Ouef Couture (Part II): Still Dressin' Eggs...comments (6) March 23rd, 2009
Projects do not always take one week to complete, creating them is not always a matter of simply following a set of instructions (1, 2, 3), and submissions are not always met with words of praise and encouragement: In brief, life is not a blog. The fact of the matter is projects take anywhere from one day (rarely) to three months to complete, creating them is often an exercise in inventing the solution first before executing it, and praise and encouragement, while sometimes present, are often overshadowed by a strange mix of self-doubt and drive.
When I'm working for a client, I understand these facts and I've learned to adjust my expectations accordingly; to be both more self-directed and self-encouraging. However, with projects I undertake for my own amusement, insecurities often rear their heads: Is it a good idea, will others "get" what I'm trying to do, how much time can I reasonably devote to "frivolous" things when client work (read: income-generating work) is on my desk awaiting my attention.
My Easter egg decorating post is a case in point. I've now spent two weeks crafting objects for this collection (in between my regular work) and at some point in the process of each egg I have found myself wondering, "Am I wasting time? What good is this? Will other people 'get' it?"
Then, mid-week, at around egg number 18, I realize that what I'm engaged in is less a matter of making an object and more a matter of investigating ideas; less a matter of work and more a matter of play. Of course, the argument could be made that these are a ridiculous waste of time, but I think a counter argument could also be made that in a very real sense, these objects are simply practice for bigger and better (and PAID) jobs I will likely undertake in the future. Because they have no client connected to them, it begs the question whether words like "success" or "failure" can even be applied. They are investigations only; examples of my mind and my hands working in concert to find new things to do with paper.
This realization, of course, gives new meaning to the whole enterprise and changes the dynamic from one where I'm taking time away from work to one where I'm actually making time to develop work for the future. From this vantage I can see how some designs I am working on for table decor are being played with in some of my egg forms. With my "Scotch Egg" design, the idea is flowing in the opposite direction: I feel I've learned something I will be able to apply to a packaging job I'm working on for a small company.
By taking a broader look at my client work and the projects I do here at CraftStylish.com, I can see now that they are really quite closely connected: The former can be thought of as a "manufacturing division," while the latter assumes the role of "Research and Development." Clearly, playing deserves attention as much as work does since playing leads to improvements in my work. Which ideas turn out to be good and useful ones and which don't is a question for another day. For now I think it's enough to have realized that I have a responsibility of sorts (to myself and my clients) to engage in discrete, regular, weekly periods of play, to follow the simple rule "be curious and explore," and to encourage myself as much as possible. This, of course, is the gist of what I do in this space on CraftStylish.
It turns out that life is much like a blog after all!
(Check out part 1 of this post here.)
Note to readers on Twitter:
If you're a fan of Twitter and would like to read my Tweets, you're welcome to follow me at http://twitter.com/jeffrudell. You'll get a glimpse at how I fill my days (e.g., collecting cardboard from Wal-Mart dumpsters, exploring the attic archives of an antique wallpaper store in Chinatown, building a 6-foot-wide papier-mache sun for chic boutique). I also share links to online paper projects I think are extraordinary and pass along information on suppliers, vendors, and material resources as I find them. I hope to see you there.
P.S.: I'd also like to give a special shout out to hemidemisemiquaver for posting pictures of her own egg project on last week's blog. You were an inspiration to me and I'm grateful for your participation. You're the best!
My intention was to create some sort of Faberge-egg-on-a-pedestal but the finished object looks more like a cross between a lunar lander and a sea urchin.
A friend has already christened this "The Scotch Egg" for its resemblance to that delicious (and fattening) concoction. I love the tailored quality it has. Such a perfect fit, strong shape, and bold colors say "bespoke" to any hen in the know.
Last week's attempt at this sort of container used two different sheets of paper (in two different colors) but had to be fitted with struts to keep it in place. This 2.0 design enlists a swirl of purple strips to create a form-hugging nest that keeps this egg in place.
For this piece, I simply cut strips into a sheet of paper (6 inches x 9 inches), folded it over two eggs, and glued the ends in place. By strategically gluing the end strips partially closed, this forms a surprisingly secure little carrying case for this pair of kissing eggshells.
In this example, I simply created a small, square egg cup (albeit one with two rather extravagant wings jutting up from either side). A small packet of precut confetti layered across the surface made this seem so whimsical and lighter than air.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery