do you do repetition

not been doing much in the way of online stuff lately.  in fact, i haven't been doing much of anything but making vases, sleeping, and cleaning apartments.  my dremel tool broke so i had to ship that off this morning to the service center in Wisconsin.  that oughta slow me down a little bit.  it got real hot out too, that definitely is gonna slow down outside vase making.  the vase thing is curious, i know that i cannot sustain this and it will come to and end after another 7 batches or so.  i will indeed run out of galvanized steel which is what i use for the bottoms of these vessels. been looking for something used or new and not seeing what i want.  maybe it's good to only make so many and then be done.  someone suggested using soup can lids, which is a pretty cool idea but i don't eat soup and not sure how to get that in bulk.  in a way, i think i will need a break from the vases in another month.  it really is a lot of work, fun as these things are unless i have help i can't keep this pace up. 

i  do have new plans for another functional pipe product but that will take a bit of time/experimentation and finding the correct sized pipe.  i need something very specific and so far not finding much of it.  it's interesting to be making pieces that are basically the same thing over and over.  it doesn't take up any creative energy and it is satisfying but it does leave me wanting to get creative again.  it's endless what you can come up with, endless what there is to learn.  endless the tools and space and materials to get.  it's good and its bad.  it's easy and it's hard.  i  know i need to constantly keep challenging myself and doubt i will ever make the same thing for very long.  all i think about is VASES.  i'm itching to make something else soon and with this small studio area it's either OR. 

what about you guys?  have you ever been in a situation where you were making the same thing over and over?  what was that like for you?  if it was a bread winner did you let your creative side dwindle and go for the money or put your foot down and say its time to get back to creating something new.  i know most people would think they should do something if that is what makes money, i guess i'd rather do something i love and when i'm ready to move on i move on regardless of demand.  maybe i've got poor business sense....


schnoobie said...

oh man I could go on for DAYS about this topic.....and the struggle for balance??? etc.. etc....but I've got to get back to work quilting another customer quilt top..(!) I'll chime in later when there is a discussion in progress....... carry on!

Kendra Zvonik said...

it's been a hot, super hot day in my studio and my brain is fried. but i want to quickly respond to this great post!
i have struggled to find a balance between these 2 things and after a year and a half of pushing, i am finally finding a pretty perfect balance between my art & my product. i wanted it so badly & never gave up on the idea that i could somehow have everything i want. even when it really hasn't happened before. blind determinism.
having a product is like having a job--but it's a job you can live with and a job that fuels you to make what you really want to make. like you said, after making paper all day, i am so ready to paint.
but, having a space like the one i have now is really making my optimism possible. when you feel cramped, it's awfully hard. i hope you can get some more space. you really need it.
important thing is to just keep going. even if that means your product is a limited edition type--i actually kind of like that idea for your work. it's not simple like my tags where i can churn them out forever. it may even make your products more desirable and sell more quickly if they were limited ideas. you just know when looking at the vases that they are unique and you better jump on it if you see one you love. i think you can do it however you want to paula. there is definitely more than one right way in business and in art.
for what it's worth, i think your instincts are good. go with it.
xoxo kz

paula said...

well susan chime in when you want seems the blog world is a little slow these days...where is everyone?
kendra...i did have you in mind a bit when i wrote this so i'm glad you responded. you've come out of the worm hole so to speak and while i doubt i will or can take the route you took (i can't become or wont become lets put it that way a full time vase maker!) its curious how life turns out and that you refused to give up your painting dream and alas, you stuck with it and made it happen by finally affording to get a real studio space!
maybe its gonna be alright for us :)

Kendra Zvonik said...

absolutely gonna be alright, girl.
glad you are out there and glad we are friends.
xo kz

collage whirl said...

When I lived in France a long time ago, I did a watercolor series of small landscapes, that I painted in series, factory style. They sold really well, but they became soul killing to make. Just because people couldn't tell the difference between art that the artist poured themselves into, and art that the artist churned out. That's when I first heard art described by the French as "alimentaire"--alimentary, that which buys your food. Wake-up call which I still haven't forgotten.