Friday, February 24, 2012

Re:visiting three dimensional drawings

I had an inspiring conversation with C. last night about the Morse code beaded pieces I started so many years ago.

She had sent me a link to a retail website that is currently selling morse code jewelry for $59 - $160. I started to panic: did I miss my opportunity to sell my own? Why hadn't I ever done anything with my idea - from 2006? I was kicking myself. Time was fleeting; I felt run over, passed by by my own procrastination.

However, the conversation proved very informative and incredibly helpful.

After talking about my pieces in one way - that they were Morse code necklaces, talking about how to get them into the world of commerce, talking about aspects of retail, etc., C asked me to explain the original concept to her, to go back to how the pieces began in the first place. So I did: the idea was born at the mixed media and drawing workshop in 2006.

Before that time, I had a failed beaded jewelry business. My intention was there, but the drive to succeed in the world of retail was not. I had no idea about marketing, trends, or mass production. None of that made sense to me. It still doesn't.

That summer, I went to La Cip for mixed media and drawing. It was my first workshop since graduating from massage school, and over two years after I had stopped making work at all. I needed to reconnect with the artist that I was. Bodywork was/is great as a day job, but I'm an artist and that is what I should be doing. Needless to say, it was a very new experience to be there again after taking a leave of absence from my art practice. The art history lectures expanded my ideas of art in ways I couldn't imagine, and the drawing course proved to have a lasting impression.

The day the idea of using Morse code came to me, we were learning what elements comprise a drawing - dots, dashes, cross hatching, lines. Incidentally, I had brought some beads and string with me, and began making a small necklace after the lesson and before dinner. However, as I was working, I realized that the piece I was working on had no meaning. I began to question: why beads? Why string? What meaning did the material have, if any? What could they be transformed to say?

After dinner the questions were still in my mind, and I wrestled with trying to find a common connection between what a drawing was and the beads in my hand.

Enter workshop insomnia!

At around four in the morning, I finally found a solution that put my mind, and body at rest: Three dimensional drawings using Morse code. Conceptual drawings that can also be worn (as necklaces). It was important that they were worn around the neck, as communication and my relationship with language is important to underscore. Their weight became important; I was interested in transforming immaterial spoken words into objects that were in physical relationship with one's body.

Needless to say, explaining this to C. changed the way I remembered my own work.

I'm now more curious than ever to follow the questions that led me to begin the pieces in the first place. The piece you and I wrote together takes on a WHOLE new meaning.

More soon - off to studio.

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