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Last Wednesday I had my first chance to use Ice Resin. Remember those pendants that got bubble-wrap indentations and had to be redone? Well, I undid the necklaces and soaked the Patera pendants in soapy water overnight until the glue and paper and words and little watch parts came floating to the top. By the way, this means that while you can reuse the pendant, the paper stuff inside is definitely a goner.
I was pretty bummed to have to re-do 14 pendants—cutting the necklaces apart and making sure I jotted down which beads and pearls I used and restringing them and all, not to mention the loss of the words and papers (all vintage). But I was also excited to use my Ice Resin.
So I waited for a day when Anna was at nursery because you really do need to do this in batches…you must mix a certain amount of Ice Resin to make it work, and then you have a limited amount of time to use it. So I had a full assembly line of pendants (now with different papers, words and little watch parts) across my kitchen table. I mixed the resin, being super-careful to do it exactly the way the instructions said. I was actually kind of nervous—like, I brought this stuff from the States and if I waste it, I can’t really pop out to the craft store and get more. (It’s not the cheapest stuff, either.) And once it sets in the pendants, I can’t re-do them. And I just really, really wanted it to work.
You know those times when you find yourself in the zone…the zone where you’re working on something and you’re vaguely aware of other stuff going on in the world, like people walking by your window or the radio or whatever but at the same time, you’re so focused on what you’re doing? And then that moment where you think, “it’s working, it’s actually working, oh my gosh this is exactly what I wanted!” and it’s this amazing rush of adrenaline and you find yourself talking out loud or making little noises or possibly squealing? (And I am not a squealer.)
It was so great. I can’t even tell you how excited I was.
You know how, also, when you make something, and you’re really pleased with it and so you go about the rest of your day like a normal person, eating dinner and putting in another load of laundry and checking the mail and stuff but at the same time there’s this constant butterfly in your stomach that’s the reminder of that piece of fabulousness you just made and so you go and check on it every time you can?
I mean, I looked at my pendants dozens of times, I was so excited. It had worked! The paper looked good, the resin domed, the words were magnified just the way I wanted and the pieces looked about a million times better than I ever anticipated.
It was fabulous.
Now, this kind of floating-on-air day does not happen to me all that frequently. Yes, I have moments of discovery, work sessions that are productive or inspiring, but usually my creative work is…well, work. I’m meeting deadlines and sending emails, making stuff and writing and trying new products or techniques. And every now and then, I get a day like Wednesday, and it reminds me of the reason I do this…that amazing feeling of having something turn out the way you hoped, but better.
On closer examination, I wonder if part of that creative high has to do with trying something that requires a little bit of courage, a small risk. Is this the artistic equivalent to bungee jumping?
Is it simply the act of trying something where we can potentially fail—and not only not failing but succeeding fabulously?
Here’s to a fearless Halloween day!