What? It has been a month since I was here?
I do have a reason for that. I usually post in the evening after my work in the studio is done. However, I have been occupied this last month by spending my evenings in the dance studio or bent over a sewing machine. For the last two years, I have been studying middle eastern dance (aka bellydance), and my teacher Kaeshi finally persuaded me to get up on the stage and perform. On July 2nd, I got out there and performed my own choreography in a costume I had made, bedecked, of course, in my jewelry.
Why is this relevant to jewelry? I have realized that studying a performing art has had a profound effect on my studio practice. Most concretely, my various aches and pains from hours working on tiny things have vanished. Moreover, it has stretched my mind with a curiosity to see just what I am capable of. What are the most outrageous possibilities for my work? If I can learn this dance well into adulthood with virtually no dance experience, what can I push myself to achieve in the craft I have been practicing since my teens?
Another aspect of the creative outlet of dance is the theatricality of costuming. Just as the costumes enhance the experience of viewing the dance, jewelry can enhance our presence on the stage of daily life. Why not enhance, or create a new persona with the jewelry. My work has obviously become more bold over the past year and this can be directly attributed to my dance experience.
The other thing that I love about dancing is the exuberance I encounter among the dancers I meet. They are people who have released their creative energy in a major way and have shaped their lives around their passion. I have met very few complainers among them. The sense of community is also very strong. Although I love my community of jewelers and craftspeople, the reality is that we are not so compelled to work in such a community and collaborative environment, which is something I have always longed for.
I would recommend to other artists that taking up another discipline can be a very good way to invigorate the original passion. Creative people have so many ways to approach work that crossing boundaries of disciplines can be a great way to gain new insight.