Monday, November 16, 2009

Studio Rules: No Procrastination and More

Procrastination -- the bane of productivity!!! I know this about myself: if I can keep the momentum, I can accomplish great things. If I start procrastinating on something, bad consequences soon follow.

Take for example, my resin project. My deadline was to finish it by the end of October. So here it is the middle of November and it's still sitting on my table, looking forlorn, while I anguish over which back piece to add, faux bone or silver. Two weeks ago I committed to silver, cut the piece out and let it dry, dry, dry. The faux bone piece was cut and shaped a month ago. Meanwhile I dithered over how to attach the pendant to a neck cord or chain. The original sketches had simple jump ring attachments at the corners, but I worried that might not look quite elegant enough with the rest of the piece.

Enough being enough, I urged myself to just decide and move on. Saturday, a trivial tube bail was added and the piece was fired. Sunday the tumbler spat the front, back, and a dozen other pieces all over, along with soapy water and stainless steel shot. Ah, this is what happens when I procrastinate. Obstacles appear, as if by magic.

Studio cleanup (of that small area anyway) complete, I continued with the construction, thinking a few rivets would have this piece behind me. I marked the three rivet hole points with a center punch, drilled the first, and inserted the ball rivet. Then the second. When I got to the third, there was a problem. That tube bail that I had agonized over was in the way!! Back in the day of corner jump rings, a center top ball rivet seemed expedient, but now there's no way to hammer inside that bail.

What to do? I could rivet at the corners, but that ruins the whole idea of my rivets integrating with the tree design. I could toss the silver back aside, and retrieve the faux bone from my table. I could add a few more rivets that semi-incorporate with the tree.

Procrastination -- the bane of my work.

New studio rules:

  1. No procrastination. Once a piece is started, it must be finished quickly (within a few days). Plan ahead. Order supplies early; finish commitments early.
  2. Clean up. Put things back where they live. Enough with this searching high and low for the polishing point mandrel that's not in the box with all the points.
  3. Double and triple check. No more forgetting to turn on the intake fan when the exhaust fan is on. No more loose knobs on the tumbler.
  4. No second guessing. Just do it. The muses don't like my questioning their inspiration.
  5. Persevere. The only way to get back in good graces with those muses is to push on through and do the hard work. Don't give up.

I think I'm going to post these on my wall. And for what it's worth, I'm laughing at myself over all of the goofs in the last few days. I've only detailed a few here, but the list just goes on and on. It's either tragic or hilarious. I insist on being optimistic because it's my experience that when I encounter a run of obstacles like this, there's a big reward if I just believe in myself and fix it all.