In between rounds of working on my larger pieces, like my current one, “Nolan’s Fireplace“, (pictured here in all its unfinished glory), I often start and finish smaller projects. In part, this is to keep my creative juices flowing when they might otherwise get dammed up when being channeled into a piece as intense and all-consuming as my mosaic pieces tend to be. It’s akin to having release valves to allow some pressure to escape, making the whole system run better. It gives me the chance to use other skills sets and even to sit in a different area of my studio. Working on other projects helps me keep things fresh.
Another reason I like to work this way is that if I did not allow myself an opportunity to pursue other inspirations as they appear, I would come to resent the piece that prevents me from working on other things. And then I would never finish it! One can’t force this kind of creativity because it requires such an intense level of focus and effort that any attempt to force it would be unsustainable.
And so I recently took a break from “The Fireplace” to create two custom tins, one of my go-to small projects. One I decided to make after realizing I wanted to give my friend Karen a birthday present. The other tin was the result of getting excited about acquiring my Burning Man ticket and wanting to create an ashtray for my camp, and not just one of the small personal ones made from an Altoids tin. I wanted to use a larger cookie tin I had to make an ashtray big enough to be the communal ashtray in our camp’s living room.
Below is a picture showing these two tins alongside two that I made around this same time last year for my Loot Lyft, one to hold my I *heart* LA stickers and one to hold the prizes for answering trivia questions. I really like those heart-shaped Altoids tins that are available in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.
If anyone is interested in commissioning a custom tin as a gift or for your business, please reach out to me! I love commissions!