Sunday, December 2, 2007

What to do, what to do

Lately I’ve been experiencing a whole new obsession with jewelry making.

My metal work class is coming to a close, and although I’ve spent nearly 30 hours in the studio, I don’t really feel like I’ve learned anything. It was such a whirlwind of a class – so much to learn. Especially because I’ve never been a particularly handy person. I’ve never really used a tool. Yes, I said, A tool. I mean, sure I’ve pounded a nail into a wall with a hammer but that’s literally about the extent of it. Last week at class, it took me about 7 minutes just to figure out how to put the drill bit in the flex shaft thing. I mean, the whole thing is entirely confusing.

Last week I used the disc cutter for the first time. I made these little lovelies. (I’m really into all things wood, so I hammered the discs to make a bark-like texture.)

Anyway, one of the things that I’m struggling with as a result of this new hobby, is that I don’t know what to do with all the energy I have for it. It’s literally borderline insane how much I think about it. And really have nowhere to direct my new interest! I say that because I only have three hours in the studio per week, two of which are usually spent listening to and watching my instructor. I want to apply these techniques that she teaches us but the one hour left in each class doesn’t suffice. So that’s why I feel like I’ve learned almost nothing, and also why I am really feeling frustrated.

It’s also bringing up all these unexpected feelings like – why didn’t I pursue something more artistically inclined way back when? I took a ton of art classes when I was little, both in school and on my own time. I loved to paint and draw, and had so much fun in my pottery class. And then as soon as I was privy to the concept of money and jobs and how those two things are related, I started on this dreadfully boring path of political science. God knows why. I mean seriously, there’s almost nothing that I’m LESS interested in today than politics. That’s probably a bit of an overstatement. But come on, really. I can’t believe I used to think that I’d work in politics! Still to this day, I absolutely despise The Pant Suit…what was I thinking?

So I guess I’m open to all suggestions (a.k.a. blog therapy) on what to do here. I kind of wish more than ever that I was a student studying jewelry making under some famous designer. If I lower my expectations just a bit, I wish I had more studio time, and/or maybe a home studio where I could actually solder and make things on my own schedule. Or one of those jobs where you have to use your hands all day. I’m not even being terribly overambitious about this; the other day I drove by a metal fabrication business in Eastlake. I kind of wish I worked there. I don’t even know what they do exactly, but I wish I got to cut and forge metals all day.

Oh dear, I feel this is terribly unrealistic, as I quickly approach 30 and have an impending mortgage payment.

Brian would probably ask me if this was just a phase. I am, after all, a person of phases. But if I think about it rationally, it doesn’t seem like a phase. I started making jewelry a little over a year ago. I had no idea what I was doing but I just thought “that doesn’t look hard, I can do that,” so I started playing around with it…bought some tools, some supplies. Over the course of a year, I’ve only become more and more obsessed with making jewelry. The whole process, from finding the best supplies to learning new tools to making something interesting – it’s kind of the best thing ever. I really haven’t felt this way since my horse riding days. Which I got REALLY into – for about 10 years. So even if this is a phase, it will probably be a long lasting one.

And finally, in my case against The Phase argument, this whole thing has made me realize how much I am like my uncle John. He has never had a traditional job in his whole adult life because he absolutely hates working for someone else (Exhibit A). He’s carved out this amazing (ly weird) life for himself. He has a garage full of tools, he fixes people’s German automobiles, he refurbishes army tanks, he buys random stuff at garage sales and sells it on eBay for a major profit, and finally and most awesomely, he collects used french fry oil from restaurants each Monday which he uses to manufacture his own biodiesel. In short, he’s my hero. He’s so freakin’ weird. The guy is a crafting machine. When he showed me the impeccably crafted knife that he made, with a drop dead gorgeous faux bois finished blade, it was confirmed that this man can make anything. I mean, anything.

I've never been one to approach something in a moderate fashion. I like to go all out. So, I guess I’m open to all suggestions on where to direct this energy. Since there's real life, and a mortgage, and my Claremont McKenna BA in government, and my scarce knowledge of tools, and fire hazards, and all of that stuff.


Alishia said...

Fifty years from now, this time of your life will be "way back when," so start now. Just keep on what you're doing. And, I think you might really enjoy Martha Stewart's book for entrepreneurs called The Martha Rules. Really. It's good. I checked it our from the library--on CD. You can buy it from iTunes, too.

kristafaye said...

Life will go by so quickly, too. I don't want to be one of those people who never pursues what makes them happy.

I've heard of that book, I think. I will definitely check it out...right now, in fact. Thanks!

Linda Gus said...

Your artistic side does not come as a surprise; your beautiful mother is very creative and artistic. Your handsome father should be called "the Paul",i.e. the Donald, as his talent for successful business is unreal.
Your "genes" tell me you will make this brick at a time, you will build a career doing something you love, AND making a business success out of it. I will wish you good luck, but you really don't need it, because you, my dear, have those "genetics".