Let your tools and materials guide the way…

I was reading my Art & Fear book yesterday, as I so often do when I feel a little stuck or stale and read about something that had just happened to me:

The dilemma every artist confronts, again and again, is when to stick with familiar tools and materials, and when to reach out and embrace those that offer new possibilities.  And on the average, the younger artist tends to experiment with large and varied range of tools and materials, while the veteran artist tends to employ a small and specific set. (p. 59)

Two things hit me.  I had just changed my materials.  Still glass, but a brand made by a different manufacturers (Bullseye and Gaffer) which meant different colors, different types of colors (lots of translucents, veiled cane and richer color), and a different feel to how it melts which meant I would work differently.

bullseye gaffer glass flowers

I had no idea what to make so I set out just testing one color next to the other.   Making the disks that I so love and are so popular.  I was excited again, even though I knew I wasn’t creating masterpieces.  Color called me like it hasn’t in a long time.

The second thing I realized is that I haven’t been using many tools.  Lord knows that doesn’t mean I don’t have them!  But I’ve been using a flat marver or two, parallel mashers, tweezers a little rake and scissors.  I was feeling so, um, earthy.  I don’t know how to explain it.  Like when a gardener digs in the dirt.  More hands on.  Free.  it felt good.

Sometimes, changing materials or tools, or eliminating them altogether can push one into a new direction.

Lori Greenberg blogs about beads and the business of beads from her studio in Cave Creek, Arizona. You can see more of her beads at her web site: www.lorigreenberg.com.

3 Responses to “Let your tools and materials guide the way…”

  1. angelinabeadalina Says:

    Lori, I can’t wait to see more of your BE creations– those brilliant colors are going to give such a zingy “pop” to your style of beads. (I’m already picturing a bead like that gorgeous one in your pic at the left done in BE colors!)

  2. lori g. Says:

    Thanks Angie. I bet you would really like it for sculpting too. It’s stiffer and I think can be out of the flame longer since it’s only 90 coe. I like that a lot.

  3. lydiamuell Says:

    Lori, I love the little flowers. The veiled cane is so pretty and the bright colors are very refreshing.

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