My Creative Block by Robyn Coetzee - Glass Designs
I experienced a creative block at the beginning of the year. My artistic mojo had flown off and left me clinging on tightly to old and familiar and unchallenging ideas. I felt bereft. Sounding dramatic? I guess it is but as a creative obssessive it is not a great feeling when you are feeling lost and wandering aimlessly through the new ideas desert. Don't get me wrong, I love what I make but I really wanted to come up with something entirely new and challenging.
So first of all I decided to combine my holiday with a workshop in flameworking. Woo-hoo, the journey to Tuscany was a treat, scary too, but lots of fun. I learnt about a new technique which is completely different to what I normally do. I work with a kiln, cutting glass into shapes, layering them and heat from the kiln melts the sumptous glassy sandwich together. Flameworking involves working with a bench torch where you are manipulating the glass directly over the flame. I loved the course but concluded that it was not going to give me new skills to compliment my existing practise.
So, what now? Weeeell yes, I went on another course at the amazing Warm Glass. It's called professional development don't you know? A week long course that I had simmering on the back boiler for a few years. A course in pate de verre which is - simply put - packing 'paste of glass' onto a form. Ooh now this was exciting. I really gelled with the technique of dib-dib-dabbing glass frit and powders onto a flat surface creating wonderful patterns that I can cut and shape into jewellery componants. The bonus is that my studio is already equipped with all the tools and machines I need. This is now the basis of a whole new range of work using an ancient technique that fires in a kiln. Something I know about...
As a result my creativity started snowballing and I had fun with Instagram on a 100 day project, yet I only got to day 54, breaking the rules is still fun. This process has been really useful as it forced me to do something everyday, much of the time I produced really quick charcoal and watercolour sketches which in my mind are always the best as you don't have too much time to think about it which can complicate your thoughts and mark making. From this I produced ideas for a whole new 'Nautical' range which I am currently developing and enjoying. You can follow my progress on my instagram page or on my website too.