I often hear fellow artists complain about writers' blocks, lack of muse and other obstacles in their path to making art. It's given, since creativity isn't always fluent and can be episodical. Moreover, most of our art is composed in our subconscious, and only when it surfaces – art is being created. I compare these phases to pregnancy. Other obstacles can be lack of time, of support, of financial ability and of opportunity. In the past few years I've encountered another: physical disability.
About twelve years ago, in the midst of a creative period, I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – AKA Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS), Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and other names. CFS is a neurological disorder characterized by exhaustion, cognitive fog, widespread pain and other symptoms.
In short, painting and jewelry making became increasingly very difficult, even impossible at times. After the initial mourning I knew I had to adjust, and gradually learned how to glide on the wavy nature of the syndrome. Now there are "good art days" which allow me to saw and hammer metal, and "medium art days" which I use for more delicate and less physical work. Unfortunately there are also "no art days", or "couch potato days".
Creativity means not only making art, but finding solutions, and I found two.
Ever since CFS became a fact of life, I wished there was an easy way to continue my work with silver. It took some years, and then I found Metal Clay for my "medium art days".
Metal Clay pendant - Fine Silver and Carnelian
Working with Metal Clay is fun, but I still had to do it in the studio. At the time I began knitting wire necklaces for my Metal Clay pendants. When a "no art day" happened in the middle of a necklace, I decided to take it to the living room, to complete it in front of the tube. Since "no art day"s can stretch to weeks – this decision yielded a new and colorful line of jewelry.
Lacy Lariat Necklace and Belt
It may sound weird, but I thank CFS for expanding my choices.