Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Downsizing My Studio

Tulips in Callicoon by Roberta Warshaw
Tulips in Callicoon, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
Right before my surgery was a very scary time for me. Let’s face it. Death was always in the back of my mind. I would be crazy not to think about it. After all, remember Andy Warhol. He went in for a simple gall bladder operation and never came out.

In a way, for me, it was kind of like when I get on a plane to go somewhere. Essentially you are putting your life in someone else’s hands for a few hours and you just never know, do you?

So before my surgery I came to some decisions about what would be next for me if I came out of this alive. Yes, I know. What can I say. It is how my mind works under stress.

I looked around my studio and saw quite a few supplies and tools that I haven’t used in quite a few years. For example there is my nearly brand new Paragon Sc2 kiln. It takes up way too much space and I think I used it a dozen times if that. I had originally bought it for enameling but I quickly tired of that medium, I could never get the colors right and all that sanding was killing my hands.

So then I started using it for metal clay. But the price of the clay was unaffordable after a while and so the kiln sat unused for a quite a few years.
Tonight I sold my kiln to a wonderful enamellist and jeweler who was in need of a new kiln. Perfect. I am also donating all my unused or partly used Thompson enamels to the local art center. They teach a lot of children and adult classes in enameling so they will get good use of it all. And I can get an entire shelf back.

I am also selling all my unused and unopened packets of PMC3. They are two years old already and I don’t see myself using them again. Let me know if you might be interested in them and perhaps we can strike a deal.

I need to downsize in a big way. I can no longer afford to keep working in expensive materials and not be able to sell it. My jewelry business has never made me much money and frankly it is now just an expensive hobby.

Which leads me to the next sentence. I am closing my etsy shop and will not be selling (or trying to sell) jewelry any longer. I am going back to my first love of painting, Now that I have the time to be in my studio every day where one painting grows out of the next, that is going to be my focus.

I will totally understand if you don’t want to follow my blog anymore especially if it is not going to be about making jewelry. There are so many blogs out there I am honored that you have all followed me for so long. Of course I will still be posting about all my travails as an artist so even if it isn’t directly about jewelry making, you may still want to stick around. I hope so because I have gained some wonderful friends and followers on here.

But time marches on, life is short and I need to follow my art heart wherever it takes me.


Pamela Cole said...

Thanks so much for sharing you process. I'm just reading something about "flow" and how we can create optimal experiences for ourselves. Sounds like painting does it for you! I, too, know that my impending surgery is taking me to another transition point....

Roberta Warshaw said...

It really makes you think about things and accept that all things pass and change.

Polygolems said...


We don't know each other personally, but I have to say that while I absolutely respect the decision that you made, and why you made that decision, I will be so sad to see you leave the medium of jewelry. Your heat set oils on polymer are particularly beautiful to me - and sparked in me an interest in using oils with polymer. They are an inspiration to me, and I hate to think that you won't be making any more.

I wish you well and look forward to seeing what you create going forward, with your first love.

Transitionstx said...

I've always loved your paintings and look forward to those that are yet to be born.

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

I commend you for listening to your wise inner artist. I am certain I will continue to read about your creative endeavours, but like others I will miss your lovely PC art.

Lee said...

While I will be sorry to see the end of your polymer experiments, I really look forward to seeing what you do next!

Barb Fernald said...

Hey, Roberta! I don't care what you do as long as it involves continuing your creative process. I'll still want to read your blog. It's fascinating to see your progression from metal clay, when I fist got to know you, to polymer with textures, to alcohol painted polymer, to your current painting.
I learned a lot from your polymer experiments. And I hope to learn alot from your painting forays.

onward and upward!

Candace said...

I commend you, too, for branching out in a new direction, that's really very exciting. And I love painting so I'll be sticking around.