Wednesday, February 23, 2011
When I was six years old I was at my sisters highland dance competition and my Mom treated me to a toy from the vendors to keep me content for the day. I chose a little stuffed koala bear (why a koala bear was at a highland dance competition, I'm not sure). When i brought the koala back to my seat with me I noticed that he wasn't perfect. He was missing two of his little felted black paw pads. I showed my Mom and she took me to exchange him for a perfect one. When I got back to my seat with my now perfect koala bear, instead of being content I was sad. I felt bad for the imperfect one. I worried that he wouldn't ever find a home. I told my Mom about my worries and she sweetly took me to exchange the koala again for my original imperfect one.
I have always been drawn to the imperfect. If something is twisted, crinkled, rusted, ripped or slightly off center and it finds it's way to me then it has likely found a home. I think the imperfectness of a hand made object is magical. I think that loving someone who knows the truth of their flaws is enlightening. Imperfection has so much more truth in it then perfection. At the end of the day I want to know that my day was real, raw, honest, and authentic. I don't care if it was perfect. Nothing will ever be perfect. One of my favourite writers Kelly Diels talks about how the conditions for creativity will never be ideal. I think this translates to all aspects of life - the conditions for falling in love will never be perfect, the conditions for taking risk will never be perfect.
I create objects with my two hands in a small studio space shared with 3 other jewelers, in a windowless old warehouse in east Vancouver. But when I sit at my bench and start to hammer metal I'm in the most beautiful, serene place and I create things that mean something.
When I was six years old and that little koala with the missing felted paw pads was in my arms again, I was finally content. I knew that the imperfect koala was meant to be mine. I knew that for my heart to love something it didn't have to be perfect.....It just had to feel right.
ps. This post was inspired by my online friend and fellow maker of jewelry with meaning, Amy Ambroult, you can check out her beautiful blogpost that inspired me here and you can see her authentic jewelry here. Thanks Amy.
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Monday, February 21, 2011
This goes against everything that I learned in every business class I've ever taken. But i don't like business plans, They're like turtle necks to me - I see the usefulness, but i don't like the way they feel on my body.
My 2011 business plan is hand written on one page ripped out of my sketchbook. I've pinned it up on my bulletin board and it has 12 things on it.
I've researched the shit out of things in the past, I've written marketing plans, competitive analysis, SWOT's, financial plans....blah blah blah. I'm glad that I've done this, but the thought of opening up my plan on my computer and updating it makes me cringe. So for 2011, i decided to do things a little differently. I decided that 2011 is my year for no mucking around. I know what i want to do, now I need to do it. 12 things.....so far I've already started 4 of them...and things are rolling.
I haven't ended up with my deviant business planning ways overnight. Here's a little list of resources that I've found useful this far in my business:
The Women's Enterprise Society - I was a part of a peer mentoring group this time last year which was well worth it.
Tara Gentile - I've taken one of her e-courses and learned a lot.
Danielle LaPorte - I am loving my Fire Starter Sessions - which I won from a little contest Danielle offered. Yup, that's right I won.
Kerri Smith's Artist Survival Kit -Whenever i feel like I can't keep doing this Kerri Smith's hilarious Artist Survival Kit helps me to continue.
Alyson B Stanfield Art Biz Coach
Stayin' Alive: Survival Tactics for the Visual Artist
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
In December I got a phone call from a friend, Mitch asking me if I could make an engagement ring. He wanted to propose to his lovely girlfriend Amanda on their 3 year anniversary.......which was two weeks away!
Mitch and Amanda are two very unique people, so I had a feeling it wasn't going to be a traditional solitaire diamond ring - which is great, because I'm not really a traditional gal myself. I met with Mitch and he had some big ideas - he wanted a ring that was scroll like in design and he wanted a black diamond. His scroll like design was inspired by a key........Mitch's Dad had given him three beautiful vintage keys from the 1920's. Mitch's Dad had passed away 3 years ago, so these keys were very sentimental to him. For Mitch and Amanda's last anniversary he had given Amanda one of the keys. I swooned a little after hearing the story behind it and I knew that I wanted to make the ring from the key. I suggested that we make a rubber mold of the key and cast the key into metal and I would cut it apart, play with it and make it into a one of a kind engagement ring.....lofty goals for a two week timeline......but life is all about love and taking risks so I was up for the challenge.
Being a metalsmith is an interesting art.....I have now worked with metal for over 5 years.....Everything should work out just perfectly all the time........but not so much......Each new one of a kind project brings with it new challenges. I couldn't figure out some important things about this ring....It was cast from a key......it had beautiful swirls, lovely curves, soft round edges.....this made it tricky to figure out how to construct a ring shank that worked with it. I tried a number of methods.....things fell apart in the ninth hour....I called my friend and fellow jeweller Simone....she came and looked at my challenge. She said some calm encouraging words and convinced me to go home and come back to it in the morning with fresh eyes, which I did.
The next day in the very early hours of the morning with my fresh eyes and fresh cup of coffee I saw things differently. Things went smoothly, everything started to work and flow and fit together. I made the shank a double shank and it still looked feminine and soft. The black diamond fit the bezel perfectly.....Everything turned out and the ring looked beautiful, unique, vintage, truly one of a kind.
Making this engagement ring was an incredible project. Just like in a marriage I hit some challenging moments, but I didn't give up because being involved in that kind of love is soul stirring.
Pulled from the blog of my always favourite inspiring writer Danielle Laporte, some words on Marriage.....
Marriage is not a love affair,
it's an ordeal.
It is a religious exercise, a sacrament,
the grace of participating in another life.
If you go into marriage with a program,
you will find that it won't work.
is leading innovative lives together,
being open, non-programmed.
It's a free fall: how you handle each new thing as it comes along.
As a drop of oil on the sea,
you must float,
using intellect and compassion
to ride the waves.
- Joseph Campbell
***A little side note.....Mitch is an amazing artist and tattoo artist.....I may even have some recent personal experience with how amazing his skills are.....(future blog post) - you can check out his blog here www.tattoosbymitch.blogspot.com
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Sample Sale, Cookies, and Tea
We're having a SAMPLE SALE, baking some cookies and brewing some tea........
For those of you who came to our studio during the Culture Crawl on the day we had our seconds table.....you know what incredible deals we had there. Our seconds table was HOT and everything on it sold out in less then a day.
We will be offering seconds, samples, and lines from times past at some amazing prices. This is our first ever SAMPLE SALE and if you're a sample sale junkie like myself then you know that the first one is always the best.....
Join us this Sunday
February 13th from 1pm - 4pm:
Please email me email@example.com and I will email you the address of the sale.