The Chaos of My Creative Process

I woke up early this morning, had some caffeine, got out my iPod and sat down in my studio.  Time to be creative.  I'm fortunate that when I find myself stressed or suffering with insomnia (for some reason, an issue this week), I can always do my favorite thing- make jewelry.  When I work on my designs I tend to get into a creative space in my mind, very little disrupts me.  My dogs jump around, bark at my neighbors leaving for work, but I pay no attention.  People who have witnessed this call it my "zone," as I will often have conversations, or at the very least respond to what they are saying, with little recollection of it later.  Best not to ask me important things if I have a pair of pliers in my hands...its like trying to talk to a sleepwalker!
I love designing.  I rarely sketch before I work, although sometimes its necessary for my custom work.  Often I sit down in front of what must look like an absolute disaster to everyone else.  Spools of wire, tools, tiny beads, little bags of gemstones scattered about in what seems like no rhyme or reason.  It looks as though a tornado hit my studio- all the time.  But, somehow I tend to know (generally) where things are and have a method to my madness.  I like to work with the materials- the gemstones, strands of pearls, and shiny chains, feel them in my hands and visualize what they could be.
When I get in a fresh shipment of materials, I'm giddy.  Like a kid in a candy store running his hands through barrels of candies, I rip open packages, touching everything, and start imagining the possibilities.  And going to a gem show, well, just imagine a bride at a Vera Wang sample sale.  I'm ready to throw down for some concave cut AAA grade green amethyst. 
How I became a jewelry designer is still a mystery to me.  Growing up in my parents' fabrics and crafts stores I spent many an afternoon making some of the ugliest jewelry you have ever seen.  Not to mention the quilts I made for my dolls, which at best could be described as "darling" or a similar term adults use to describe train-wrecks of creativity children show them with pride.  But, I began making jewelry as an adult, and although it was a rocky start (I would be ashamed if anyone ever sees the piles of jewelry I made in the "early days"), I pursued my hobby with passion.  Eventually people began to buy my pieces.  I had someone stop me in a bar and literally purchase jewelry off of my wrist. So, here I am, making jewelry with that same passion, and hopefully creating pieces that people will love for many years.  Gifts, symbols of love and affections, little pieces of myself, making the world a little happier.  Back to the studio I go...

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