Because I have a craft fair coming up in exactly one week and need lots of items to sell at the fair, I’ve spent the past few days duplicating my existing designs rather than experimenting with new ones. As a result, you might say that my project of this past week has been “duplication,” which is an art in and of itself.
Because I consider each of my items small works of art, every single one is given my full attention and focus, even when I’m simply recreating a design I’ve made before. From the smallest brooch or pair of cuff links to the largest wall plaque, each one is the product of my attention, energy, and care.
When duplicating a previously made design, it is inevitable that each item is individual and differs from the others in significant ways. I love working with marbleized sheets of clay, which create vast differences from one item to another, for the clay never mixes and swirls in quite the same way. Even the designs that incorporate millefiori differ from one another, for in the process of making the cane, variations inevitably work their way into each slice.
This individuality and variation is what keeps me interested as a crafter. Even if I’m making 20 Rose Blossom Brooches or 10 Earth Laughs Plaques, the joy of creation is still there. Each one is its own work of art, separate and distinct from all others made in the same design.
That said, creating many duplications at once saves me a great deal of time. I create a type of assembly line, replicating the same step in the process, be that shaping a rose petal or measuring out a specific amount of clay, over and over until I’ve completed that step the necessary number of times. The time savings are enormous. Making 10 Rose Blossom Brooches takes only 3 times the amount of time to make 1. It’s efficiency in the best possible form. And, because each finished product is totally individual and unique, I never feel that I’m selling out or losing the creative drive that caused me to create the design in the first place.