I really enjoy creating unique textures in metal. There is something fabulous about the process.... Taking small punches and creating patterns, oxidizing the finished piece and waiting for the complete picture to be unveiled....
I have collected punches for chasing from all sorts of random places and have even made some of my own. An old hex key and a flex shaft can create some really interesting patterns.
This cuff took about four hours to complete. I really loved the process of fabrication and would love to continue making them but I think I will have to break it down across several days to save the pressure on my neck and back.
Just thought you would enjoy a little in the process photo.....
Delias Thompson / Saturday, December 4, 2010 / 0
Oh goodness how do we take an idea and bring it to fruition and how many drafts must it go through before we reach the desired effect?
With precious metal prices being what they are I am almost afraid to play and yet I am just not one of those people who can work in anything but the metal itself. I have tried creating models in the past but just never felt like they helped me truly understand what the finished piece would look like so yes... I know... bad delias..... works in sterling even for ideas.
Well I know I am onto something here but I am not there yet. I think the textured metal needs to really slope outward and be much wider with a lot more movement in the broken edge. Next week I go to pick up metal so I will have to try it again because I just know that it is so close to being something rather cool.
Delias Thompson / Tuesday, November 30, 2010 / 4
I recently had an experience that reminded me of all my faults and fear overwhelmed me. Some of what was said trickled into my head and bounced back and forth creating vibrations in my mind making it difficult to see clearly.
And though this person does not know me well they felt compelled to describe me in such a way that they could not have known they hit every fear I hold inside. It commanded my attention as this special journey is one I take so seriously. Someone once told me that the difference between the past and the future is the happy memories you put between them. We each have a story and though that story may not be clear to everyone I think we would all be better if we tried for a moment to realize that we have no idea where people are coming from. What we see in seconds of conversation is but a minute layer and only when we delve further into true friendship are we able to dig past the surface and find the many parts that make the whole. I am guilty of this too and was reminded of this in another recent experience. How I wish I could remember all of my life's lessons and carry them in my pocket for safe keeping.
Is perception reality? Rarely. It is with this in mind that I have chosen a new concept I want to delve into. The idea that we are broken. Small pieces of our life's experience and rarely does one travel the whole of their life without experiencing some battle scars. It is difficult to lay down our guns when the dust settles and redefine ourselves back to who we were before. It is impossible to not allow these experiences to change how we perceive the world and the objects and people in it. But sometimes we find that through true friendship we can allow ourselves to look forward and try to heal. Someone to remind us that yes, we can lay down our guns and move past these experiences even if we have carried them so long that the burden is part of our own spiritual and physical weight.
In this attempt to find closure to the past so that I might learn from my mistakes I am compelled to expand into the many broken pieces. The idea that we are stronger more weathered versions of ourselves once broken but the broken pieces can be mended and can create a whole, a joyful surprise, a something unexpected but real and whole and good. Is this possible? Can we stitch our lives back together and carry the struggle forward embracing it as a life changing experience and create positive consequences? I would say yes to that. I would drink a toast and close my eyes and wish upon stars that this might be true. And so my mind will linger here for awhile..... sifting through little pieces......
Delias Thompson / Saturday, November 27, 2010 / 0
And so as always it is exciting to have gone and exciting to come home! I think we saw just about everything there was to see and the richness of the culture and beauty has me inspired....
Our favorites I would have to say were the grounds of Versailles and Sacra Coeur, a cathedral above the city of Paris that has had continuous prayer for 125 years.
I am always amazed at the idea that my feet are now stepping in the shadows of the past and what lingers there, an energy, can still be felt today. Matters of great importance and historic events are ground like powder into the dirt and cobblestones beneath my feet. Such an amazing journey to see what they have seen to feel the same cool breeze sweep off the Seine and row upon waters that once held royal barges..... romantic, humbling, beyond words....
Delias Thompson / Monday, November 1, 2010 / 1 comments
"Where do you draw your creative inspiration from"
This question is always the hardest one for me to answer because in truth I am inspired by everything. A passage from a good book, a walk in the woods with the pups, lyrics from a song, the hard lines of the skyscrapers that meet the Atlanta skyline and even the materials themselves. I find that all of these elements combine and accumulate in my head and come out in my work. It is really my view of what I see, touch, feel, and hear around me that identifies my work as mine.
