A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Letting Go of Preciousness

Pink Champagne
I bit the bullet this weekend and created some new pieces. A recent Etsy post has been really helpful--Artist Noah Scalin shared some tips for getting your creativity flowing. His first tip was "Let Go of Preciousness." He explained: "One of the biggest creative stumbling blocks is our need to get things right. Believe me, I’m a perfectionist myself, so I know how hard it is to let that go. The reality is that treating your creations as precious little things to protect keeps you from the world of possibilities the comes from trying new things out, making mistakes, and getting things wrong." I wrote "Let Go of Preciousness" on a sticky note and put it in my wallet.

I am the absolute worst about agonizing over every little detail in a piece, as if somehow every little detail has to feel exactly right or the whole piece will be a failure. Pretty silly, there really is no "right"--tomorrow I'll feel different about that little detail anyway so might as well just stick some stuff together and move on. The pendant below features a focal of pink fire agate (it so reminds me of pink champagne), lampwork in encased khaki by Kelley Wenzel, and more lampwork in pale coral pink and sherbet from The Spacer Shop.

I finished two other pieces I had been wanting to make with this same front toggle closure. The focal on this one is a festive "fiesta bead" from Indonesia (via Happy Mango Beads)--it makes me think of summer and margaritas!

The toggle is made from heavy gauge sterling silver, and the connector rings attaching the cotton cording are nickel silver wrapped in sterling. The focal bead is about 60mm long--great size for a focal.

This last one is an idea I've been working on--I had done a prototype earlier with a green button, but I needed to tweak it a little. This one has a clear button of recycled glass from Happy Mango Beads, with a circle of art paper underneath that I sealed with several coats of decoupage medium. It's fastened to a copper base with ball headpins.
The beads include moukaite, mint green glass discs from Happy Mango Beads, and rosy lampwork from The Spacer Shop. Hand-dyed ribbon from Jamn Glass.

I'm waiting for the weather to warm up so I can do a trial run with resin. Sounds like I need to put about 10 more coats of Mod Podge on my art paper before I can do that step. Oy. Not sure if I'll have the patience.


  1. Wow they are all really beautiful and I love what you have done with the button!

  2. I love all of them!
    But the last one is my favourite (I think because I looove silk ribbons). The colors, the asymmetrical design and those amazing toggles - wow!
    You are absolutely right: one shouln't always think about being perfect! Anyway, your jewelry always looks well balanced to me. ;0)))

  3. love them - and thank you for sharing the advice... it's wonderful...

  4. I've said it before and I'll say it again--I just love your style. And letting go of preciousness doesn't seem to have had any bad effects! Sometimes we let things keep us from moving forward. So it's great that the Etsy post helped. Regarding resin, what I do is put one coat of sealant in the bezel and place the paper in, thoroughly burnish it especially the corners, then put three coats of sealant on top, again making sure to thoroughly get into the corners and along the edges. Let each coat dry thoroughly in between. I tested three pieces recently with different sealants (Mod Podge, Nunn Design sealant, and Claudine Hellmutt matte medium) and all came through beautifully following this method. If you need any help with the resin, just let me know.

  5. All of these pieces are totally gorgeous, I adore the focal on the first necklace, beautiful colour.

  6. Keirsten - gorgeous as always...I love, love, love your riveted pieces for the ends of your leather on the 1st necklace..what a clever idea!

  7. Beautiful pieces!!! I'm drooling over the button necklace.

    Interesting point about perfectionism and preciousness. I'm a total perfectionist, and sometimes it does hurt my creativity, but one thing I've noticed is that once a piece is made, I have trouble remembering where all the mistakes were. :)

  8. Let go of preciousness. It's the same mantra I used to repeat with respect to my fiction writing: "Kill your darlings" (from Stephen King's book "On Writing"). Don't be afraid to let go of things you clutch close because they're so precious and perfect and you WORKED SO HARD ON IT. I wish I could say I've overcome the whole perfectionist thing, but I sure as hell haven't...tho I'm chipping away at it. Fearing that what I'll create won't be perfect is the biggest creativity-killer I've ever experienced. Your stuff is beautiful, Keirsten--you create from somewhere deep inside, and you don't seem to be afraid to go for it! I always love to see what you'll do next. : )

  9. My eyes remain large and big in front of creations.....wonderful

  10. I like your creations,
    I like the colors and mixtures.
    The latest rietra totally in my taste.
    The resin divete me a lot.
    You are very good!
    Ciao Cinzia

  11. Oh WOW that green piece is beautiful! I wish green looked well on me. :-(

  12. Gorgeous pieces, love them all!

  13. Oh, I so needed to hear that bit about the preciousness factor. I have that trouble, generally with every art bead I own. I feel like I need to honor the artist who made it by making something so very lovely. I need to let that go and just start letting my fingers create! I love the colors of your palettes. They remind me of the vivid sunsets I have seen of late, with layers of blue and mauve and peach and the softest of pinks. So lovely!
    Enjoy the day, friend!

  14. Those are fantastic! I love how you used leather and ribbon.

  15. Love your Spring piece! Stunning...I have not seen anything like it! Beautiful!