Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back in the Saddle (Old Horse, New Tricks)

One of the things they tell people who have never been on a horse before, is that you have to maintain control. If you don't, the horse will sense that and take every possible advantage of you. Sounds...sound, right? But if it's your first time (no matter what age) on the back of a horse, it's not quite that easy to put into practice...

It took me much longer than I expected to recover from the Ruidoso art festival in New Mexico. Last week my energy was nearly zero, and then I spent a busy weekend (my only "down" weekend this month) housecleaning and catching up on things. And I'm still trying to regain some equilibrium.

I think part of the issue was not just the physical tiredness and pain, but the mental side. I'm in an ego business - we artists have to be "approved" / "accepted" into art festivals, we have to pay for the privilege to just be looked over, with no guarantee of being granted permission to show up, then if we do get to show up (and pay for that privilege as well), we spend several days having our egos (and wallets, hopefully) either stroked or ignored by the public. And if you're not making the money you hope / need to make, you're going to (at least occasionally), feel a little bad about least some of the time.

I know the rational reasons why I had a tough show. But the emotions are not so easily managed. At most festivals, I have what I would consider realistic expectations. But for whatever reason, I really let my expectations rise for this festival: I got called off the wait list! I won a blue ribbon! I have a great corner booth! I am doing some of the best work of my career so far! etc, etc...I felt like everything was sort of converging in my favor. So what do I know...apparently not. ~wry smile~

So. What does a sensitive artiste do when she's feeling low? She tackles something new, something she has no practice in, something that is a bit beyond her reach., most people would work on something simple and easy...stepping slowly into the harder stuff. Not moi. I went into the studio on Monday and decided that it was time to make rings. Big rings. With lots of soldered pieces on them. Soldering to CURVED surfaces...ha! Because when you're feeling down, you should set yourself what seems to be an insurmountable task! I can sort of laugh about it now, but on Monday night I was ready to toss my entire workbench in the trash. Head, meet wall. Banging ensues. Repeat ad nauseum.

But I DID learn. It's coming together. Two big ol' rings are to the clean up stage, and today I'm working on some easier things (finally). Making a bunch of bezels:

Mmm...yummy. Larimar, boulder turquoise(s), more turquoise, variscite, Kingman turquoise.

And more:

Peruvian opal(s), Eudyialite, sonoran cactus, boulder turquoise.

And MORE (I can't help it, I sort of get a rhythm going when I'm bezel-ing):

Larimars, Peruvian opals, Eudyalite.

What am I going to do with them? Not sure yet. But they need bezels no matter what. And when I am ready to design with these, I'm always happier when the bezels are done and I can get straight on to designing, rather than having to make the bezel. Design. Make the bezel. Design. What can I say? I'm a batcher.  :)

Which is why I did THESE, too:

Turquoise, petrified wood (I think), boulder turquoise, Peruvian opal, Eudyalite, boulder turquoise. And then I had to stop myself. Also, I ran out of 4mm bezel wire. Pfft. And I needed to work on finishing the big rings from earlier in the I guess that was enough bezel making for one day. It gets out of hand quite easily.  :)

Now I'm planning my next big project, for next week...and maybe another big ring. With a stone, this time? I'm not sure yet...but the saddle leather is getting comfortable. The horse is a challenge but you can't let the horse be in control...the rider has to maintain control. Sometimes easier said than done...but I'm getting there.  :)


  1. What a great post! Thanks for baring your soul for us all to see :)
    And those are some yummy stones! Can't wait to see what you create from them!

    1. LOL I can't help myself (the soul baring). :)

      It may be a while before I get going on these stones...other projects await...but at least they'll be ready when I am.

      Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!