Saturday, October 6, 2012
Another compelling distraction from writing ...
One of the great frustrations of becoming an adult, I've long felt, is the need to narrow your field of interests--at least, if you ever want to be any good at any of them.
I've always been lousy at that. Over the years, I've been intensely occupied, at various points, with painting, drawing, dichroic glass, beadwork, and collage. Oh, and making cocktails. Add to that the desire to have some sort of social existence and, sometimes, the desire to hibernate and do nothing but read and avoid all human contact, and I often feel a mile wide and an inch deep, and worry that I'm neglecting the words that have always been my deepest love.
Still ... I do have a good time with distractions. My latest sideline has been gripping me for a couple of months now, ever since I finally got to take a metalsmithing class at Glen Echo. The artist and instructor, Blair Anderson, makes stunning silver (check out this brilliant pendant, which gave me chills: Not only is it a tribute to Ray Bradbury, it has a jump drive with 10,000 books hidden inside it) and is also an amazing teacher, and after a few weeks, I had the silver bug. After a day of moving words around a screen, hammering the shit out of metal and firing up a blowtorch is incredibly satisfying.
Silverwork's not a cheap hobby, though, so I've revamped my Etsy store to include some of the jewelry I've been making in hopes of making it eventually fund itself. It's funny, because while there's so much about the work that is deliciously nonverbal, there are ways it reminds me of writing poems ... specifically in that, like poetry, I often labor for hours and get to the end and it looks a) tiny and b) flawed. But like poetry, also, I can see potential, and every now and then I think, that's actually kind of neat.
Plus: FIRE!! METAL!! HAMMERING!!