How do I come up with ideas? Good question that probably doesn’t have a definitive answer. When I see something interesting in my yard or a magazine photo or someone’s doodling or something on TV or frost on a window, etc., I catch myself thinking what I could do to make it more appealing to me and incorporate it into our hobbies. Can I turn it into something else with a line here, a fold here, and a different color palette? Can it be accomplished with glass or is it more suited to copper. I rarely look at anything that does not stimulate my mind to say what if… Sometimes I will dream about an idea. If I’m lucky, I remember it as soon as I wake up and race for paper and pencil. Sometimes I lay awake at night and my mind is racing. An idea will pop into my head and there is no sleeping until I drag myself out of bed and sketch it or write the idea down. I think it is also very beneficial when Beth and I brainstorm the same idea. We sort of feed off one another, and an idea from one of us stimulates a response from the other. Beth and I both keep sketchbooks of ideas, comments about processes, or “how to” instructions as we come up with something new.
Often I sort of fly by the seat of my pants. My original idea will mutate as I encounter an unexpected challenge in the process or I think of a better way to approach the project. Beth gets very frustrated with me because sometimes I neglect to record how I did something. She will ask what colors I used to enamel something or how I macraméd a certain pattern, and I give her a blank look. Like I said before, I usually improvise. I’ll try to do better Beth!
We also receive a lot of input from customers and fellow craftsmen/artisans. This last year we have had numerous ideas for projects and suggestion regarding improving a process involved in either the copper or the glass. We have had requests for game pieces, anything about dinosaurs, growling panthers and wolves, and one gentleman suggested using linseed oil on the copper instead of enamel. We record everyone’s ideas, and hopefully will one day get to them all.