Thursday, January 7, 2010

Where to Start?

Over the past few years, I've collected what seems like tons of tutorials and books -- everything from wire work to lampwork, metalsmithing to beadweaving. I have a huge three-ring binder that houses only a portion of these tutorials, and facing that notebook, the shelves of books, and my clock can be daunting.

Where in the world to start?

Out comes the trusty day planner.

I started flipping through the weeks, writing down on random days random tutorials. "Try spiral beadweaving" reads one. "Experiment with etching metal" reads another.

I already use a lot of wire work in my normal day-to-day designs, but I want to use more intricate designs, so I didn't write this down, knowing that after my show in March, trying those techniques will just be a natural process.

Ditto for lampwork. My work bench faces the glass doors that lead out into the backyard, and I face the glass studio every single time I sit at the table, so it's hard to ignore that building calling to me. Besides, I know that once I light up the torch for the first time, the siren call of glass rods and colorful frit will be impossible to ignore.

(Shed before it was rebuilt for the lampwork studio.)

Starting anything is usually the hardest part, whether it's starting a diet, starting a marathon, or starting a new chapter in your life. If you're new to jewelry design, don't wait. Don't tell yourself, "I can't". Make an appointment on your calendar, a date with yourself, and start. Take that first step.

Lori Anderson's jewelry can be seen at Her other blog can be read at


  1. I feel the same way...there is so much I want to do...I realize the key is to "just do it", but that is easier said than done sometimes...


  2. Great plan Lori! I just know that exciting things will be happening for you in this journey. Thanks for taking us along for the ride. Enjoy the day! Erin

  3. I'm anxious to see the results of your journey!

  4. Sometimes I have so many ideas, or want to try several different techniques that I become "verklempt" and put off what I can accomplish in the moment to another day. You have inspired me to make beady appointments with myself. This is going to be a very interesting journey!

  5. You sound so wonderfully organized, Lori. I would have never thought to take such a systematic approach to trying new techniques and the whole learning makes sense to do it this way to achieve your goals. I agree totally with what SharonP said...too may ideas out there sometimes renders me immobile! I am completely guilty of putting things off that are unfamiliar for another day...

  6. I'm doing the same with my online journal/task list! I think your idea of the "Artist's Year Off" has me inspired and is keeping me going as I'm trying out new mediums like polymer clay, silver clay, and beadweaving. I've got all three going at the same time and have ideas to get them together.

  7. I think you are taking the right approach. There are soooo many things I want to learn that if I don't make it a point to sign up or start or practice, it will never happen! I love your lampworking shed--wish I could have one. For now, I have to rent torch time (another thing on my to do list!) I have Passing the Flame--love it!

  8. So true. I have to get better at scheduling.


Thanks so much for commenting!