Monday, October 28, 2013

Production work, Zen and our 2013 Family's Sedona Southwestern Christmas tree with polymer clay ornaments

All the decorations on the tree are available in my shop MelodyODesigns at Etsy 
Though it's not yet Halloween, Christmas is on my mind. It's the time of year that I like to decorate and photograph our family's small Christmas tree so that I have time to share all our 2013 MelodyODesigns ornaments before most people are even thinking of Christmas decorations. I supply two Christmas shops in nearby Sedona with ornaments (that contain a bit of "magical" Sedona Red Rock Dirt), so for me, making Christmas ornaments is a year 'round way of life now.

Since I started to sell wholesale and do production work (potentially mindless repetition reproducing a gazillion copies of the same pieces) my time in the studio has undergone some radical changes, some that have been a bit difficult to get used to. It's different re-creating piles and piles of identical ornaments instead of creating something brand new each time and I've been exploring ways to stay in the moment and make my time in the studio just as interesting and joyful as when I create something brand new.
Many years ago I took a seminar with Tim Gallwey, whose books include "The Inner Game of Tennis" and "The Inner Game of Music"and around the same I time read  Robert M. Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards. I credit all three with giving me the desire and some of the tools I needed to let myself create (and re-create) IN THE MOMENT. 

Rather than letting my mind wander (which tends to lead to angels with no wings and fingers cut with tissue blades) I do my best to let myself become absorbed in the details of making the piece, gently directing my attention and senses to the playful joy of creating each tiny detail, the color, the texture, each individual dot of paint........
……. the magic of childlike creation.

Of course I don't always succeed in staying "in the moment", but when I do it's really FUN!


  1. What a good work ethic idea, my dear! It is hard to re-produce but you have obviously given a lot of thought to the process. Which is good seeing as how your ornaments are totally cute! Hang in there. :)

  2. Good to see that you are busy selling your work! Always a good thing! Hope all is well with you!

  3. That is awesome that you are selling your creations wholesale! Your ornaments are beautiful and will look great on the Christmas tree!

  4. You're doing a bang-up job. I'm not sure I could do production work, but it sounds like you've figured out a way to make it work for you. And I'm glad you're having such great success. You make good work and it's wonderful that other people get to enjoy it too!

  5. Your ornaments are beautiful!!! I enjoyed reading your post, love your work ethic! It's great that you let yourself get absorbed in the details of making each piece!! Wishing you many happy sales!!!!!

  6. I love your post about staying in the moment! I have had trouble staying in the moment for years and will definitely read the books that helped you. As you already know, I think your creations are awesome, but I never tire of telling you so. I love your little Chirstmas tree. It's the perfect size for showing all your beautiful creations!