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Thread: Getting inspired?

  1. #1
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    Jul 2017
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    Question Getting inspired?

    Hi all - this might be more of a question for the hobbyists.

    How do you get inspired to start a new project? I love making things, it's what I return to again and again (in whatever form) to feel like I'm extending my creative side. But I have to confess that the day job, the nitty gritty of daily life once I get home from work in terms of seeing to the children and now the darker nights means that all of my good intentions to get started on some silverwork just fade away. And as I don't have a dedicated workspace (I usually set up in the kitchen after clearing away a space) it's harder to get started on something once tea is cooked, homework is advised on and packed lunches are prepared for the next day.

    How do you all keep pushing yourselves forward? How do you ensure that you don't just fall into a Pinterest/YouTube hole and actually get stuff done?

    Deb

  2. #2
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    I sort of fall between hobbyist and professional - I have a day job four days a week and the other three days (and evenings!) I am a jeweller. At the moment I get up super-early, do a couple of hours of business stuff before work. My partner and I have an agreement where he does the cooking, clearing, house stuff a couple of days during the week, and all weekend, so I get time to run my business. That way I know that I have certain days a week where I can get home from work and not have to deal with life admin and just get on with jewellery stuff.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2014
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    Preston, Lancashire.
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    That's a great question Deb - I've wondered the same thing, so I hope you get lots of responses!
    Sally

  4. #4
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    So it's your professional part that drives you forward Lauren? I've decided that making my hobby a business isn't where I want to go with this, I've been there and done that (I used to make belly dance costumes when I was a dance enthusiast) and realistically my metalwork skills just aren't up to it. It's great that your partner is on board too, I don't have one so it's just me and the children here although at thirteen and 9 they they know not to touch any of my things when they're out, but at the same time they both have a love of art and making things so I get caught up helping with their projects when they get inspired.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Sally- View Post
    That's a great question Deb - I've wondered the same thing, so I hope you get lots of responses!
    Sally
    It's tricky isn't it Sally, I love making things and being creative and I absolutely love being involved with silverwork but it's hard to get motivated.....or I suppose it's hard to get motivated when the only recipient is yourself and your need to make things?

  6. #6
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    Central London
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    I think it's very important to have a permanent workspace, however small. You only need an A3 cutting mat for a surface, with a screw on bench peg, and a small baking tin to solder in. A free standing vegetable rack will hold your tools

    Incentive comes from having friends and family willing to wear your stuff, and the enjoyment of seeing it in use.

    Inspiration comes from their requests and matching them to what you find on line and about town and adding your own twists.

    Stress comes from having to deliver in time for a birthday. Dennis.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    I think it's very important to have a permanent workspace, however small. You only need an A3 cutting mat for a surface, with a screw on bench peg, and a small baking tin to solder in. A free standing vegetable rack will hold your tools

    Incentive comes from having friends and family willing to wear your stuff, and the enjoyment of seeing it in use.

    Inspiration comes from their requests and matching them to what you find on line and about town and adding your own twists.

    Stress comes from having to deliver in time for a birthday. Dennis.
    Ah yes, the birthday stress.
    She hasn't asked for it but my sister will be getting an Art Deco inspired pendant on a necklace for her birthday in a couple of weeks, and my mum is already wearing a ring I made with a small rectangle set labradorite for her birthday a month ago. A couple of friends have expressed a desire to have a ring made in whatever form I can offer as they have been previous recipients of my "make it up as you go along" way of doing things.

    I've got a semi-permanent space I guess. My tools are in a tray here in the living room, tucked away on a low table. I've designated a kitchen cupboard to my soldering tools, so it's easy enough to move the toaster and chopping board out of the way to open up the A2 space they provide. I should probably put my screw-on bench peg and piercing saw in that cupboard too instead of keeping them in the dining room.

    What I'm hearing most of all though is, "Make things for other people", and "have a deadline."

  8. #8
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    Aug 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by misspond View Post
    Hi all - this might be more of a question for the hobbyists.

