As a recovering perfectionist, I find it interesting that the materials I am most drawn to for creating jewelry do not even come close to meeting my criteria for “perfection”. The beach glass, sea shells, pearls and rocks all have flaws, nuances and no two pieces are identical. And yet, I adore them!
I believe that the universe and our own inner guidance knows what we need to heal all parts of ourselves (and has a sense of humor), so it is no surprise really that my creative path forces (allows?) me to grapple with my dislike of my own flaws, nuances and the fact that sometimes I am critical of myself for not being more like others who I perceive as closer to some ideal. Of course, if every piece of beach glass, sea shell and pearl were identical (or people) – I would lose interest. It is the surprise, challenge, and fascination that comes with discovering the uniqueness of every piece and learning how to best work with each one that brings immense satisfaction. The metaphor has not been lost on me… It is the uniqueness of each person connecting with the unique piece of jewelry that speaks to her, that I find exciting and has a quality of mystery that I crave.
Today I have been working with green beach glass. There are numerous shades of green beach glass, from extremely pale to very dark. Here is a photo of the darker and brighter shades I have collected along the shores of Lake Michigan – lime, kelly, shades of olive, teal, forest and emerald green. Some shades are rare and difficult to find. I will talk about that in my next blog post.
I have chosen to work today with the lighter shades of green beach glass, pale green, light green, and sea foam. Even the pale shades vary greatly. I am totally transfixed by the variety of color, shape, texture and thickness. The thicker the piece, the older the beach glass (beach glass has been tumbling in the water from 10 to over 100 years).
The real challenge for me begins when I lay out 20 or 30 pieces of beach glass and am trying to “match” some into pairs to make earrings. I spent hours today deciding who could become pairs (beach glass matchmaking!). Some may look good together based on their size and shape, but their colors are not identical. Then I must consider whether the weight of the glass will be comfortable for earrings and how the shape will frame the face.
There seem to be endless combinations of imperfect pairs. Ugh! And yet, I enjoy the challenge and I feel that there is perfect imperfection that needs celebrating and eventually, new pairs of earrings emerge!
The last steps will be to write descriptions for them, photograph each pair individually and load them to my website where hopefully another match will be made between a perfectly imperfect wonderful customer and a perfectly imperfect pair of beach glass earrings!