Monday, June 29, 2020

More on the studio/Life is nuts

I just wrapped up the intermediate CAD course through the Bench.  I am thrilled with the positive response and have had a great time teaching the classes. We have two more classes open for registration and I am excited to finally have some empty seats (all of the workshops were sold out before we could offer open registration!)  If you want to learn Rhino come on board.  We are offering a little discount if you sign up for both sections!

Chapter one

Life is nuts.  I have to admit ever since I left academia the pendulum has started swinging back in my direction. One: I have been able to really appreciate what I have now and enjoy it, instead of constantly trying to prove my worth to my department head and dean. I often would come home exhausted and just pass out. I literally walked through life like a zombie never really getting to enjoy all that I was working for. Two: I get to spend real quality time with Liz which I haven't really been able to do in a very long time.  It was always the job first everything else second. This proved to be complicated..."no babe this is a real vacation...I mean I have to do this quick lecture and workshop but the rest of the time we will hang out I promise."  Three: I no longer have the pressure of exhibiting, publishing or pursing an active studio practice to earn tenure. The stress has melted away.  I smile more. I laugh more.  I am enjoying life!

While I still have a strong desire to make and create jewelry I no longer feel the pressure. The truth is I had not been happy with the work that I have made for last ten years or more.  I gave almost everything away to my job.  Because of this I felt like everything I made was always a half-job.  I thought it all was "I gotta get some work out there to check that box on my tenure application".  It wasn't  actual work or it wasn't something I was proud of.

While getting ready to move our studio, I realized I have spent a lot..... I mean a lot of time and money making things that never really made it into the world. Odds and ends, doo dads, false starts etc. It is amazing how much money I have spent on my studio practice and in reverse, how much money I am saving not making work.  

On a related topic, for the first time in my career, I feel appreciated (at least in the work I am making for my current job).  What I mean by that is: before, when I was making work, the work didn't really have an audience and was rushed and therefore felt a little unauthentic. It was art jewelry for art jewelers. Now, when I deliver on jewelry the "client" is overcome with joy and often showers their gratitude, exclaiming "This is exactly what I wanted!  How did you know! You have made my year!".  It is soooooooo nice to see it up close and be a part of their lives in a meaningful way.  I am not sure I ever felt that when I sold/made my other work.  Maybe it was because the gallerist was the in-betweener? Or it was more of a collector-based type acquisition?  

I guess what I am saying is that I have been reflecting on all the work I have made and honestly I can't think of a single instance of it being rewarding.  Making it was rewarding but seeing it all in boxes in my basement growing mold sucks.  So I guess I have some thinking to do on what my new practice will become because I cannot go back to wasting time and money on something that costs me so much and doesn't give back in a meaningful way.  Life is too short.  Also there is a lot of garbage jewelry in the world already. 

In other news we are officially done with the inside of the studio!!! Liz and I finished the trim last night and we are ready to move in! I am posting a little before and after.  If you notice in the before photos the concrete footer had a yucky sil-plate (which was non dimensional lumber) So I decided to box it all in with and add some quarter round to transition into the dry wall.  The concrete footer preventing anything from being pushed up against the wall so the trim will not help with that it will just look better. We just have a little painting to do and we are all set.