Learning to be flexible has been a hard-earned lesson I've learned in the last few years. My natural inclination has been to be decisive, organized, and planned. Generally, this is a good thing. Except in social situations where flexibility is a better quality to have. In my 20's, I worked on this decisiveness by saying, "I plan to be spontaneous" (for real...you decisive people know exactly what I mean) and mentally prepared to be flexible to the preferences of other people when it came to choices of activities, restaurants, and general "where do we go next?" However, work and life have trained me to integrate flexibility into my life overall...am I going on this trip, not going on this trip...moving across the world, not moving across the world...when am I moving...when am I taking this trip...when is this project going to complete. The planning side is still there. But, now I prepare for options.
In running a small business, changes can become glaringly obvious. What I enjoy about the art community that I have been getting to know is the support and encouragement I've received, even when I've been confronted with challenges: moving across the world, rebranding as my studio name, understanding the creative fog during migraines and nerve pain, having a key piece of equipment die (my kiln), moving to a new flat, learning I have to find an external studio to do my industrial art of lampwork. Through it all, I've had wonderfully patient customers who have been supportive and have let me breathe and create happily. I genuinely appreciate the generous encouragement and tolerance.
So, let me give you the latest update...
One of the important ideas is maintaining a sense of continuity as I travel through this adventure of change. When I sift through my portfolio of work, it has a very broad range of design elements. I love experimenting. But the common elements...glass, swirls, and simple florals. These are the elements I will bring through my work in the following year.
Something new for the shop this week.
I also came to a conclusion that I needed to work with a home studio for now. Health concerns and time/financial constraints are putting boundaries around the studio space. I need to examine what I can do in my home. Jewelry is good as a therapy to deflect my mind's concentration from pain. Also, I'm hoarding the stash of glass beads I've made for inclusion in pieces over the next year, since I won't have access to a lampwork studio for an unknown period of time.
I love the Southwest of the US, western things, country, small town living, and nature. I can also officially say, that I am an un-urban girl. Living in a city in the Far East has changed my usual source of inspiration. I am challenging myself use urban and Asian inspiration that I wouldn't usually think to use in my designs. I had a few hours, a Starbucks Chai Latte, a Moleskine journal, a bus ride, pictures, and a page full of words and designs that I'm trembling to realize in 3-D. Expect some very different designs over the next year. I hope I won't give you creative whiplash as I experiment...
- Metal clay - silver, copper, and bronze (Silver Clay Creation)
- Leather (A.H. Moon)
- Metalsmithing and enameling (Asimi Art)
- Glass fusing (Warm Glass - Brad & Jody Walker)
- Free form seed beading (Beverly Ash Gilbert)
Kanna Glass Studios Blog
The following content will continue to be part of my Kanna Glass Studios blog:
- Hong Kong Chronicles
- Hong Kong Art & Craft Finds - I've been stumbling slowly across little art and craft finds in Hong Kong. Since I don't read Chinese well, it's usually by word of mouth or just walking around that I find these little gems.
- Favorite things - book reviews, random musings, photos, and general miscellaneous items
As I transition some content to the Artfire blog, I will post summary links.
Artfire Shop Blog
My Artfire shop now has an integrated blog. I love this feature because it will allow me to bring information about my work closer to my shop, highlight artists, and give me the opportunity to publish some of the business tips I've been learning as I go to the Handmade News website. This is a fantastic free resource of articles that artists/crafters have generously shared. It's a new repository of information that's only a few months old, but already has a wealth of information. It's easier to read than the forums when you're looking for useful info.
Regular features of my shop blog will be:
- New work
- Featured Artisans
- Featured Items
- Business Tips
- Inspiration (Design Challenge)
My newsletter will now be organized to summarize the key articles. There will be two versions:
- Artisan Jewelry Collector - previews of upcoming collection, highlights of featured artisans, featured items
- Jewelry Artist - previews of upcoming beads and findings, highlights of Business Tips, Design Challenges
That was a mouthful, wasn't it? My mind is brimming with ideas and I am so excited to experiment. And scared. I bought yarn a few months back to knit myself a sweater and stared at it for six months. Now I'm knitting feverishly (the sweater that I cast on 12 times and finally cast on the 13th time as a scarf) and staring at the metal clay with a fluttering heart. I'm scared....I'm excited. I will try not to give you creative whiplash. It's going to be a fun ride...wanna come?