Lately I've been a little too caught up with To Do List items, and my creative soul has been famished. In addition to polishing up some decidedly rusty lampworking skills, I've been having some playtime in my studio and have been making all kinds of bead caps using copper and brass. Nothing fancy, just good old soldering, punching and dapping, and you know what? I found it very difficult to stop. I tried all sorts of things - some just didn't work out at all (like trying to solder a fine silver bezel onto a brass back), and others may work out eventually.
I had no real agenda with most of these (that's the point of play, right?), and found myself almost hypnotized by the flame, and the predictable changes that solder goes through as it heats and finally melts. There's also something soothing about repetitive tasks while your mind is busy working out other issues in the background.
I'm love love LOVing the richness of copper and brass as its rendered by the flame, and captured with renaissance wax. It just looks as if it has a story to tell.
I found an interesting read on the value of creative play, that makes me think I should try harder to get some of this into my normal routine. Here are the main points from the article:
1. Play can inspire you to think differently.
2. Play can bring you peace and joy, stress reduction, and ultimately increased longevity.
3. Play can increase your creativity and enhance your energy levels.
4. Play can let you experiment without fear of negative consequences.
5. Play can make you a person that others enjoy being around.
I can certainly attest to most of these benefits. My husband knows when I've been away from the studio too long, and (bless his heart, 'cuz I can get super cranky) will encourage me to get my fix. It would seem that adults in creative professions like architecture can attest to this idea too.
When is the last time you played just for the fun of it? Is it hard for you to play without a specific goal in mind?