Purposeful Creation or Something Shiny?

Polymer clay scrap earringsThese earrings were a happy accident. I was making polymer clay beads and planned to build them around cores of scrap clay. But once I cut into the scrap I was smitten with the design it revealed. It looked to me like the fantastical marriage of petrified wood and a vein of turquoise.
I call these my five-minute earrings. All I did was cut two slices and cure them. OK, it took more than five minutes because I had to go out and buy a couple of turquoise nuggets.
The rationale behind this post has to do with the tension I often feel between purposeful creation and something shiny. Granted, the earrings didn’t drive me off track for long. But some tangents have a way of taking over, or worse, leading to something else. It can be weeks or years or never before I get back on track.
Right now I’m torn between moving forward with my polymer clay tiles project and a layered surface technique I want to try. The tiles are fun and challenging, but I’m practically hypnotized by the surface technique that combines opaque and translucent clays to create depth.
What nags at me is, how do you know when to drop what you’re doing and chase the shiny thing? I believe there must be some sort of balance to aspire to. Always pursuing purpose can result in missed opportunities, while pursuing the shiny thing as a way of life can result in prematurely abandoning a skill or technique or project.
I’d like to know which of the voices in my head to listen to. I’d welcome your thoughts.

4 Comments on Purposeful Creation or Something Shiny?

  1. Cam
    March 2, 2015 at 4:08 pm (3 years ago)

    Leanna, you have broached one of the most nagging decisions a creator faces. My opinion is that you have to go with whatever screams “me, me,me” the loudest. You will return to the other if you are feeling it deeply enough. I think I am saying go with the shiny. Wonderful earrings, btw.

  2. Zan
    March 2, 2015 at 4:23 pm (3 years ago)

    Run after the shiny thing! The technique will wait for you.

  3. Suzanne
    March 2, 2015 at 8:09 pm (3 years ago)

    Nobody has prettier scrap clay that you do!!

  4. Leanna
    March 2, 2015 at 8:11 pm (3 years ago)

    The shiny thing has me in its grip. Hard to say when it will let me go. Wish I could get over feeling guilty.


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