Saturday, 18 June 2011


Regularly I am asked where do I "find inspiration" or find new ideas.

As previously mentioned I am not having much time at the lathe to play around and develop new ideas. Just to get work produced to pay the bills. Not that I mind as turning for me is not work, it is just having fun.

However this is often not the place that I find, develop and create new ideas. A skill that I have been gifted with or at least seems to have grown in clarity, is the way I can visualise how a piece should look and how to produce it before stepping in front of the lathe.

Often a piece develops in my mind over weeks or months. Often, though it has to be said, the excitment and elation that accompanies my idea, the latest widget, more often than not turns into a simmering realisation that actually the idea is not wonderful at all.

This in turn often developes in a different direction, and more often than not I will "stumble" across an idea by chance with the initial idea being discarded, but not wasted as it was after all the main source of the new idea.

On occassions to stumble upon a new design/idea in a flash, by accident, or chance meeting in time, is the most exillerating and exciting part of creating. A flash of inspiration some will call it. Like a bolt of lightening striking me and ping, a new idea has been born.

If only it was this easy. The times when I do "find inspiration" is after long periods of thought and observation, down to the finest detail even if not relevant.

It is only after learning to take time to "observe" what is in the enviroment around me that ideas start to develop.

How often when out walking do we really observe our suroundings, trees, birds, leaves, grass, sounds, smells?. When I say observe I mean really observe.!

Looking at leaves on a tree, what colours are there, how do they mix and flow into the textures and main structure. What forms can be seen by scanning the edges of the leaves. How do they curl, could this form be made into a sculpture or a line for a texture, finial, etc. ?

What sort of thoughts spring to mind when looking at an item. It may be that I remember a time out walking with my grandfather (who started my love of wood), watching the rainbow trout jumping for flies in the warmth of a summers morning. Umm trout now the colours and textures are quite interesting, or how about the curve of their body as they jump at the end of a powerful tail.

All of these thoughts, ideas, possible designs are spawned from observation of a leaf while out walking.

A new idea may or may not come to light. It does not really matter to me if one does or not. The fact is I believe that until will can really observe what is around us in micro detail, until we trully connect with our surroundings, sights, smells, textures then "inspiration" is just a word printed in the dictionary.

Anyway enough of my ramblings. But these are some of my thoughts on the subject.


Mood Wood said...

Hi Mark,

Remember that you are always your own inspiration too. Look deep inside yourself with the same macro lens and you'll find a limitless supply of self inspiration.

Enjoy your trip buddy, be well and be safe.



Mark said...

Hi Lee

What you say is very true.

Thanks on the comments for the trip.

I am looking forward to it.