This may become a recurring theme of mine, but I think it is important that people know how the creative process can manifest itself to motivate an artist to generate a particular piece of art.
I did a blog many months back (click here to read original blog) about how I came to teach myself different traditional Italian bead designs by looking at museum catalogs of very old Italian lampworked beads. In this blog, I am going to talk about how and where I look for inspiration for new bead designs.
I personally enjoy lampworking beads because it seems to me that the creative evolution of bead designs is infinite and I find this very comforting, kind of like there is no end to the fun.
I am constantly searching for images and objects that stimulate my imagination. I keep huge files of creative information to draw upon for when I want to branch out and make something new. For an example, I will tell how I was introduced to an African bead culture from Mauritania called Kiffa beads.
Frantz Art Glass did the winter Tucson Gem & Mineral Show for 17 years and the first year we were there I met a jeweler who was heavy into ancient beads like those made by ancient Rome and Kiffa beads from Northwest Africa. I did a trade of my lampworked beads for some Kiffa beads to take home with me, so that I could study them.
When I got my newly acquired Kiffa beads home, I took them to my studio and place them around the base of my torch, to look at while I made beads. At first I made a bunch of lampworked copies of the Kiffa beads and then I started to make my own variations off of the traditional Kiffa designs.
I find this process very inspiring and it helped me come up with a bunch of new bead designs. I find it fun to work this way and you might also.