, COURTLAND, VA.

pmc-ring

Precious Metal Clay is absolute magic in a tiny package. A little lump of gray mush that, when fired, turns into fine silver in any shape you choose.

I tried a Precious Metal Clay class about 10 years ago but found it daunting (and sticky). This class was different! Cindy is a great teacher and we had a blast. She made it easy. We talked about what we each wanted to make and she helped us engineer it. Every student in class made several really nice pieces!

Roll it out super thin, add texture, cut into shape, dry, clean, fire, patina and polish. Add a necklace or bracelet finding and voila! Gorgeous jewels!

Precious Metal Clay Bracelet

WHAT I LEARNED: Precious Metal Clay is a serious sculpting medium. You can make the most intricate carvings and capture the tiniest details. It is a bit spendy, so the class is a bargain! I think I will keep taking the class instead of buying the tools, kiln and supplies. Cindy has so many options for textures and she is so generous with her findings, tools and encouragement that it makes it more than worthwhile. You could take her class over and over and make something new each time.

WHAT I LOVED: I love wearing my PMC jewels. I get tons of compliments. The class was nice and relaxed with some chat time during firing… a great day! Thanks to Jillybean for sharing some photos.