Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Learning new things.... mostly about myself

 I'm back from a beautiful weekend in Wilmington NC and the two day jewelry workshop with Nina Bagley.
I am inspired, recharged and looking towards new paths for my journey through my art life.

The workshop was fantastic and my head is very likely to explode at any moment from all the new information trying to squeeze in there. I learned new techniques, discovered new tools, and found that I might just want a slower pace for creating.

I like this jewelry making thing, like it a lot. I even sold a few of my raku beads to one of the very sweet workshop participants.

My blogger pals were even there in spirit. See the little clay bird from blogger Julie Whitmore?!

There were 12 of us in the workshop, the studio space was charming, the hostess, Kim Beller, even more charming than the studio. But I managed to have my usual social anxiety when stuck in a crowded space with loudness and too many people talking all at once. These were all very talented and very sweet women, but I just cannot manage to be in a room like this for very long, so I spent a lot of time on the second day outside, by the pool in a chair by myself, sewing. I'm sure I appear to be aloof and antisocial, and well, I am, but not on purpose. I just get overwhelmed mentally with a lot of loud noise and I have to go to a quiet place to get my head clear.

I would come in from time to time for the demos, gather around the table with everyone while Nina showed us something amazing and wonderful, then run back outside for air. I am quite possibly nuts!

 Nina brought Walter, and I could probably be best friends with this amazing creature. My next dog may have to be a springer spaniel. What a dog!

 I ended up making nothing, but learning much. Most everyone made a bracelet, all beautiful. I don't know how people create and talk and listen to others talk. Am I the only one that needs a quiet room to work, a quiet room to sleep, a quiet room to eat? I basically need quiet.....

Nina Bagley is one very talented and very wise woman, and I am so glad this workshop came together for me. I have been a fan of hers for a few years, love her blog, and being a fellow Libra, I totally got her teaching style. She brought lots of tools that I was not familiar with and I have a long list of things I want now. See that bright orange cylinder in the right corner? That is a tiny butane torch that I will have to have. I tried it out on my copper raku glaze, and it created the most interesting sparkles when I heated up the bead. Might be an interesting thing to play with for surface treatments.

Walter, you sweet boy!

Not quite the same work table that I am used to, but it was fun to learn new things.

Thank you Nina and Kim for a wonderful weekend to recharge my art battery. I am ready to get some new work made, but first I have to go to the theater today and pull some props, Gerry is off tomorrow and we should probably do something fun, my art pals have summoned for a gathering this week,  Wesley may come home for the weekend, and I need to make more stars, and I need to fire my kiln, and on and on it goes......  more time please!

Of course it wouldn't have been a trip to the beach without some ACOA drama with my mom, but I will spare you. I sat here for awhile yesterday and added some tears to the ocean. God, I have spent a lifetime trying to outgrow the pains of childhood. It just never goes away. I couldn't get home fast enough to the quiet and sanity of my house. Poor Wesley, thanks for listening to me for an hour on the phone yesterday while I drove home. You are an anchor in a turbulent sea, you and your dad.


Dennis Allen said...

I've seen way too many people go to workshops and slave away to make something nice.Me, I practice the skills that are being taught.Don't care if I take anything home except an education. I'm much happier this way.Likewise, I don't want to be the only kid in the cafeteria eating by himself but I sure don't need 12 new best friends just because we paid to go to the same place.Be happy.

cookingwithgas said...

Dennis is so right on the money. And, boy do I get this.
I needs me lots of alone time to be with others.
Work at your own pace, that goes for life as well as art.

Melissa Rohrer said...

You are not crazy. I find it intimidating to walk into a room with all that buzz going on.
You've got a unique thing going there with using your own beads and pendants in your work. Glad you are finding the jewelry thing rewarding.

littlemancat said...

Nope, not nuts at all. Some of us just need more private time, quiet, and time to work things out at our own pace. That's me. A good old introvert. But oh the activity that goes on in the head, eh?

June Perry said...

Boy can I relate to your experience. I work best alone; and at workshops I spend more time on note and photo taking and really observing the instructor. I take all the information home and work it out.
Can't wait to see your jewelry efforts. In the late 80's I took a night class on silver smithing and another course on cutting stones and make cabochons. I learned just enough to make myself and our daughter a few nice pieces. Pottery was the stronger draw, so now my jewelry bench sits mostly unused other than to repair and polish items. I may just go back to it one of these days, since I still have a lot of silver, stones and beads on hand as well as buckets of uncut rocks!
There's a wonderful little illustrated book by Tim McCreight "The Complete Metalsmith" that I think you would find very useful. It covers jut about everything you need to know and more to get started.



oldgreymare said...

Glad you got away and had fresh experiences. We each get different things from a least I hope when I teach everyone takes something different away with them..
If I inspire them to go home and create anything more even if it is not what I taught, then I figure success has been had.
I spend so much time alone that crowds are interesting to me but only for a short while and only if I can mostly observe and not participate.

Lots of folks need to be seen and heard to validate
that they exist and reflect back who they are ..I think I know myself pretty well and don't need that. I think, no, I know you self examine the same way. <3

we're fine just the way we are

Anonymous said...

I would have been sitting a few yards away from you. I'm usually in the back corner, as alone as I can get. Also, love to you from a sister ACOA, who has spent last week cursing the damn onion of layers that will never end.

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Thanks for the shoutout sister
How I'd love to take a class from Nina.

Michèle Hastings said...

It looks like most of us prefer to be the wallflowers! Often times we introverts get labeled as snobby, when in reality we just have trouble with the small talk in a large group.

That little torch looks like fun. I often use a torch on raku pots when they come out to the kiln. Especially handy for cleaning up crackle glazes and changes colors on the matte glazes. It's too big for the beads and I didn't even know there were small ones.

nina said...

you have some very wise friends, dear one!! I am right there with you on needing time alone. living out in the middle of the woods way down a rural road with only my pup for companionship is testament to that. I always have anxiety dreams before I teach, before I leave home in a trip: if I could, I would be sitting next to you out in the sunshine away from everyone else, quietly working and talking to you about anything and nothing, at a slow gentle pace. teaching places me in a different mindset- thankfully, I've overcome the shyness these past thirteen years by kicking into storyteller mode. at workshop's end, I'm dazed and glazed over and in desperate need of rest in that quiet familiar corner.
I really loved being with you- such a sweet spirit! I found you to be just as I imagined: pretty, original, talented, insightful, open and honest. beautiful you - never try to question the self that draws you out into the sun, away from the clamor. sending you love and gratitude for being brave and diving into a new place, amongst strangers, for trying new things, for choosing to spend that time with me in faith and in trust. xoxoxo Nina

eb said...

I love your posts
your honesty
your ability to communicate how you feel
I took a workshop with Nina
years ago in NH
another beginning
thanks so for stopping by
love hearing from you
love your ceramics,
your beautiful raku beads