After pulling an all nighter in college, one of my professors told me the parable about the wood choppers…insert college
April eye roll. This story has stuck with me and actually has become one of the ways I keep myself from burning out.
One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, nonstop all day
long. The other man had lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised
and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. “I don’t get it,” he said. “Every time
I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.” “But you didn’t notice,” said the winning
woodsman, “I was sharpening my ax every time I sat down to rest.”
Moral of the story – sharpen your ax…orrrr in my case, take time to work on a personal project every now and then. It
might not even be a piece of jewelry, but another art project entirely, a quilt, painting, or sculpture that I want to do
just because. Whenever I hit a wall creatively I plant myself down and spend some time on a passion project.
The Crown was a long time in the making. Many of my custom pageant and bridal clients jokingly referred to me as
the “Bling Queen.” Wheels started turning and I decided creating a crown seemed like a challenging project where
I could really show off my design chops. After contacting numerous metal shops with my prototype drawing and not
receiving any responses (apparently not too metal specialists get requests for crowns?!) I finally convinced a company
in Indiana that I was serious.
I used Photoshop to create a scaled mock up of the crown and stones so I could better visualize the direction I wanted
to head. Some of the Swarovski colors I wanted weren’t readily available so I hired a Swarovksi specialist I work with
regularly to source some of the harder to find glacier coated stones. For a few weeks I worked an hour or two at a time
gluing stones and then letting it cure. Since the crown is a rounded surface I could only bling out a small area at a time
or they would slide right down the sides. This was BEYOND a test of my patience, but the final result is a crown using
thousands of Swarovski crystals in 20+ colors thats sparkle is practically seizure inducing. I have to be careful where
I put it in my studio because if the light from outside hits it just right the whole place gets covered in rainbows…no
complaints on that either.
My parents have had their fair share of calls from their artsy daughter that usually start with, “So I have this idea….”
After showing the finished crown to my Mom she laughs and says, “April who is ever going to buy that!?”
“Who says it’s for sale?”