In truth though I am not one to follow a pre-determined path. I do use a sketch book and draw up designs but when fabricating them I allow myself the freedom to move away from the original inspiration and explore opportunities as I put things together. I enjoy having freedom at the bench. I believe that the metal itself has a voice and I try to work within it and capture all of the elements for each piece as a balanced whole.
To read more great inspirational stories please visit the following blogs:
Announcing the First Ever Delias Thompson Gallery Love Contest!
Delias Thompson's jewelry is now offered at 37 retail locations across the country. These are amazing places where you can find creative and one of a kind gifts and treasures. Have you been to one of the galleries or gift shops and explored the beautiful handcrafted items?
Well the Gallery Love Contest will require you to dust off your shoes and do some exploring. Here's what you need to do:
Go to www.deliasstudioinc.com and check out the gallery locator page.
Choose a retail location near you
Go visit and snap a digital photo of the OUTSIDE store front of the retail location. (Please take the photo outside the retail location, most retailers will not allow photography inside).
E-Mail the photo to email@example.com
On September 30th Delias will randomly choose one of the e-mail recipients as a winner!!!!
Here's what you get!
The winner will receive a Sterling Silver Pebble Ring in their choice of gemstone (topaz, citrine, garnet, peridot, amethyst) and in their requested size Packaged up and mailed to their front door!
Can't get any better than this! Have fun and remember to take photos OUTSIDE the retail establishment. Funny photos may end up on my blog!!!!
Delias Thompson / Friday, September 3, 2010 / 3
About a year ago I logged into my website comments section to find this post: "I don't think your work is very creative. It all looks the same."
Well, my first reaction was, "screw off...." then it hurt my feelings.... and then believe it or not .... I let this fool get under my skin. BUT. let me say this was a good thing. I took a good long look at my line and I thought well.... maybe this person has a point. I have some redundancy. So I removed some items from my line, cut some other lines down, introduced some new lines and then threw out all of the collections and built just the one; Edge Collection. And then yes, I added the Pebble Collection. I think perhaps the intention of this person was not from the very best place but I am not in need of a yes man or woman and I thought the critique valid after some consideration. It really helped me to look at my line with a critical eye and to take the salt out of a slight and use it for good.
I must admit though.... there are some elements I just love and I will come back to them again and again. I love little granules. I love texture. I love darkened metal. I love these things and grouped together they are what I create. I become obsessed with certain stones and looks.... have you noticed my recent obsession with Montana Agate? Can't get enough of it and want to play with it and set it and make pretty things with it and I don't care if not everyone loves it because the colors make me think of Fall and feed my soul and make me want to make homemade soup! Giggles!
So when you feel the breath knocked out of you from time to time.... learn when to take a good hard look and learn when to smile and do it anyway!
Delias Thompson / Sunday, August 29, 2010 / 3
Can I just tell you the truth? I have always been one of those people who sets a goal and becomes completely obsessed with it until the moment I achieve it and then it is onward to the next goal. I love being in flux. There is nothing more exciting than the chase. I'm sure this is attractive and off putting all at once.
However, I think this is why I love the torch and the metal so much. The opportunities to create something new are endless and there is always a new technique or a new tool or a new twist! It keeps things moving...
My friend who is also a jeweler and I constantly debate the optimum length of a product's life cycle. I look at the world around me and see a population infatuated with new, new, new. What is the newest thing you have..... what's next? I believe that being "connected" by the Internet has created a constant buzz.... a constant need for stimulation. In this I find that I feel the need constantly to be designing.... the next collection, next piece, next spin.... next, next, next, NEXT!
I'll be honest I love it but I will also admit that there is the smallest part of me that fears that one day I am going to wake up and find that I have no more new ideas. What if my creativity is like a battery and it only has so much life before it is drained completely. I am so obsessed with this idea. I think it stems from childhood. I remember adults discussing how once people grow up they lose their ability to imagine. It created such an impact on me and I began to worry about losing my imagination. Silly, I know but here I am still haunted by this fear that we only have a limited amount of creativity.
As a solution or a counter plan in case the inevitable ever comes true.... I hoard sketchbooks full of designs that I sketch as ideas for future pieces, collections, etc. It's my back-up plan.... I feel like I am "gaming" destiny with this idea that I will save them up so I can use them later .... just in case.
