It wasn’t really a surprise that Amy died, but it was shocking to hear that she had. I got into recovery when I was 28…(I’m 49 now) it’s tough going, it takes courage, it takes being around people one can trust, and above all, people who know what they are talking about. ‘Just Say No’ is so simplistic it must have been coined by someone with absolutely no idea about addiction. So for me it’s not just that Amy wrote great songs and had an amazing voice, it’s that she represents the people I belong to, she’s One of Us, and never got to appreciate what recovery could be like. That’s why I feel sad about her dying.
I’ve just had a couple of weeks of being on a lovely creative roll, it’s come to an end though, as it will, and the last three shed sessions have been a bit difficult, made worse because I didn’t realise that I had to have a break from melting glass so that I could go back to it fresh (I’m a bit slow around things like that). I was in the shed last night, struggling to make attractive beads to sell at the bead fairs next month, if I had had any sense I would have shut everything down and watched a film or something, anything but flog a dead horse. The news was on and I was thinking about Amy in her yellow dress, I had a sudden urge to depict her in bead form, out came the rod of yellow glass and off I went. It went so well, I could hardly believe it myself, but I felt terribly grave as I made it, and still do 24 hours later. Her death feels like another significant marker in my own recovery, because she didn’t make it and that could have been me. I know that sounds a little self absorbed, sometimes I am (it’s a selfish programme ). Making the bead you see in the picture was as much an acknowledgment of my own survival from the devastating illness of addiction, as it is a tribute to Amy.
A lovely customer of mine wasn’t happy with a recent New Improved and more Grown-Up bead display, and was good enough to let me know that she would prefer to be able to rummage through my beads and ‘discover’ one she likes, so I have transformed the display to something with which even I am pleased. I had some trays just waiting to be painted white, made some dividers out of excess window blind slats, organised the beads into the compartments, and off I went to the fair yesterday with my beads displayed in a more fun and accessible way. I really don’t want to spend any more time on displays than I already have in the time I have been selling them, I hope this is It, enough already!
Making and selling beads involves far more than melting glass. Creating a website requires being able to take decent pictures of one’s work, quite nightmarish at first and my first efforts are still visible somewhere on here. Last week I was working with wood and power tools, not exactly to high standards of finish, but sufficiently well enough that no-one will get a splinter while looking for beads. Then there’s business card design, I would not like to use any other programme than Adobe Photoshop for my artwork, I’m so glad I didn’t have to learn how to use that as well, luckily I’ve been using it for years. Being able to make basic jewellery is a useful skill of course, as well as lugging heavy bags to and from fair venue’s, not to mention being able to drive to them. It’s surprising how much time the whole business can take up, and I applaud anyone who manages it on top of full time work. Now that I have settled on a display method I will have more time and no headaches over it, and I’m so pleased that I don’t have to go through yet another re-think before next weekend, instead I can focus on what I’m really interested in. What with all the peripheral occupations, I’ll be glad to get back to the torch, which brings it’s own niggles, as well as therapeutic value, but more on those another day…
I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s fair at Langside Hall in Glasgow. As usual it was fun to spend time with the stall holders around me. Becky Wilson’s photo’s are beautiful and would grace any home, see them at www.bexphoto.com, Jacqueline Graham’s jewellery is delicate and pretty (no website!) what’s more, she uses lampwork beads made by bead makers here in the UK, which I appreciate. It was lovely to have Sean and Gillian present too, from www.hamiltontaylor.co.uk, kind, funny, generous people. I wish I hadn’t forgotten the names of other people I met, I want to give them a mention too, but all the crafters are listed on the fair website if you want to have a look.
www.craftfairsscotland.co.uk is a well run organisation, all their venues have been pleasant to be in, plus which, their crafters/artists are of a standard which means that it is a pleasure to make that detour and come in to see the works on offer.
I was very much struck by three customers yesterday, they were more fascinated by the tactile nature of glass beads than by their colour, shape was very important to them too. I even had several customers who didn’t want me to make beads into jewellery, they had findings at home and were excited about making themselves something. I loved that. I’m very much looking forward to the next Glasgow fair!