So ladies and gents, I had my very first jewelery making class today!
We writers sit down and write all day, using our brains and our hands. I need a little physicality in my life. Enter...jewelry making! It was meditative and technical...but whimsical too. I loved it! I was still using my brain and my hands but I could touch the tools! (Have you ever tried to pick up 'dialogue' and hammer it into a scene of metal?)
At one point, I thought I was done with my piece, but I wanted to use some different tools. So I asked my teacher what other things I could do to it. She pointed out some places that needed to be smoothed out and showed me what shape of sanding tool to use. I smiled, thanked her, and sanded.
Being the obsessive writer that I am, I thought about writing. Why can't it always be this easy to ask for criticism? When I asked for criticism on my novel about six months ago, my stomach twisted up and I had a dumb grin on my face. I was...too happy. Weird. I asked my betas questions. I listened intently, and I did the best I could to address the issues they found. But it wasn't easy. Or all that fun. It was nerve-racking. (BTW, my response to nerves are a blank stare at home but a dumb grin in public.)
A few weeks ago, I went to a writers group, and read a piece. They said it was good, powerful, and strong. I asked for criticism. It was easy. I wasn't emotional about it. I just hoped that someone could help me.
Learning how to take criticism requires work, practice. It truly is a skill.
I'm glad that I'm getting better at it. Throughout this whole class, I'll be trying to make pieces that I like. Its not about pleasing the teacher or the other students. Its about having something to take home that makes me happy.
I've come a long way. Today in class, I did not ask "How should I stamp this?" "What else should I do?" "Do you like it?" "Is it good?"
What I asked instead was, "What else could I do to this that would teach me another tool?" I knew what I wanted, and I asked the right question.
When I'm done with my rewrite, a round of edits, reading it aloud to my husband, and another round of edits, I will give it to my betas. It will be much more anxiety-inducing than making jewerley, but hopefully the idea that creating...making...shaping...learning...are all FUN! really rubs off on me.
Asking for and making use of all types of criticism can be...FUN!
I hope that you can take a moment and heart your WIP, no matter what stage its in.
I was given a 20 gauge sheet of copper. After using a saw blade, a drill saw, and various sanding and stamping tools, I present to you...my first handmade piece of jewelery that did not involve a bead! It is a very silly thing, but I like it.
I'm thinking it could become a choker. I just need a black leather cord! Oh, and in case you're wondering, the D's are for me, and the G's are for my hubby, Gabriel. I tried to put just one G and D but I did the D backwards, so I flipped the thing over and tried again. I did it backwards AGAIN! So then I just went all willy nilly on it.
I invite you to spread the love. All the silly stuff leads to the good stuff. All the comments that are hard to hear lead to the ones we all want.