It's just one of those things.... those strange ideas that get in your head and for some reason you can never really let go of.
Thank goodness, I have a plan!
Delias Thompson / Friday, August 27, 2010 / 1 comments
Augusts topic is Talk about something you'd like to create, that you maybe don't have the skills or technology to do currently?
Yes, Yes, Yes! I am planning on correcting this as soon as the class I am waiting for becomes available but I have yet to take a course on forging hollowforms.... Now, I can fabricate a hollowform ring but I'm talking sculpture here! I have seen so many amazing and talented artists forge hollowform sculpture and I have long been waiting to acquire this skill set. However, there is only one instructor who I am yearning to learn this particular skill set from and the class has not been offered for awhile. So I am waiting, waiting, waiting and hoping to rectify this situation soon.
If you have read my blog for any length of time you will probably notice that I have had trouble with balance for quite some time. Recently though and I must admit I'm almost afraid to jinx it.... I have found a bit of a foothold on this concept.
What was once so beyond my imagination is beginning to form into a perfect dance and my stress level has been greatly reduced. I am finally finding a way to align the business and personal delias side by side.
First I realized that I need help. It took me a long time to realize that by not hiring help I wasn't saving money but really spending money in a way that was not realizing a profitable return. I am coming to terms with my own limitations. There are many things in my business I do well and there are many that I just don't. So first I have hired an assistant to help me in the day to day operations and second I have hired an accountant to do all my paperwork. This has been such a great relief for me and I already feel so much lighter and with renewed strength to look at all the things I still want to do creatively.
My very favorite part of this new direction is that if I work hard all week I get to reward myself with a free Friday. On Fridays I get to enter the studio and make whatever I feel like making. It's so exciting that it helps me stay focused the rest of the week because I know if I stay on task I get to look forward to Friday where the studio really is all mine again and the metal, the torch, and the inspiration can go anywhere I want.....
So here's to what once formed an enigma..... balance..... let's see how long I can stay on the tightrope!
Delias Thompson / Thursday, August 5, 2010 / 2
Just got back from Franklin where I purchased a whole lot of beautiful stones. I have been on a stone buying spree so I am going to have to get to work on fabricating some pieces and using up all of these lovelies!
Just to get an idea.... Labradorite with dark blue flash, Jasper, Peruvian Opal, Oregon Opal, Amazonite, Garnet, Brecciated Sugilite, London Blue Topaz, Larimar, Pink Tourmaline, Garnet, and Rainbow Moonstone.....
Whew, what a mouthful!
Delias Thompson / Sunday, July 25, 2010 / 4
I apologize -to my garden. I have abandoned you. Allowed you to become infested with weeds. Left my lilies so untended that they failed to bloom this spring. Allowed my wildflowers to shrivel to nothing...... and let's not even discuss the hydrangeas....
Guilt has finally taken over and I have promised to nurture this small patch back to life. Last weekend I weeded and raked, planted and fertilized... it is getting there. If I can keep Kai from stomping on the poor black eyed susans they may have a fighting chance - even with the heat.....
This weekend I have to tackle the unknown vine that is creeping into everything. It is the reason I gave up last spring.... and with that.... I will have one patch of garden thriving.... after all a promise is a promise....
Delias Thompson / Thursday, July 22, 2010 / 0
LAST night I was out with a few fellow jewelers and we were discussing the oh so illusive, Voice. What is the Voice? The Voice is what you as an artist bring to the table. An expression and extension of yourself that can be heard clearly throughout your body of work. It is how you embrace the palette and your own unique brushstroke on the canvas.
For some the Voice is illusive..... hiding behind corners and peaking out for a playful second only to turn to smoke when caught. It is something they long to achieve..... and yet.... the most difficult task as an artist is finding Your Voice and unfortunately it is also a task that you must do alone. For others the Voice comes naturally in everything they do. They are a true extension of themselves in every way and their natural Voice as an artist is found before they even hold a torch. They are so unique, inventive, and utterly themselves that they not only beat to their own drum but build their drum from scratch.
The Voice is a sacred thing. It is who you are inside when you create. Your vision of the world. But not only is the task of finding your Voice excruciating but keeping true to your Voice is the balance between what is excellent and what is common. It defines the work.
