Part of my current design policy, perhaps the part that drags me down sometimes, is the concept of originality. I don't want to put anything out there as "my work" that contains the designs of another.
But c'mon here! This is jewelry and a chain is a chain! Clasps? Only so many ideas work and are readily customizable. Patrons of wearable art do NOT want their necklace to fall off. Lapidary work? Yes, someday I very much want to go there. But for now metal is a life consuming art.
There are a few pieces of progress in my thinking. One is to consider all of these things as textures an colors in my palate. Another is to realize that some things are just too time consuming to be worth it. Finally, I'm exploring some new materials, like braiding embroidery floss to make kumihimo necklaces for pendants and possibly some map or book materials to accent earrings.
Still i don't want to just take pieces i've bought and put them together. A piece feels less special when I haven't hand created everything.
I worry about all these things all the time, sometimes to the detriment of my studio time. Then I face a show with just enough art pieces to accent the table and a bunch of very very simple pieces that I don't necessarily love. It's not a good feeling.
As I become more accomplished, I can hand make more. And I've found a few techniques that I can do while we home school to make accents for simpler pieces that give them a unique touch. Hopefully my efforts are improving all of my art at the same time as eliminating my worry that not everything I make is unique or special enough.
How do you feel about handmade?