Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Studio Routine - How to Get Going When the Muse is Hiding

Sometimes it's just easier to stay at the computer looking at images of jewelry on Pinterest than to go out to the studio and start making my own. It's good to have busy work to do that doesn't require any creativity at all to execute. Inevitably, being out there will get the juices flowing and some project to try will come to mind. If not, at least I've still done some of the prep work that will help later studio time to flow.

Here's some of what I worked on yesterday in the studio, beyond making jewelry:

  1. Cleaning up castings - clipping off the sprues, sanding off mold marks, filling in voids. I just dump the whole bag of leaves or flowers or whatever out, don my dust mask to protect my lungs, and sit there at the flex shaft with a sanding disc and hammer handpiece until my "gas pedal" foot gets tired (which isn't as long as it used to be before my leg injury).
  2. Making "berries," overgrown granules, in multiple sizes. This involves methodically cutting equal lengths of wire, then melting with the torch until they draw up into balls. A very meditative process.
  3. Making jump rings in multiple sizes - tiny for soldering on earposts, medium for attachments on components, and large for connecting components. More work than berries - wind a coil around a mandrel, then saw it through. The largest jumprings here are the smallest that my Pepe Jump Ring Maker would make, so I typically just do them by hand. Larger jump rings, for chain, I'd make with the dedicated tool.
  4. Organizing those small components so that I can find what I need at the appropriate time. This box of boxes came from the Container Store and fulfills my OCD tendancies. Now I want those tiny boxes to be brimming with bits for jewelry.