Most days I work alone at home on various aspects of my business, from correspondence and other office stuff to making stock for sale and, what satisfies me most, designing. The only real-time feedback I get is from the dog and maybe one of the cats strolling by. Of course, there are the days I post to Facebook and get instant feedback on my work in progress, and then my favourite days when I teach, but I usually feel like I'm working in a void.
So when I receive feedback and words of praise, it makes me think that my efforts have value and have touched someone else. And there's nothing more exciting and fulfilling than that.
So why am I musing about this right now? Well last week I hit a trifecta of praise and it really drove home to me exactly why I do this -- and why it fulfills me so much to teach and design. And I wanted to share how much just a few words of thanks, a quick email with a photo of something you've been inspired to create after learning a new technique from me in class, or bringing an enthusiastic new student to class with you, means to me.
I was excited to see my first published design in the Fall 2015 Wirework magazine. I received lots of congratulations in person and online but I was totally overwhelmed last week when I received an email that read, in part:
"One of my co-workers is turning 50 (along with two high school friends) this year and asked if I'd be willing to guide her in making 3 bracelets to commemorate the big year. I gave her a few magazines...and she decided she wanted to make your infinity bracelet...
"We used stainless steel wire for its strength...and she selected three different coloured Unicorne teardrops that I have in my stash. I guided her on the first one. Then she made the other frames and took them home to complete the bead attachment on her own.
"This was her first time making any sort of jewellery and was very pleased with how they turned out and best of all her friends loved their gift...
"Thank you for your design and easy to follow tutorial. It was such a joy to assist in the creation of these bracelets."
She attached a photo and then told me she was happy to let me quote her and also noted she was happy that her friend chose my design since I'm a local artisan.
As a reminder, here's a picture of my Infinity Bracelet.
I taught a Foldforming class at Beadfx last weekend and received this interesting and unusual email from a student:
"Thanks again for the class and your attentive guidance with me. Here's how powerfully the copper pounding affected me.
"I went to a copper folding class, lots of hammering. In the evening a big drum circle, lots of vibration. Afterwards a dance club with a girlfriend, lots of jumping, dancing and sound vibrations. I imagined I was the copper being pounded by the light of Divinity and whatever had to get shifted was being worked on. My body recalibrated...thank you for helping with this process."
Whew. Likely the most intense, poetic and intimate feedback I've ever received after a class.
Then I was teaching a class here in St Catharines and one of my students told me her husband told her not to come home from a class cranky again. He said she's always frustrated when she takes a jewellery class and never brings home a completed piece. Well, when she left my class she was wearing two bracelets and a smile from ear to ear, looking forward to showing off to him her finished work and her happy disposition.
So, going forward, every time I question my direction or why I'm doing this, I'll remember these students and readers and smile too as I keep on designing and fabricating and teaching!
Thanks to all my faithful blog readers. Please feel free to comment on this and the posts of my colleagues. We thrive on your feedback.