    How do you get inspired to start a new project? I love making things, it's what I return to again and again (in whatever form) to feel like I'm extending my creative side. But I have to confess that the day job, the nitty gritty of daily life once I get home from work in terms of seeing to the children and now the darker nights means that all of my good intentions to get started on some silverwork just fade away. And as I don't have a dedicated workspace (I usually set up in the kitchen after clearing away a space) it's harder to get started on something once tea is cooked, homework is advised on and packed lunches are prepared for the next day.

    How do you all keep pushing yourselves forward? How do you ensure that you don't just fall into a Pinterest/YouTube hole and actually get stuff done?

    Deb
    Hi Deb,

    I’m a bachelor with a full time job working a 24/7 shift roster. There is only me to take care of all the household chores - shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, garden etc.

    I’ve been practicing Silversmithing since December 2016 and I only do it on my days off but never after a night shift when I feel fatigued, it’s like suffering jet lag. I don’t like using any tools unless I’m feeling fresh and alert. It’s unusual for me to do more than 3hrs/day silver work on my day’s off and it’s normally all done before lunch as I like to go to the gym in the afternoon and then relax in the evening.

    I plan my silver work very carefully in advance in order to make the most efficient use of my limited time and what I have found works best is the ‘production line’ method. I find it reduces the amount of tool swapping and allows multi-tasking to a certain degree which results in the highest output. Of course I am not doing commissions or bespoke orders so I can appreciate this system wouldn’t work for everyone.

    The concept is quite simple. I work a lot with silver sheet that I roll myself. I cut the shapes I need from the sheets I roll.

    My process is usually as follows (Note that days might not fall consecutively and typically no more than 3hrs work per day). Some activities extend over a few days but you get the gist!

    Day 1: Make Sterling silver nuggets.
    Day 2: Melt & pour ready to roll ingots.
    Day 3: Roll/Anneal to produce sheet
    Day 4: Cut shapes
    Day 5: Planish/Sand
    Day 6: Drill holes/final sand/pre-polish
    Day 7: Final polish/Barrel polish & continuing with Day 6 depending on load.

    I try to follow the Tesco slogan “Every little helps”…it works!
    Last edited by handmadeblanks; 02-11-2017 at 10:10 PM.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2014
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    I work full time designing and making jewellery now but I can still get inspired to make things for myself and friends when I get time.
    I tend to sketch quite a lot and once I have something sketched out that I really like I easily get enthusiastic about making it.
    I also have a bit of a thing about gemstones and can happily spend hours searching for just the right stone for a design which then makes me more enthusiastic again as I want to see the lovely stone set into a piece of jewellery.
    In other words : make things that excite you whether for yourself or others.
    Must admit I do have a bit of a collection still waiting to be done though lol
    Last edited by enigma; 02-11-2017 at 10:08 PM.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2017
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    I have been there! A job with the added fulltime job at home looking after the kids can be physically and mentally exhausting. Juggling their lunch boxes, taxi service to and from clubs, friends, parties, doing the constant clean up after someone else and helping them with their homework etc leaves little enthusiasm for getting another load of stuff out to only have to put it away in an hour or two and is so frustrating!

    I've just come out the other side- there is light at the e d of the tunnel- I've twin boys that finished their exams in the Summer.
    There's a few things that helped me , though most have already been mentioned!
    Get the kids to realise they need to do a little to help, even if it's just putting the dishes inthe dishwasher or doing their own pack lunches because you have something to make for someone's birthday etc....they feel part of it and will often willingly fill up the dishwasher. Not everyday of course, but once is better than nothing.
    I started a silversmith course at college - just 3hours a week - I have a partner that could look after the kids, perhaps you've got some family near? Getting new ideas from others is a great source of inspiration.
    I made some space for a permanent "workshop". Get the kids to help, it's surprising how enthusiastic they can be! I took over a small area in the kids playroom.
    Instead of flicking aimlessly through Pinterest get a book and sketch your ideas while doing so. It's good research. Design the next piece you will make. When you next have that little slot of time, you know exactly what to do and you won't waste time deciding what to make.

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