The irony of what I do is that if I actually make what I am trying to make, the results are not very interesting. There is the ideal of what I want to make, and there is the randomness that distorts the ideal into something beautiful. Today's work was a perfect example of this.
As most of you know, every May/June, I do a fundraiser for The Trevor Project. They work to end LGBTQ teen suicide. This year, I will make a series of earrings, pendants, and other jewelry in an assortment of different pride flags. I donate 25% of the purchase price on these pieces. Last year, I donated around $775 from the sale.
This year, I started with a fairly simple one, the pansexual pride flag, as seen at right. What I try to do is pour the colors in stripes to get a result as close to this as possible. The Fluid dynamics of pouring my artisan concrete mix introduces randomness to the pour which reflects my style. Please note that the images in this post are fresh from the mold, and have not been cleaned, sanded, or sealed.
Some of these hearts are pretty close to the ideal, although the randomness of the line that separates the colors and the angle at which the pour took place makes it more interesting to me. Some of these will not be used for the fundraiser, simply because colors did not appear in the right order, and therefore do not actually represent the flag they are intended to represent. The yellow should be between the pink and the blue in roughly even amounts.
Having said that, more randomness can be more interesting. In these round stones, you can see some in the middle row that came out close to the ideal, and will get used. There are also some in the row above and below that there the colors are pretty well balanced, and even though the colors play randomly, the impression of the colors conveys the pan flag. I will use some of those also. The stones in the top row, however, where the yellow dominates, probably will not get used for this purpose. While they are interesting, they do not convey the idea of the pan flag as well as others. I still may use them down the line for another purpose, And in the picture below, there are a few that, even though the blue dominates and it has strayed far from the ideal, the marbling is so interesting and the colors are suggestive enough that they may get used for the fundraiser.
This is the joy and the curse of my work. As you can see, each stone is unique. The further the piece strays from the ideal, the more unique it becomes. When I want to make something perfect, the results are not as interesting. However, there comes a point at which the piece has strayed too far from the ideal and is no longer useful. I have come to accept that the imperfections of my work are what make it beautiful and interesting. I no longer feel disappointed when the results don't match what I was trying to do. Rather, I lean into it, enjoying the uniqueness of each stone.
These pieces, and many others, will be available in their finished states at my May and June shows as seen on the Events page. I should also have some up on the website, too.