It took me years to find my Voice and I must say when I found it I thought to myself, really? Really, that is my Voice? For another secret that is rarely shared is that your Voice is it's own entity and does not always sync with you on a personal level. Sometimes what we create and what we love are two different things. Sometimes, our Voice is an extension of ourselves and not necessarily who we see when we think of ourselves for let's be honest..... how many of us really delve to know all the many layers of ourselves and how many of us have a portrait we think of as us which holds the truths and half truths of who we hope to be and possibly who we are shortcomings included?
For our Voice is the many layers.... those we keep hidden from even ourselves and those we know naturally. It is the third eye.... and so much can be learned from it should we choose to take the task. The Voice is the other self. It is the self in black and white. It needs no thought.... no ultimate capture, only recognition and when we accept that..... we arrive.
Delias Thompson / Thursday, July 15, 2010 / 2
98 degrees today and something has to give... I find myself restless with too much heat.... it drifts off the asphalt into a haze and creates mornings filled with longing to go back to bed.
I made some decisions recently which has opened up some time which was supposed to be good.... a very good thing..... but now perhaps too much time.... too much time to think.... to analyze.... to wonder.....
Hitting the wall as an artist is never a good thing and often can create an atmosphere for an amazing break through but still it challenges us each day as we sift through it.
I have been working on a new techniques and as stimulating as it is.... I question each direction and each step forward.... I stumble..... and perhaps it is just this dreaded heat that permeates everything with no escape... perhaps a drop of rain would bring the moisture back into my mind but it feels dry inside and out and stifling....
And yet the engine continues to move forward because to stop is to admit defeat and it is important not to be confined but to move ever forward..... and hope that you will not be forgotten that you will not become stale that you will not find yourself ten years from now doing the same thing from ten years previous.
I am trying to move away from the poetry collection. Casting a die in the sand and hoping that with my new work and my struggle to come across barriers I can find success and yet I fear that I will not. I fear that when you truly put yourself out there and you put a little something besides labor, perhaps a bit of soul into the work will the rejection come..... for finding great success often allows the possibility for great failure.
Meekly I begin down this new path and so we shall see....
Delias Thompson / Thursday, July 8, 2010 / 1 comments
The last few months have been so filled with things to do that I have not had time to post much. It seems that no matter how hard I try lately I just cannot keep up. Alas, balance will have to be my mantra again next year unless I can make some serious changes with the second half of 2010.
But as my friends tell me.... success is a silly thing to complain about. I had a feeling this year would greet me with a smile and it has and so I will soak up each ray with a smile in return.
Finally the Spring show season has ended and I have time again in my studio. I am snatching it up and enjoying a chance to play and work on new stuff so keep an eye on Etsy as many one of a kind pieces will be popping up for awhile.
I plan to take the month of July slowly and really embrace this one summer month before things get busy again. Taking time to enjoy the pups swimming and walking in the Chattahoochee National forest, a few small home repairs, and some new recipes in the kitchen. Sometimes I have to wonder why we spend so much time keeping busy when there are so many small treasures in life to enjoy.
If you missed it I had a fantastic article come out in Art Jewelry Magazine in June which I wrote demonstrating how to make my wide cluster wrap band and other techniques for making wide bands. It was a lot of fun to write and a lot of work but so exciting to see an article I wrote in print. If you have any questions on any of the steps, let me know, I will help!
Delias Thompson / Monday, July 5, 2010 / 1 comments
For the last two years I have worked steadily on building a collection of production jewelry that can be wholesaled to galleries. It has been exciting to offer my work to a variety of galleries across the country but I have also been yearning to get back to work on some of my one of a kind pieces.
I have been fortunate to have built a business relationship and friendship with one particular gallery owner who I must say has given me so much strength through this difficult journey of wholesaling my work. I cannot tell you how many times she has helped me to put things in perspective and talked me off the ledge so to speak. I trust her implicitly and I know that she will never lead me astray. She has been asking, hinting, pushing, me to wholesale my one of a kind work for some time now. I have been hesitant as I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea of how to do this and if it was even financially possible to align these two concepts in a profitable way. After a lot of thought and my recent mental tug to get back to working on some more time intensive pieces I decided why not try it?
