This is what have been keeping my hands busy.
Before Goodwill stashed their winter wear away for the summer, I was able to score a few wool sweaters for felting. I found this large baby pink one that I almost didn’t get because it had a huge hideous butterfly design in front. But I figured I could still end up with a lot of baby pink material despite of it. The color became even lovelier after felting, so every time I see them now, I high-five myself for not leaving it behind. By the way, this is the same sweater I used for two past projects: my pink hat and orchid cuff.
I’m not quite ready to reveal them, but I made prototypes for a flower garland and fascinator. Whenever I have a prototype ready, I work on one task at a time. Meaning I don’t make one flower at a time. Instead, I finish a task then move on to the next. Yes, for the past two weeks I’ve been a floral factory worker.
I have to work this way to be more efficient and productive. Remember Adam Smith’s definition of division of labor and his pin factory example where each worker does one task repeatedly? When I heard that in class I realized I could be one of those pin factory workers because that’s how I labor (haha). The repetitiveness helps me produce more efficiently. The downside is, and he speaks of this also, that the workers are in danger of tiring themselves mentally and losing enthusiasm for their work. He calls it mental mutilation. After many afternoons of doing nothing but cutting up hundreds of baby pink petals, I fully agree. Dang, I feel mentally mutilated.
There’s another more embarrassing reason why I’m forcing myself to work this way. If I had been left to my own devices without a deadline, I probably would have moved on after I had finished the prototype and tinkered with something else. I tinker, therefore I am. Other designers and artists have the luxury of staff, assistants, and apprentices to duplicate their prototypes so they can tackle the next idea. But me? I’m all alone. Seriously. Didn’t I just mention high-fiving myself? Waah.
Not that I’m complaining.
I’m doing this because I love it. And when I get into that mental duh state, I allow myself a quickie tinker or music break then go back to work. I think of this part of the creative process as the scales and other exercises a pianist needs to do to be able to flawlessly play the masterpiece later. It’s like delayed gratification, really. I know there’s a reward at the end of this flower assembly line.
So, I’ve finished cutting up petals and hand-sewing them into flowers. I’ve cut felt circles and am currently sewing them unto the back of the flowers.
I also made bead chains from scratch using baby pink faux pearls, purple stones and crystals, and lots and lots of wires. Later, I will add embellish the flowers then sew on the bead chains. Still so much to do!
Frankly, my hands hurt from all the cutting, sewing, and wiring that everyday I wake up with fingers frozen stiff. It’s been so bad that it’s become B.’s ritual to help me unfold them in the morning. First, a snuggly kiss, then the unfolding.
Oh boy! That sounds positively randy. I should end this post with a wink.