Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I want a KILN! reasons why

As an artist, you grow and evolve. If you don't, you are not an artist. You can't make art without wondering what is beyond the next brushstroke, the next technique you want to learn. You are always thinking, "what if"....... what if I do this in a different color? What if I do this with wire, or cut out metal? Each piece of art is the sum of all the choices the artist decided on. Once choice could completely change the piece's character, the meaning. The more the artist learns in techniques and in life in general, the larger the set of possible choices grow. The more tools and materials kept handy, the larger the pool of choices. I think that's a good thing, the more choices you have, the more decisions to make, the better the art will be.

I started making jewelry using only seed beads and purchased findings. As I grew skilled making seed bead jewelry, I took that next step.. I asked what if I used some bigger beads to make something? I added stringing to my palette of skills. Then wire working. I tried lampworking alittle. I took a class on PMC earlier this year, fantastic stuff! I added basic metalsmithing skills, and I"m learning more techniques all the time.

Three months ago I started to fuse glass using this very cute kiln with a usable area of about 2 inches. I find that is limiting. I want to do larger pieces.. I want to be able to do more than 1 or 2 pieces a night.

Choices = good. Limits = BAD. I don't think there is a worse feeling as an artist than being stymied in the choices I can make. If I cannot translate what's in my head due to my lack of ability, fine, I'll deal with it either by becoming more proficient or changing the design to something more workable. BUT to be limited artificially by lack of tools is just not right!

If I have a kiln I can make many pieces at once, which increases my ability to test out ideas. I'll get more practice in a smaller time period, which increases my skills. If I have a kiln I can make something larger than 2 inches. I have several ideas bouncing around in my head and sketch book that would end up being just over 2 inches long, and I CAN'T MAKE THEM. I want to experiment with molds, which are larger than the kiln I have. (2 little ity bitty inches. blah!)

A kiln would open the door on making PMC pieces in my studio. I could experiment with PMC bronze and copper, which sound so exciting and I'm chomping at the bit to try!

I could try lampworking again. One of the limits on it is I can't sell beads I make until they are properly kiln annealed. Once in a while I get a friend to do a batch for me, but that makes the process so disjointed. Now I could do it myself.

I could try enameling on silver or copper, something I've been wanting to try for years.

And back to fusing, I really love working with glass in this fashion. I feel the urge to maybe try larger non jewelry pieces. A small bowl maybe.

I want a kiln. OK, done whining now.

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