one year today; a positive approach

| No Comments


Signed the contract with Glen Echo Park, as an artist-in-residence, one year ago today. Unbelievable that it has been a year. I have been on high gear almost non-stop since that day which doesn't exactly exemplify an artist's "life in balance"...

but sometimes you have to break the rules;-)

Yea, I am a little tired, gained a couple extra pounds and a few grey hairs (my first), but what a great reward for such a sacrifice.

To date, there have been 120 students through my studio doors in class, workshop, or private instruction. This year I have added an intermediate class and have requests for more advanced techniques. Although I have employed these things in my work, because I was mostly self-taught I struggle with teaching anything beyond the beginning level (I just expect everyone to pursue it trial and error like I did!) Clearly I need to get over it.

And it is time to evaluate how much of myself I make available for private instruction because apparently there aren't enough dates on the calendar. A nice problem to contemplate from a business standpoint. From the perspective of an introvert (who has definitely hit my ceiling) I have to decide where to draw the line. Those limits frustrate my entrepreneur side which always assumes that energy is an unlimited resource and should enable you to work seven days a week.

But my husband can attest to a semi-comatose wife on friday morning after a thursday night class (that followed a two-day workshop) where I have very little conversation to offer at breakfast due to being completely tapped.

My new normal.

For a while.

The joy of seeing students equipped with a new sense of creative purpose and realizing that I was the equipper is an amazing feeling. And justifies that new normal. It strikes me every day how much negative info people get regarding an artistic journey that by providing a little positive support is like an oasis in the desert. We all have amazing powers in us, but it is just as amazing how they can be diminished by one discouraging word.

So, as a rule there is no negative talk allowed in my studio. In fact when I encounter a student that talks down to themselves I actually reprimand them into some positive self-talk. (yea it seems like a double negative first, but it still gets the point across). But I have found that even a little negativity can seep into the rest of the class. I even locked the door on a youth camp and told them that they couldn't come in unless they brightened up. It was amazing to see the group transform from a trash-talking distracted band into a focused group that created some nice work (giving me hugs at the end... what could be better).

A little joy and celebration goes a long way, and I really believe this. The first person that breaks a saw blade in my class is honored not shamed. The first solder joint accomplished by each student gets a whoop and holler... it actually makes people make better art. And it helps a tiny bit in making them realize that they can be artists.

So satisfying....

And humbling, because I am just a fellow artist on a journey, just a little further down the road. But like my husband likes to say, "An expert is just someone who knows more than you do".

So I will continue to try to empower those who come through the door of SilverWorks with a new discovery or the honing of that discovery.

It has been a great year with tons of work, a great show, and a whole lot of creative growth of my own...

here's to another year.

Check out my student's gallery!

October Discover Silversmithing Workshop


Leave a comment

November 2010

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on October 23, 2010 1:00 AM.

daniel's digs in tucson was the previous entry in this blog.

Strathmore - Events & Tickets - Calendar is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.