What Becomes

I have always feared doing any sort of production work. I worried that it would be too much focus on a specific set of work and that it is easy to get caught up in valuing the work by numbers of sales and customer response.

And that which I feared occurred. This month, seven months into starting my production line, I found myself focused on my sales.... focused on how many people were interested in my work, how many views, or if anyone has made any comments on my blog, or if I was on any front pages... or whatever. And I was well aware of my obsessiveness about these things.

This morning, I knew I needed to post something here - after not posting anything for over a month. I really didn't think I had anything interesting to say. It's been all business... just not interesting.

I grabbed the camera and started walking around the studio. I ended up here. This is the welding table, and the dark area is where I always work.

Each mark indicates a weld that I've made. As I stared, I realized how many thousands of spots there were. That, although the work made here has been sent out to customers, I am left with the evidence of that work. Tiny melted spots of metal - bits of gold, silver and steel fused on the surface. So much information, and really, a work in itself.

I could just make these spots on a piece of metal. But this holds the history of something other than itself - kind of like a book. And these marks will continue to accumulate the more work I do.

I have found something to obsess about the accumulation of other than sales and views.



Steph said...

You could turn your welding table into jewelry !

Anne said...

I think it's natural to gage your success by sales and stats. I know I do...to the point of not wanting to sell to anyone I know. Especially selling on the internet as we do, we're just 'floating' out there and have no other way of knowing how we're doing except through the charts.

I'm also afraid of real production work. It bores me to no end. I let myself do new exciting designs along with enough production work to keep things going. It's the desert vs. the bread and butter and it keeps me rejuvenated.

Love your 'Love Squeeze' rings for submission! Very cool! Glad I found you.

kait said...

I'm kinda stalled out on blogging as well because I'm trying to get away from production work as a major motivator. It's hard! It helps to know I'm not alone....

joanna said...

very interested to find your site! i like your work very much, esp the wire forms. my studio mate and i both have been interested in wire forms recently, funny how that happens. i love them in steel though! LOVE! i'm gonna bookmark your site and keep checking in! thanks!

Laura Crawford said...

Hi Julie - I just found your site, so I'm a few months behind, but your comments about production really resonate with me because I'm muddling my way through the same dilemma right now - Do I want to create a production line or do I want to continue to make one-off pieces? Does production necessarily guarantee success? Does one-off necessarily guarantee more creativity? Ugh. Anyway, I love your work and I was so excited to find your blog today, so I thought I'd throw a little support your way. :)