Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Seasons - Merry-go-round

It's time for another ride on the merry-go-round! Jump on and join a group of artists/crafts-women as they link around the world and tell you a little about their lives in art and craft.

This month's question that myself and 8 other women will answer is seasonal and related to it feeling so wintery - "How do the different seasons and weather affect you in your art and craft?"

The cold and damper months actually make working with metal clay alot easier. It is a product that dries out quickly so in hot dry summer months - "quickly" gets even quicker! The cooler winter means that I don't have to rush to create the first basic shape of anything. I feel I have a couple of minutes to create the form before it starts to dry and crack. I then use a coffee warmer to thoroughly dry it - which I hate to use in the summer as it just heats my studio up even more. Then of course, later in the process, I have to "cook" the silver in a kiln at 1650 degrees F for 2 hours. I have to say that it is too hot to sit in the same room with a kiln on for two hours whether it's summer or winter, so my kiln now lives outside of my studio!!!! So creating with metal clay is much more comfortable in the cooler months.

Apart from the practical side of creating, I don't feel that the seasons affect my actual design significantly. I tend to make flowers, for example, when I feel like it or something inspires me. Doesn't matter if it's summer or snowy. Often they don't sell until it's spring or summer, but I like to go with what comes into my head as an idea - rather than block it as it's the "wrong" time of year.

The seasons do, however, influence the types of pieces I make.

Take lariat style necklaces as an example. I really feel these are fall and winter pieces. They look best when they are worn over a plain jumper/sweater and so are ideal for the colder months of the year. I want to wear these all the time right now..... they catch people's eye against a solid color and add real interest. Personally I've also worn more pins/brooches in the colder months, as I always have one pinned to my jacket or coat. Again, it is adding something pretty to what would otherwise be a plain item of clothing. In spring and summer, clothes are more patterned themselves and so lariats and brooches would tend to get lost or it all look too busy.In the summer, it's more short necklaces - things you can wear with summery clothes. When it's hot you don't want something long - just something that sits nicely at the neckline. I guess I don't really change the style of earrings and bracelets throughout the year....

It'll be interesting to see how others are affected as we all do very different crafts or styles of art. I know I always want to knit and felt in the fall and winter - just adds to that snuggly feeling to be immersed in cozy yarn......Here are the links to read the other artists' blogs and find out about their seasonal effects:


Marian said...

I hadn't thought about months and pieces as in brooches in winter and short necklaces in summer, but it is absolutely right, I do that too.

I can imagine that living in California too, weather must be normally warmer, right?? so, you have to be super speedy to work with the metal clay!

well, it turns out beautifully, so... ;)

'fancypicnic' said...

I absolutely agree with you about the style of jewellery that is appropriate for different seasons, but I love the fact that you 'go with' whatever form you feel urged to create, regardless. Let it flow!!
I could do with your kiln in the middle of my house right now, I think, although I can understand why it was banished from your studio!
Thanks for sharing - it's great for us all to learn a little bit more about each other every month.

Easterya said...

Interesting how, though different the crafts, similar the effects the seasons have on us... Must be the collective subconscious! Lovely read, as always!

Lily Pang said...

It would be very difficult to make such wonderful jeweleries in Singapore I guess.

Nice to read about seasons on your inspiration. You are a true artist!

Sara's Texture Crafts said...

You are right the season's do dictate a customer's choice of product and also sometimes the types of crafts we as individual artists choose to take up.

It's also funny what we go through each season to create our work, for example sitting in the same room as your kiln must be agony on a hot day, or for me in the winter it's the painful knuckles in my fingers I get from wet felting.