Friday, March 15, 2013

Fairy Tales

I've been captured by fairy tales lately. Maybe it's because we've been watching "Once Upon a Time," based on the recommendations of friends. We got the first season on DVD and we're a few episodes away from the end. It's pretty good, and I enjoy the fairy tale theme... but there's a part of me that wishes it were just a little darker. More surreal. Unsettling. The way Grimm's fairy tales were originally meant to be.

Today's fairy tales are all watered down and palatable to children. But I miss the edgier versions. The ones where the evil queen is also an ogress who likes the taste of human flesh. The ones where the wolf eats the grandmother. The ones where death is matter-of-fact and where dark things happen to sleeping princesses. I like those kinds of fairy tales, so I've  taken to Etsy to make Treasuries along those themes.

I get inspired by images--Etsy and Pinterest have certainly fueled my creativity. It's funny--I think creativity comes in stages. First there's the fertilization process, where you soak up ideas: look and listen and absorb. It's the ingredients going into the stew.

Then things start to simmer. Ideas form, nebulous and hazy, but if you can latch on, and if you get lucky, you turn them into something. With jewelry, this is where I experiment. Try out designs and see what works, what piques my interest. If I like it, I keep going. Let it become something. Let the idea blossom.

Then there's a sort of "ripening" stage. Tweak, polish, replicate, perfect. Let it get established. Bask in the afterglow of having made something.

And then, inevitably, the crash. After it's all done, time to rest. Hibernate. Recharge. Before, ideally, you start the whole thing all over again.

Anyway, what does all that have to do with fairy tales? Not much, I suppose. That's just what I'm soaking up right now. Who knows where it might lead?

Oh, and if you click on any of the images, you can see the Etsy Treasuries I made, centered around some of my favorite old tales. The darker versions.