So here I go again with a new challenge and I am so excited I can't wait to get in the studio. I have to force myself not to get lost in the endless possibilities that one of a kind work offers. I've been on a spending spree purchasing new stones and having so much fun I can't help but wonder why I didn't do this sooner. I don't know where this new venture will take me but wouldn't it be great if I could offer a solid production line and something special right next to it?
So all one of a kind pieces will be inscribed one of a kind on the back. I am taking extra time and care to fabricate these special pieces with the many details I just can't always offer on the production line. However, I must admit my amusement when I realized that I have been inscribing one of a kind on one tag and just be. delias. on the other. Wouldn't we all just like to be delias? Giggles. I promise, this was not intentional!
Delias Thompson / Thursday, June 24, 2010 / 0
"Let go of of the idea that the path will lead you to your goal. The truth is that with each step we take, we arrive."
There is freedom in this passage that I am discovering more each day it crosses my mind.
The years of my life have held me captive in such a way that freedom feels earned and like a badge of courage meant to be displayed proudly. A sense of being is discovered at some point for all. An acceptance of our truth in this world and when we find this- our soul becomes balanced in a way that we can only describe in words.
I have stumbled in the dark trying to put the pieces together, spent hours struggling over the minutia of each small detail, and stayed up watching the minutes pass on the clock as I consider what I must do next to propel myself forward. There is an idea captured in my head of all the things I wish to achieve and I have dissected each unique piece and drawn a map of such intricate detail that one would need a compass not to get lost along it's borders. Yes, I do it too!!!! And yes, I know you have too!!!!
We are not alone on this quest and the further down this path I travel I find that we all, yes - all, have this part of ourselves that is lost and searching for defined instructions in this life. We all have dreams and hopes, ideas of why we are put here and what we are meant to do. We all struggle to stay on the path and we all expect that someday we will arrive to that golden moment where we have achieved those merits for which we have been searching.
And yet this idea is so simple that it should be celebrated each day..... There is no end to this path. No defined moment where we put our paper and ink away, turn off the torch, store the wheel.... the idea of this day is a mirage. There is only each step we take and each step we have taken and in each day we are exactly where we are. Realizing that we have arrived in this moment and that no moment before it and no moment after will ever be quite like this one gives us the freedom to experience the moment for what it is, for we have struggled many steps previous to arrive at this one. I love this idea and the freedom it offers me is inspiring and allows me to understand the true tragedy of always moving forward with back hunched and eyes cast upward towards the top of the mountain. There is no top. There is no summit. For as we all know the goal evolves as we move forward.
Delias Thompson / Monday, May 10, 2010 / 2
Sometimes the world sends us a message and we are too busy to listen. I have recently found emphasis in certain passages referencing the art of listening and being still. I am without a doubt someone who likes to move quickly through life. I have never had very much patience and never really understood why it is said that patience is a virtue. I mean really, why wait when you can have it now? Recently however I am realizing that when you move so quickly through the moments that add up to the sum of your life you lose a large portion of the magic.
Last night I was reading a book when I came across a passage referencing this concept. I fell asleep thinking about it because I felt like this message is much needed in my life. Can we master anything if we are not truly there in a full capacity? Can we realize that moment and listen to the answers in the earth's vibrations if we do not take a moment to be still? I do not consider myself a religious person but I am a spiritual person. I say that with tongue in cheek because though I try to have the hard conversations with myself and though I think deeply I am usually moving too quickly to actually learn anything. It seems every task I take is a process of many steps towards completion and I have become one of those people who realizes that sometimes I cannot quite remember the individual moments of the day, as it has all become a blur. Do we respect the task at hand when we spend the moments doing it thinking only of the next task at hand? Can we offer anything of ourselves to the moment if we are not really there? These are just some of the thoughts going through my head. I have perfected the art of completion. Mastered the ability to move through life quickly but am I willing to also learn the opposite and accept a full moment of being still? How can I possibly learn anything in this life if I do not take a moment to appreciate where I am?
