I spent some time in the glass studio this afternoon learning how to do the final solder work that decorates the piece I've made. Once again I was reminded that I am NOT just making a pretty wall hanging. I am teaching my perfectionist soul to get over those false expectations of results without errors and learning to ENJOY THE PROCESS as much as the outcome in the things that I do.
The teacher I usually work with was not available since he got called in to substitute teach at one of the nearby school districts. However, fortunately for me, the trip out there was not wasted since his wife was willing to show me what I needed to do. (Thanks Nancy!) Then, while I was working one of their friends came by who is a far more advanced student than I. She gave me some tips as well.
It has been interesting to learn these skills from so many different people (Floyd, Ron and Nancy at Gilded Glass have all had input) plus things I've heard from others or read in books and online. Each has had a slightly different approach, sometimes in direct contradiction with what I've been told by someone else. How do I sort it all out? Over and over today I would stop and ask if I was doing it "RIGHT". Repeatedly Nancy would tell me that it was not a matter of right or wrong, but whether or not I was achieving the look I wanted. It was a matter of personal preference how much of a bead to lay.
Allowing my heart to be content with ambiguity does not come all that easy for me. But I can see that this will be an essential element as I continue working to develop some level of expertise with each successive project.
This week I purchased my own grinder and a couple other tools so I will be fully set up to do more work on my own at home. I DO still want input from others, but the reality of conflicting schedules and distance from where I live make it so I can't get to the studio all that often.
So my next item of business is PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE until I feel more confident in each step of the process. Even so, there will still be times when the glass breaks wrong or when I mis-measure or when things just don't fit the way I wanted them to do. Learning to work in this medium has many lessons for me.