Have you ever stood in front of a jewelry shop and admired all the beautiful gems on display but not given a second thought to the effort, skill, design and creativity that has gone into making such beautiful pieces?  I know I have.

I’ve never been gem fossicking.  I’ve done a bit of gold-panning just for fun.  As for fossicking for gems, it looks like hard work — all that digging, sieving and sluicing in intemperate conditions.  Combined with knowledge, good luck and much patience, one may find a beautiful stone.  However, only after this initial hard work, can the (sometimes arduous) process begin to turn a stone into a beautiful piece of jewelry.  I see how talent and craftsmanship would be important in presenting the jewel in all its glory,  but without every element coming together well, then there would be no jewel.

I feel this about my own art.  I suspect other artists do too.  It is 90% grind and 10% inspiration.  Sometimes magic happens, sometimes it doesn’t.  My preferred method is trial and error.  Experimentation is critical to my artistic development because I learn best by doing.  Mosaicing is like summiting a mountain.  It is sheer torture, but god it feels good to get to the top.  Here is a little piece I made several years ago.  It was just an experiment on my learning journey.  It helped me hone my skills.  I thought it difficult at the time.  Each piece is difficult in its own way.  Like all my children, it is my favourite.  It welcomes me home.

Dragon mosaic

And, here is the mess that is my next project.  I’m now past the I-can’t-do-this stage.  I’m nearly half way there; I’m tired but the end is in sight.  I know it will be enormously satisfying when it is eventually finished.  Then, I will have to spend a lot of time admiring it; the jewel I have created.



For my post on how I found my inner visual artist, click here.

Response to the Ragtag Daily PromptJewel.  Looking for blogging inspiration, click on the link, and join in the fun.



33 thoughts on “Jewels For The Making

  1. I love the jewel you created. I love how you talked about trial and error. Sometimes you just have to give it a go, and that is what often holds me back in my weaving and embroidery! Thanks for this post, timely for me.

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      1. Thanks for the encouragement! I already do them, but it’s that getting caught up on the what if…taking the design from my head and just diving in and seeing where it goes!

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    1. Thank you very much. Yes, the dragons are duelling. Someone in the household was born in the Year of the Dragon. I plan to make mosaics based on the birth year of the Chinese zodiac for other family members. Not that we are Chinese, but it is a nice way to celebrate diversity.


  2. It’s a very interesting and intricate piece you’ve created, Tracy, and I’m looking forward to seeing the one you’re working on. I used to make leadlight windows and hangings, but stopped when we moved to the country as it was too difficult to obtain glass. I’ll always remember the first one I made when I’d finally soldered it all together and held it up to the light. A revelation! I made a lot of windows for our house in Sydney ( it was that kind of house) but they’ve all gone except the one in the front door. The house was renovated.

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    1. I love leadlight, Jane. My mother has made some beautiful pieces for me. I think every house should be that type of house. I hope your windows found another home where they are treasured. I can’t imagine why anyone would get rid of them! I spotted a beautiful old window in a ruin on the road (north) into Mudgee (before the turn-off to Hillend). Someone should rescue it.


      1. I can’t think where that old ruin would be, but I should keep a lookout for it. I try not to think too much about a house that I once loved and what might have happened to it after I left. Same as I try not to think about my last garden as it barely exists any more.😢

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  3. love the dragons. the 90% grind not so much but it is true. it’s the doing that gets it done more than the great idea/inspiration that flashes into our hearts and minds.

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