Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Finished Dia de los Muertos and Survived Yarn Crawl

Hill Country Yarn Crawl 2010
Well, it's been busy around here!  The 2010 Hill Country Yarn Crawl crawled its way through the Columbus Day weekend.  For someone with no retail experience, an event like the Yarn Crawl is an eye-opener.  It was busy.  It was crazy.  It was exhausting.  And for the most part, it was fun. My favorite part was acquiring a cocobolo Turkish spindle from a "crawler" who has just started making them.  She's quite an artist and I joyfully bought one of her samples. The next day, I brought it with me to the shop to give it the acid test.  I'm pleased to report that it's a delightful companion while walking around the store helping customers find their yarn.

Dia de los Muertos 2010

Dia de los Muertos 2010
And after a major push last night, Dia de los Muertos is finished.  I love seeing the differences between how I think a piece will be when I start and how it actually turns out when it's finished.  I planned on using yellows, oranges, reds, and magentas with black.  I made my first flower cane - yellow and orange marigolds.  I made a few tiles in magenta clay with calaveras (skulls) set in them.  And then the piece decided to be different.  I wanted to have an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, so I located a source for the images. While I was researching her and making the image tiles, I noticed that her robe is almost a turquoise blue with gold stars.  And then it clicked and the piece went from bright, warm colors to blues, greens, purples and turquoises. The last space, above the blue tile with the red moon on the left, refused to accept anything.  Everything I tried looked wrong.  I've learned to trust that when that happens, there's something that wants to be there and if I listen, it will tell me.  So I listened and in hopped one of the marigold cane slices.  So one of them did get to be on the piece after all!  This morning I glued it down and found a green glass leaf bead to go with it.

I've also re-learned to trust the creative process.  There's a frustrating point at which the piece just will not work.  I've quit the process many times in the past when I've reached this point.  It doesn't seem to matter whether the piece is polymer clay mosaic icons, term papers for school, paintings, costume designs or music compositions.  I always get to this point.  From talking with other artists, I believe it's a universal experience. But, if I keep with it, this frustrating point is always the turning point and then the piece resolves and does so relatively quickly.  It always amazes me.  Attempting to analyze it, I think that point is the breaking point from where I thought the piece was going at the beginning and how the design is actually turning out.  Sometimes the end result is very similar to the original concept, but sometimes it's almost unrecognizable.  But the important thing is to always trust the process and stick with it.

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