Friday, April 13, 2012

Following Your Flirts

I thought I would share a story with you about Following Your Flirts.  The flirts that I am referring to are those little creative somethings that catch your attention and cause a strong burst of emotion and imagination, followed with the thought, "I have to do, learn or experience (fill in the blank)...NO MATTER WHAT!"

I was introduced to this concept by an amazing artist a few years ago when the Hubs and I were traveling full time around the country.  Annie and I immediately hit it off, and she told me that she and her husband, Craig, have lived their entire married lives following their creative flirts and let me tell you, their home was filled to the brim with their creative treasures! Following Your Flirts is a concept that I decided to carry with me from my visit with Annie and Craig, and I am so grateful for the one day we spent together. It was a lifetime to me.



Since Shayne is a computer programmer and works remotely, it doesn't matter where we hang our hat as long as we have reliable internet service. So, about a month before he turned 40, he declared to me that he wanted to pack up our apartment in Chattanooga, TN and hit the road for a year, living in cities that promoted great music.  So, we did just that. We have a Subaru Outback, and we packed that sucker to the gills with our most important things...like my favorite morning coffee mug!

I have a small, small jeweler's bench that could sit on a TV tray and that, along with 2 plastic boxes filled with my other tools was all I took with me work-wise. It was crazy! But it was a blast, too! We rented short-term rentals that were all inclusive for up to 4 months at a time, and then we were on to the next destination.

Well, we decided to winter in Eugene, Oregon for four months, but the tiny, tiny house we rented didn't have enough room for me to work.



So, I found a great studio to rent at Clayspace and I bought a beater bike and biked to my studio for four months. It was heaven. I have always wanted to learn how to work with clay, and in addition to learning how to throw pots, I wanted to see if I could make some clay jewelry too.

These have been coated with Ice Resin


I saw a box in the office that was made from low-fire clay, and asked the studio manager about it. It was heavily textured, and stained, not glazed. I was obsessed about trying to make jewelry from it. So, I bought some low-fire clay, rolled it out and textured it with my jewelry tools. As you all know, I am passionate about oxidizing my metal, and decided to stain the clay and then wipe it off, in a similar fashion to using Liver of Sulphur. Well, the effects were just what I wanted, but the integrity of the pieces were not jewelry worthy in my opinion. So, I fired them and kept them...figuring that one day, something would come across my path that I could do with them.

Last year, I was introduced to Ice Resin by my friend Diane Cook, and I bought 3 tubes of the stuff, and then promptly put them into a drawer and forgot all about them. But one of the joys of moving is finding treasures (like a gold opal ring I thought I had lost!) and luckily I found the resin on the same day I found my stash of low-fired clay jewelry. I had a peanut butter and chocolate moment! An answer to the low-fire clay jewelry question? Yes!

Excited, I hurriedly typed a quick note to Deryn Mentock on Facebook to see if she thought it would work to coat the clay with the resin. Her answer was to give it a try, as she didn't think it would react to the clay as long as it was fired.

So, I did. And it worked! Beautifully!
The darker area cutting diagonally to the middle has been coated, but not the remaining. See the difference?
I am over the moon about the possibilities of coating the rest of my stash now and being able to use them in some new designs. I still have to get the hang of it, but it was much easier then I thought it would be, and after a few days of curing, I feel comfortable selling them for wear.

Following Your Flirts is important, and even if you don't think your flirt will go anywhere, follow it anyway. With time, those flirts can turn into a full time romance...and before you know it, flirting with new creative and artistic methods of expression becomes a way of life! And what a life it can be!

10 comments:

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Well, that post was right up my alley! I guess that in my adult life I have taken on that attitude of following my flirts regardless of what that might be. It hasn't always been about jewelry. I've had other opportunities come my way in life and I've had to decide if it was something I felt natural about doing. I have to say that anything I have taken on has provided an excellent learning experience for me and added "wisdom" to that bag of "wisdom" that I'm told I have. Accepting that I've reached the age of "wisdom" was an accomplishment all in itself! I love what you have done with the ice resin. I would not have thought of that. I've never even had the experience of ice resin! Someday, maybe I'll be able to flirt with it ;o)
MaryAnn

stacilouise said...

My mom absolutely lives her life like this. I tend to be more practical when it comes to creating (WHY??????) I wish I were more of a free spirit. I'd love to paint on my walls and make crazy huge mixed media art. My mom would be doing something new every week! she taughter herself everything from macrame to stained glass, basket weaving, painting....you name it. And our house reflected her creative spirit. She painted on the walls, trees, vines, flowers.....she made this and that to adorn each room. I really like that you call it a flirt, because it is a moment like that. I think I just need to sieze it once in awhile, drop everything and do it!

mairedodd said...

it is a wonderful concept and challenges us to take the risk to let go and trust... like joseph campbell's 'follow your bliss'... your experiences bring so much to your life and your work... and ice resin is wonderful... it is one of my favorite things to use...

Izzy said...

What a great post Stacie! I love the term "follow your flirt". I'm a big flirt, in fact, some might say a flirt with a touch of a.d.d... But it's okay because I have so much fun.

Stacie Florer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacie Florer said...

I fell in love with Annie and her husband for the 1 day I spent with them...isn't it cool how you can meet some people in your life and even though the actual time spent is small in comparison to other friendships you may have, but the content and quality of a short interaction is literally life altering? Maybe that is why I have always been so attracted to gemstones of all shapes and colors...rich symbols and metaphors for our life experiences. Those two were diamonds...

Ila East said...

That seems to be a lot like what I do, or did. In my younger days I said I was a Jill of all trades but a master of none. I was always finding a new craft I wanted to try and another one before I hardly finished learning the one I just found.

After all these years, the only two things I still do is crocheting and painting. I'm better at crocheting than painting, but I like to paint better.

Ila East said...

That seems to be a lot like what I do, or did. In my younger days I said I was a Jill of all trades but a master of none. I was always finding a new craft I wanted to try and another one before I hardly finished learning the one I just found.

After all these years, the only two things I still do is crocheting and painting. I'm better at crocheting than painting, but I like to paint better.

Julie Holmes said...

Great post Stacie! I think it resonates with so many people. How much do we miss out on when we don't follow a "flirt"?

Barbara said...

Love this! I'll be excited to see all of the experiments that comes from it Stacie! I think it is so so so important to follow your creative impulses. It is like oil for the rusty gears in our brains!

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