I'm going to start writing some stuff down. Maybe you will read it. Maybe you won't. Maybe it will be good. Maybe it will be terrible but it will be me at this moment and sometimes I just need something to look back at and remember.
I have a problem with sharing my thoughts. I am shy and reserved. Mostly quiet in the blogosphere but I want people to know who I am, I suppose. At least, in this moment in time I am not feeling inadequate with my social skills so I am going to share.
I am a jewelry artist and I have recently switched gears. I usually focus on soft soldering with a soldering iron and use butterfly wings in a good portion of my soft soldered stuff. I want to begin to move away from that and go deeper into the metalwork. I have been working with sterling silver and metal for a long time but have been basically afraid of them in general. Part of my fear is the cost in general and also I am totally self taught in this medium so techniques have to be trial and error for me which ends up being more costly due to fuck ups.
Another reason is that I'm afraid I'm not good enough for it. I'm afraid every time I make a piece someone will look at it and say that looks like so and so's stuff. It has been a very big fear of mine since I see so many other artists' nasty posts about copying. I just need to get this off of my chest, though. I touched upon it in a previous post but this one is personally about me. When other jewelers instill a fear of copying in others it just hinders their progression. It has for me. I want to ask those artists to think back about when they were learning if they ever re-created some example in a class or a work shop? It was part of the path though, that led you to where you are now. It was permissible in that class but as soon as you start selling your items and trying to learn your own style by trying techniques you are shunned. I look at jewelry a lot to try to figure out techniques. You may have learned those techniques in a jewelry class or years of college. I just have what is available here online. So I try things out. I'm sure you have too. But is it fair to put someone else down because this ring looks like that ring? It is fair to halt someone right in the middle of their journey? Is it your duty to do so? I know it hurts to be copied. I've been copied too. But it will never stop, especially if you are successful at your work.
I've recently worked through some of this turmoil about this that I've had within myself. I've decided to give myself permission to continue on with the metal work that I have been so afraid of but so in love with these past years. I've given myself permission to love what comes from my mind, my heart and my hands. I've decided that you won't stifle the creative thundering of my heart and my soul will be rooted in love. Love for myself. Love for the ones who are struggling along their own path, trying to figure out who they are. Love that is infused in every single piece that I make. I offer it to you unabashedly and wholeheartedly.