I've been at lampmaking for 5 years now and I rarely throw anything away. About once a year I clean things up but like any artist's studio there's not a lot of reason to keep things too pretty, except to clear space for working. This week was slow so I've been cleaning. I decided to take a few pics before the cleanup for the fun of it.
I have tons of shades. Some were damaged but most are from trying different combinations of colors on the Step lamps. I save all the paper scraps too. Because I use a lot of small pieces for my compositions I try to use the leftovers as much as I can. But they pile up fast and I can never find that one color I'm looking for. I need a better system.
I was thinking the other day about stuff. When you're young you can't get enough. You want everything. I'm a designer so I've always craved beautiful objects, rarely able to afford them. I can't say I have that much that I covet but there are a few pieces that are special. As you get older you move to the opposite end of the spectrum. You have way too much stuff and crave to get rid of it. But if you have space to fill you fill it. It used to be people used garages for their cars but I've noticed that most garages are full of stuff these days. When my neighbors bought the house next door they totally remodeled it. It was pretty small and they had a larger than average lot. So they added on a new section to the house including a double car garage, rare in my neighborhood where a lot of houses actually share driveways. I don't even have a garage. But ever since they've finished the house the garage has been completely full with their "stuff." This seems pretty common. Got space, fill it up. But of course all they talk about is how they want to get rid of it some day. And we do start parsing it out. Garage sales, donations, college kids. But it never seems to make much of a dent.
There is a psychology to cleaning that I've figured out over time. When you get rid of clutter it actually clears your mind. I've been cleaning out the basement, clearing the pathways through the "stuff." It's been a mess for so long that I'd gotten used to it. But now that it's cleaned up I come down and take a second look, breath a sigh of relief. It feels good. I've noticed the same is true of noise. I tend to like hearing noise when I'm working or at home. It's either the TV or the radio. I also keep the radio on in the car all the time. But I've found that if I turn off the radio I can't help but immediately give a sigh of relief. It's palpable. I can feel my body immediately relax. I'm amazed how simple it is. Then I look at all the people walking by or in their cars with cell phones or iPods attached to their ears. If they only knew. m