Learning every day

A new year often comes with lots of ideas of a new start and new projects and I’m learning every day how to make my creative practice better.

Similarly to a lot of creative minds, as I’ve come to understand, I have a busy brain. New ideas pop up all the time and something is always spinning in my mind. So many ideas about projects, exhibitions, new collections, new designs, new techniques… The challenge is to manage all those ideas in my head and figure out how to make some of them happen and move forward.

So for this month I’m experimenting with different ways of working on several projects simultaneously. I started the week with doing different projects in 1-2 hour time slots, thinking that this used to work fine back in school when a day was filled with different classes and subjects of 1-2 hours. But it turns out it’s not a good way for me at all. I’ve always been a slow starter and it takes me a while to get into a new task or project but once I get into it I often find a flow that is both difficult and a pity to stop or interrupt. So allowing myself to work on the same project for longer is going to be key to finding focus. Yesterday I spent most of the morning making wax originals for my Fingerprint Pods series, and I really enjoyed it and got a few rings done that I hope to cast soon.

Safira Blom wax process

Fingerprint pods waxes waiting to be cast

Something I’ve learnt works really well for me is listening to podcasts (or documentaries) while I work with my hands. For years (wow it really has been years) I had been saving up the newsletters from this particular blog in a folder in my mailbox with the thought that one day I’ll find (make) the time to go through and read these. It’s a blog called Create & Thrive by Jess Van Den with the objective to help people turn a creative practice or hobby into a sustainable business, so really useful for me but still somehow I never managed to make time to read it. Luckily a while ago Jess started a podcast with similar content to the blog and this has turned out to be the perfect solution for me! I can listen and learn about all these things while I’m also making a collection or piece of jewellery move forward at the same time! This is really one of the things I love about working with my hands; that it somehow frees up space in my brain (the other half I guess) that I can use to learn things by listening or to just think. That space for thinking however can sometimes be a little problematic as is often turns out with more ideas and projects that I want to get into…haha but then I try to have a notepad handy by the side so I can jot them down for future processing.

What are your best tips for getting things done and managing various projects at once?

Do you listen to anything while you work? Which are your favourite podcasts?

Safira Blom fingerprint pod ring

Safira Blom, Fingerprint Pods Ring, 925 silver

Updating

Recently I’ve spent most of my time updating information on my growing number of pages online and on social media. For example my about pages were all quite old and outdated (e.g. “ I just finished Uni”…) and since I now live in a new place again I figured it was a good idea to let people know where my work is made and sent from. All this admin work is of course very important and necessary but as most creative people I wish I could skip it and just make all the time. Hopefully one day in the future I can get someone to help me do the admin and marketing and I can focus on the making but in order to get to that point I need to do it for now.

However, a few times I’ve had to get off the computer and transform our dinner table into a workbench for the sake of sanity.

makeshift work bench

I have a box full of half finished project with me and as I’ve gone through and updated collections online I also notice I need to complement with new pieces here and there. Please let me know if there is a particular collection you like but missing your favourite type of jewellery. It’s easy to get stuck making the things that I usually wear (earrings) or I know tend to sell which of course is all good, but I noticed the other day that I’ve hardly made any bracelets at all and it’s been quite a while since I made a brooch (oh that centre piece of contemporary jewellery….).

Here are some new geometric pieces that will soon (next dinner table transformation) become more earrings (…I know…) and rings, and I will also make sure to make some cufflinks in that pattern as I just today received a question if I had any.

geometric process

Rearranging shapes and half finished work, putting bits and pieces together and photographing different arrangements is very typical of me and it is often how I develop new work, by playing around on my bench. I really like the constellation of these together and perhaps I will make something bigger with this in mind at some point…

Yesterday I also gathered enough courage to go around to a few local design shops and ask about the process to retail with them, hopefully by next year (as most places are on their last week before holidays now) there will be an opportunity to get in somewhere! Of course if you know of any shops or galleries where you think my work would be well suited, worldwide, don’t hesitate to give me some tips!

So if you don’t already follow me on instagram, like my page on facebook and have checked out my etsy shop and website, go do it now! And if you haven’t visited in a while there should be some new stuff up there, at the very least the about pages should be updated 😉

New place, new context

It amazes me how good I am at forgetting just how challenging it can be to move to a new place and all of a sudden find yourself in a completely new and unfamiliar context…but here I am again hehe.

So every day is a learning process and a new adventure. Since I got here two weeks ago I have been trying to find out a bit more about how the handmade/contemporary design/jewellery scene works here and fortunately after some internet stalking I have already managed to find some really interesting places and people.

I was so lucky that the first person I got in touch with happened to be super nice and friendly! Her name is Daniella and she is a local jewellery designer/maker here in San José, Costa Rica. Her brand name is elha and you can find out more about her and her work here, she makes some really nice things and my personal favourites are her pieces with natural stones. Daniella has already helped me heaps both by answering my many questions and being so kind to take me to the wonderful workshop/studio/jewellery school where she works: Escuela Crisol.

Crisol is the house and work of Jordi Costa, he is from Spain but has lived in Costa Rica for almost 20 years and runs part of his beautiful house as an artistic jewellery school and studio space. I was so impressed by the main bench space with beautiful natural light and a fantastic view.

I really hope I can go back soon and it would be amazing to have this as a work space and even pick up some new techniques but first focus is getting back into business and try to find some local retailers.

Here is a snap shot from the main studio space at Escuela Crisol with students and Jordi busy at work:

Snapshot Escuela Crisol