My husband, Mark comes to this blog each day because he wants to see if I’ve actually taken the time to write something. He’s challenged me to write something every single day, even if it’s a short and silly two line entry of text. . . So, I’m taking this challenge, even if I don’t post something every single day, I WILL post much more often.

Classical Rome No. 1

Today, I’ve chosen to talk about inspiration. I’ll start with my new “Classical Rome” series. As I mentioned in another blog entry, I’ve been watching the HBO “Rome” series on DVD. I think I more so watch it for it’s artistic set than any other reason. The villas on Palatine Hill are so beautifully decorated with very authentic looking classical murals and home decor. Of course the rich fabrics and elegantly hand crafted jewelry worn by the Patrician women tends to inspire me a great deal too. I love the scenery and I think the people that built the set for “Rome” did a fantastic job.

Classical Rome No. 2

Classical Rome No. 2

I have been inspired by the Classical since I was a little girl. My homemade Barbie doll dresses looked like togas. I have no clue why that is, perhaps maybe I watched some historical fiction movie with my parents or something, and thought the togas were cool. I also drew all over my walls and bordered some of my artwork with scrolling motifs. Again, have no clue why or where I got the idea. Perhaps I carry some weird sort of classical design gene? lol Well, my point is that with or without the “Rome” HBO series, this need to create things of a classical nature is very much a part of who I am as an artist. In fact, it’s this style of work that granted me notice during my second year as a lampworker. I feel most alive when I communicate my ideas of the classical, so why did I seemingly leave the look behind and move on to other works? Well, as an artist, it’s necessary to spread your wings and fly outside of the coup from time to time. I needed to evolve and build upon the skills that I had and the only way to do so was to develop and practice new techniques ad nauseum.  The cased beads and murrini work that I have been doing over the past six months have been fueled by my need for evolution. Never can you sit still and become comfortable in your skill in this business. You must always push to the next level, and that involves a great deal of soul searching for means of inspiration. 

Getting back to the “Classical Rome” beads series, I plan to make this series full of different bead sets in the classical style. I’m very excited about it because I know how much I am going to enjoy exploring my ideas. For example, what where the colors, fabrics, murals like in the bed chamber of Caesar’s wife? I bet they were far beyond fabulous! See, with that one little question, I now have an idea of what my next bead set, “Her Bed Chamber” will look like and I even have a name for the set. Really, it IS this easy when your inspiration comes from the heart. My heart is tied to the ideas of ancient Rome. Not the bad part of ancient Rome, (division of the classes, the brutality), just the romantic part of it, (fabric, decor, cobblestone, jewelry, shiny armor, men in kilts).

At this point, I’m sounding a bit contradictory by telling you to evolve your skill and not get too comfortable, while also telling you to stay true to your heart’s inspiration. Confusing? You bet it is and that is exactly why you must dig really REALLY deep within your own soul to find new sources of inspiration. It is there, but often times a sort of dust covers the inspirational layers of your mind. When you begin to dig, you’ll find that those layers are infused with nostalgia and that nostalgia yields a creative fuel that can’t be found elsewhere. For example, grandma’s copper kettle. . . It wasn’t all that beautiful but there was something so incredibly graceful about the handle and even the dings and decades of patina lent one the idea that it was indeed a real treasure. Try it for yourself.  Think of that lost loved one and watch for the icons that pop up around them. Often times the things that they cherished are very closely associated with their memory. The copper kettle used by my grandmother was one of many things that pops up in my mind when I think of her standing in her kitchen, using that kettle to warm the water for her morning tea as she made my breakfast. This particular memory is so filled with nostalgic fuel that it almost brings me to tears.

I’d love to hear the inspirational ideas that some of you come up with when you envision that lost loved one. Please do feel free to share here, whether you are a jewelry designer, lampworker or both. Mark will be helping to ensure that your posts are moderated and published so you won’t have to wait a day or two for me to screen and publish them myself. lol