So today I took the first small step in learning to focus on the task at hand. I began fabricating this ring and I actually allowed myself to enjoy each stroke of the file, to watch the process of the flame on metal, to see the flow as the solder moved. I spent the time working on this ring only on fabricating this ring. I tried not to let my mind wander but to master the moment. I found a forgotten respect for my craft. I had forgotten to the point that I didn't even realize it was missing what an amazing experience it is to just fabricate one piece. I will admit that after the process, as fulfilling as it was, I immediately forgot all about mastering the moment and went back to warp speed. Now at the end of the night though I find myself reflecting on how important this first step was. If I can be aware of this missing element in my life perhaps I can move towards satisfying it. In the past I have often thrown the words, "live in the moment." around but never really sought their meaning and never was it described to me as disrespect but when I read this passage I realized that truly is what you are doing, disrespecting the task at hand. Especially in the studio where these tasks are meant to fill my soul and balance my spirit.
Delias Thompson / Friday, April 9, 2010 / 3
So often my creative mind comes in this dreamlike visual phenomena.... an idea sits on the air in front of me but I can't quite grasp it. I fall asleep trying to focus on the abstraction and bring out the detail but sedation comes and I wake with the idea that there was something there.... the beginnings of something I would like to explore...
My creative mind sputters and grinds out ideas slowly. It begins simply and slowly unwinds itself to multiple concepts and then moves swiftly to the surreal before stopping and leaving me behind in its wake.
And then there are ideas that flow naturally and move with grace and purpose. They build themselves with layers and keep me captive as I examine them from the inside out and I find I am too excited to stop and my creative energy spikes in such a way that I find it difficult to complete any other task or to sleep because I want to capture the magical essence while I have it.
These are the moments when it feels good to create. A perfect harmony.... I feel so completely sure of myself as I work the metal and so confident that the finished piece will bring the satisfaction I search for daily.
The pebble collection came so unexpectedly and easily that I couldn’t help but think there is a genius sitting at the edge of my bench and directing me from the paranormal. The beginnings of this idea came a few weeks ago and I began fabricating some pieces but they were off.... wrong... awkward. I moved forward thinking it just another exercise but then a few days later it came to me so simple and full of unexpected bliss..... And so unlike me; miniature. The collection worked perfectly smaller.
I began fabricating all of the pieces in a lighter weight metal and so much smaller than the originals and I realized that it was a perfect fit. Each piece moving forward has come so gracefully and I am full of ideas on how to expand this concept into a full spectrum of organic euphoria.
It is a small glimpse of light at the end of a very long dark winter and all I can say to whomever might be responsible..... Physical or metaphysical..... Is thank you.
Delias Thompson / Thursday, March 25, 2010 / 4
It takes time. I have been laughing at myself privately, it seems every year I choose to take on the task of building a new collection. It overwhelms me and brings out all of my anxieties and yet I cannot seem to resist. Perhaps sitting still has never been my strong point but I am promising myself that once I complete the two collections I am working on now I will take some time to enjoy the collections for awhile.
However, I get so excited undertaking a new journey. As frustrating as it can be it is also rewarding to develop new work and find new inspiration. Each piece teaches me so much and helps me to branch out into new areas. I am really enjoying working with color which I have done so little of in the past. It's nice to add a little extra sparkle to my work.
These new necklaces are called, Embrace. They feature circles that fall within the oxidized cable and I love that they are casual and elegant at the same time. I really wanted to design a piece that could express casual elegance at a price point under $100 retail. I am getting ready for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival so I went ahead and fabricated one of these in each color.
So far this collection has been a lot of fun to work on. I am still developing the line but I thought I would share the process with you. I usually fabricate many pieces and then decide which ones to keep for production. I have chosen this piece as the first to keep in the line out of the first five I have fabricated. Once I develop an idea I want to keep I begin the process of designing accompanying pieces such as earrings and perhaps a bracelet. I am working on the earrings for this piece next...... oh such a process....
Delias Thompson / Saturday, March 20, 2010 / 4
Sometimes you must gracefully bow to the alchemist inside and begin down the wandering path towards the discovery of something new.
I am at the beginning of such a journey in so many ways both personally and professionally. I find that I am yearning to break down mental barriers. Fear is something I knew little when I was younger but as the years pass I find myself hesitating just a little longer than I am comfortable with before jumping.... Those who know me find this a trait I might surrender to a little more willingly but it is not in my nature. I prefer a little risk in life. At this recent discovery of my new found hesitation I can think of only one thing to do...... jump of course.
So with this in mind I am pushing forward and have decided this must be a year of new experiences. It is time to shake things up a little. Now you might laugh at some of the things I have chosen to learn as they are, well, quite domestic. However, for me, finding comfort in domestic activities has been alien. So I have chosen to learn to make and can jellies and jams, to knit socks, and for the first time ever will be skydiving this summer.
