Some days, no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, no matter what direction the wind is coming from the glass just won’t do what you want it to. You can beg and plead with your muse, hold your tongue a certain way, sacrifice your first born (just kidding, I don’t have kids) but soon you come to the realization that it just isn’t in the stars for you that day.
When that happens, if you are a full time glass/jewelry artist or if you are working towards being one (like I am) it helps if you have a second or third art to fall back on for a little while so you can take your mind off of the failed glass attempts of the day. I find that if I have a really bad day at the torch it is absolutely vital for me to do something else. If I do not do something else and try to bull my way thru the glass project I waste a lot more glass, get even more frustrated, and find that my troubles will tend to carry over to the next day.
On the other hand, if I walk away from the torch and work on something else for the day I can come back to the torch the next day and slip into the zen of fire like the day before never happened.
I have always been really inspired by nature so my fall back is making silver leaves out of real leaves and silver paste. I love to walk out into my flower garden and hunting for well formed leaves to preserve in silver. Rose leaves are some of my favorites. The act of creating a silver leaf is a zen moment in itself, the time spent on adding the layer upon layer of paste, the time spent brushing and burnishing the piece after its been fired all leave me feeling calm and tranquil, exactly what I need on a day when the glass doesn’t flow.