Inspiring Mistakes

When we are creating we make mistakes. We may use colors that don't go together well, use the wrong size of something, or even do a technique incorrectly ruining an entire piece. Sometimes we have to let go of what we think is wrong, because it may be a creative discovery.

When I worked with sterling silver creating art jewelry pieces, I made my own bezels for pendants, rings, and earrings. When I wanted to add color or a design, I worked with epoxy resin.

Well when I started out I would put the pieces filled with the epoxy in my toaster over so they would cure faster, and on a few occasions I left them in there to long and the epoxy started to bubble, creating creators in my design. I would be so pissed off that I wasted all that material and that the piece was not perfect anymore.

Well in the end I showed it to a few people who thought it was really cool and it turned out to be a technique that was uniquely mine and I used it often when I was creating with color.

It's hard to let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect. What dose not look good to us, may look good to someone else. We have to give our mistakes a chance, they could inspire a new idea, start a new technique, or even be the best mistake ever.

Never say "oops." Always say, "Ah, interesting."

What mistake have you made that turned out to be a creative discovery?
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  1. So true! Some of my 'mistakes' have turned out to be some of my best pieces. For example, if one of my ceramic pieces cracks or breaks while firing in my kiln, I hardly ever throw out the piece. I can usually find something creative to do with it. I have a couple of plates that cracked - I mounted the pieces on wood, painted the wood background to work with the plate, and created a new art object. Thanks for this post Kay!

  2. I'm still waiting for a happy mistake...all mine are just bad ones.

  3. SleightGirl there are no bad ideas, just a jumping off point to a new idea.

    Like Kay suggested you have to take the ideas that did not work and turn them into something else.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. i like that quote! great philosophy for an artist.

    i think we learn a lot more about ourselves and our process by our failures than our successes.

  5. I have cut up so many finished products and reused the beads in new projects. What's fun is when you have a piece all planned and laid out, and then change it completely while putting it together. I do that quite a bit too. It's fun just to let it take you where it wants to go.

  6. I sometimes hold back finishing a piece for fear that I will make a mistake, but if I think positive about possible mistakes turning into new discoveries or techniques, maybe I would produce more. Thanks for the thoughts.


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