So too has my work become a little stale to my fingers as I fabricate..... As much fun as I have in the studio, I must also strengthen my creative mind and explore new opportunities in metal. I have been hasty this last year in designing new work and not quite true to myself. So I am taking my time this year. I will enjoy the path of exploration and explore these new ideas fully before presenting them into a line of production. There is calmness within as I am certain of this new direction. A balance in both living with my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground. As physically impossible as this might sound, I plan to grow very tall this year!
This is a new piece; Something wicked, and is a style I worked in several years ago yet differently. It was profound for me to decide to fabricate this piece without a background. Simple, yes, but the clean lines are so much more pronounced and the balance within the piece, even. I find my eye looking further than it once did. So prepare to see many new items from me as I continue my year of exploration. No life jacket needed.
Delias Thompson / Sunday, March 7, 2010 / 2
Recently I saw a link to Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love, speaking about the creative process. Her words were inspiring to me as I am finding myself yet again, amidst a creative storm. In the last three years since I decided to earn a living off of my work I have found that the peaks of the mountains are ever so high while the valleys torment me in a way that I feel I should purge myself of my work altogether.
I have spoken with other artists who have had these same feelings. The sense that we can accomplish anything, the heightened exhilaration that comes with success only to be followed by the deepest internal anguish that we will never fulfill our personal vision. This is a battle as true as any other we face in life and one we must find a way to combat in an effort to save our sanity.
I have found over the years that I have gotten better at exposing my creative demons and yet still they come marching towards me as real as any realized fear. They creep up and grip me in a way that I feel unable to work and throttled in a creative slump of failure. I have never quite been able to put these feelings or experiences into words the way Elizabeth Gilbert has and her speech helped me to find a way to make sense of these demons and to realize that any who dares to endeavor on a creative path will find them lurking in the back hallways of their minds. I think I can label them more aptly than demons however, they are really my fears. Deeply placed fears about my abilities to overcome my shortcomings as an artist and achieve something greater than myself. My reaction to the demons has been one that may make little sense to others but I find myself hurdling my body right back at them and chasing down this deepest fear so I can square off with it face to face. I will not be cast aside by my fears and I will not allow these internal threats of failure immobile me.
When the demons beckon out at me I have found that working on production components has been a great way to defeat the build up of negative energy. I know that if I continue trying to build something great that the fears and nasty words in my head will gain strength so I discourage them by setting aside new ideas and working on items my hands know rhythmically by heart. Hammering a bangle, patterning metal, cutting lengths for earrings...... these things are mundane and do not require my third eye.
But why is it that some of us choose a path riddled with demons and ghosts? Why do we find that we must always outdo ourselves and why does the internal mental balance shift so darkly? I cannot quite answer this except to say that for many of us there is no choice in whether or not we will create.... it is what we do. And yes, like all things, we are looking for the yes in life.... yes, the work is good, yes, you have achieved adoration, yes, you are worthy....... There is truth to the fact that many of us may or may not find this self worth among others or that even more dangerous we may find then lose the public's attention, the academic's nod, or the publisher's praise..... And what do we do after? Elizabeth Gilbert renews the roots by insisting we show up anyway...... we do our job anyway.
Next time the creative demons fill my head I will attempt to seek them out apart from myself as individuals and perhaps realize them for who they are..... Separate and within me, they are my fears embedded and my alternate self who insists I am mad to attempt such a journey, they are the cynics and the thief’s, and within them is not only the demon I fear but the dreamer I seek as well. It comes from the same place. They are not one-dimensional as I most certainly am not..... They are the crowd in my head that applauds, the recognition of a job well done, and the fuel to continue climbing ever upwards....
