Some way or another we have to get started. There has to be some event that encourages us in one direction or another.
The best I can do is to provide a glimpse into how I got started in metal sculpture.
In 1967 I was in graduate school. My days were filled with seminars, research and, writing papers. I had this need to do something different. I wanted to work with my hands.
I took ceramic classes, some print making classes, then started working with wood. None of these filled the need. Then I got the idea I wanted an oxygen acetylene torch. After continually dragging my wife over to the tool section at Sears, I got one for my birthday.
No matter that I didn’t know how to use it. As always in my case, I thought I could figure that out as I went along.
At this point I didn’t know how to use an oxygen acetylene torch. I didn’t know how to work with metal and I had no design experience. The only thing I did have was the desire to create something in metal.
I went from one bad experience to another. I won’t go into the ridiculous things I tried because it’s embarrassing.
In time things got better, but not by much. The turn around came when I began doing some jewelry; clunky metal pendants. My wife was wearing one on a day she went to get her hair done. The owner of the beauty shop wanted to buy some for selling in her shop.
There is no greater reinforcement than someone wanting to put out their money for something that is the result of our hands and mind working together.
This was enough incentive to work on more designs. Using the analogy of a campfire, this started as a spark and developed on into a small flame, but not much more. Using my rational mind as opposed to my creative mind I knew that I couldn’t make much money doing things the way I was doing them.
What I did know at this point was that I liked working with metal and that this was something I wanted to do as a livelihood.
This led me into doing some wall sculptures. I had seen wall sculptures in furniture stores and felt that I could do something similar. Sales came in and this gave me incentive to try new designs and at the same time increased my self confidence.
What had started as painful incremental steps soon turned into a steady flow of creative ideas..
This all began with someone wanting to buy my clunky pendants.
Somewhere along the line we need to have an initial success to get the creative ball rolling.
I am not suggesting that anyone follow my path but one must find a way to move forward.
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