Delias Thompson / Tuesday, March 2, 2010 / 2
And with the past firmly tucked under tongue she discovered a way unseen by those who came before
A path hidden by a tree with long branches In the wood
She captured the thumping of her heart in her hand, calming her senses and struggling for courage
It was a dance she knew
A perfect ballet preordained with movements precise
But to break free of the chorus she must only see
With eyes wide open that which lay askew
A twig snapped, a leaf fallen, a print left in the snow
Some had come here before
Each step is not measured by one’s hope but in strength eternal and stretched like an endless stream
It twists and it turns on itself and it keeps one hidden from the truth that can only be found when one faces
Reality with brutal and true recognition
There is no control
There is only freedom
To take each step and move with a determination certain of one’s direction
The die is not cast like a gambler’s crutch
There is more
Within the shadows and outside of blacks and whites
There is more
To capture this one might find a freedom braver than the laugh of the crone, the jester, or the ghost
For they were blind
Too blind to see that with the act of surrender to ones deepest desires
Set within vines and thorns and pain there can be a truth
More certain than the ideal.
More certain than the girl herself
It is not of hope that bridges are built and walls torn
But of knowing that with ones own hands
A temple may be built
If only an internal sanctuary.
Delias Thompson / Monday, February 22, 2010 / 0
Arriving home from over four feet of snow in Philadelphia left a cold dampness within me. And though by my own calculations the show was a success as with all of life's lessons I found myself reflecting on the past week...
I do not mind reflecting and reviewing the details of any event to find a kernal of knowledge that may make me stronger moving forward but I must admit lately I do this with a sense of exhaustion. At times I look back and wish with all my heart that the lessons could be fewer and further a part. Yet, I find myself content in knowing that as long as there is something to learn there is always more to achieve.
I believe that in this last six months I have lost a part of myself. Looking to balance one's business self with their artistic self can be a dangerous passage and one must not lose either part when venturing out. I have felt myself losing sight of my ultimate goal and trying to determine what others need or want from me leaving me positioned on a plane of unawareness. At last I discovered that "they" do not want the part of me that is trying to be something I am not. This is wonderful and is giving me permission to go back to my true self. Hopefully a lesson I can learn once.
In order to move forward with anything we first must know who we are. This is perhaps my mistake in constantly second guessing myself and constantly trying to be something I simply am not. With this lesson I am firmly planting my feet in the ground and realizing what I am and what I have to offer. There is a balance in this and one I must learn to find comfort in. I am prepared for the next stage of self awareness that will position me as a whole instead of a part.
I am tired of being afraid. Tired of wondering if I am going down the right path or if the path I choose to take will be met with success. I am so tired....... and permission to let go of this other part and to stop trying so hard is welcome at this point. We are who we are. We cannot be something different and if we wander down the path a part from ourselves for too long we may lose sight of the path all together. So with a great effort I am trudging back to the place where I started and taking notice of that which led me astray. I am my best when I am myself.
The sun has chosen to greet me today and I feel a sense of wonderment at the beautiful day that has arrived. It feels like everything will be o.k. and that there is no reason to fret. Don't you wish you could capture the sense of awe and bottle it for later? It is my intention to capture this day in words so i can remind myself later when I get torn and conflicted. Spring is coming and there will be long golden days to bring warmth and smiles and perhaps is is only the long hard winter that has made me lose sight.
Delias Thompson / Sunday, February 21, 2010 / 2
I have shared before that every year I like to choose a new word for myself. It helps me embrace something I need to work on during the year or just a reminder. I am not always successful but I find that having my word nearby helps me to remember my goal as the first few months of the new year passes.
For a long time I have been wanting to roll out the be line using my part of my tag line, be, and adding inspirational words as gentle reminders. I finally came up with a way to do this that I find simply enchanting. These charms are small and delicate and can be worn every day. I usually like to go bold but wanted to design the be line as something you do not have to remove so that your daily reminder doesn't get in the way of your daily life.
I am so excited with the new be necklaces and watned to share them. So what be necklace will I be wearing this year?
because this year I plan to spend less time overthinking and more time embracing.....
Delias Thompson / Thursday, January 21, 2010 / 2
be bold. be true. be brave. be playful. be inspirational. be strong. be hip. be peaceful. be artistic. be smart. be fun. be smart. be amazing. be balanced. be alive. be learned. be political. be active. be vocal. be simple. be healthy. be triumphant. be joyous. be you. be. anything. you.want.to.be.
In the studio...
Skydive.Guitar.Yoga.Take a ride in a sail boat.Plant a garden. Istanbul.Ballroom dancing.Grand Canyon.Pottery.Live overseas. Make Jam. Climb a Pyramid.Scuba.Publish a short story. Inspire someone. Get a standing ovation.Ride down a volcano. Act in a play. DC 4th of July.