These particular group of posts are dedicated to the summer of 2011.

The mosaic gazing balls job that I did throughout the summer and into the fall that was ultimately rejected by the customer will be documented here in a series of posts, mostly because I think someone might be able to learn from my mistakes. I know I did. These “life lessons” can be used as a guide for many things, not just what I experienced.

This is going to be broken up into many parts in order to follow along and read each section without it taking hours of time. I haven’t written the entire series yet but am trying to stay a few posts ahead to keep the momentum going. I really have no idea how many posts there will be nor do I know how long it will take to share them.

I’ve broken it up into “life lessons” and each one explains what happened, shows photos when possible and shares what I’ve learned.

I am documenting everything from start to finish mostly for my own use. By the time the series is finished, I hope one other person can use this information and benefit from it.

In early 2011, I got an email from a potential customer asking me if I could make ten 12 inch gazing balls for her wedding with a budget of $1,000. I was blown away by the randomness of the request and having just heard about a new potential scam hitting artists at the time, I felt compelled to do some investigating. I discovered this person was indeed a real person and taking a chance, responded to her initial email.

After establishing that she was a legit person and possible potential customer, I asked her how she found me and why she wrote to me specifically. She found my website through an online search and saw I had made some gazing balls. She had contacted several artists asking them the same question she had asked me. She said they told her it couldn’t be done but wondered if that was how I felt too.

Never having done that many spheres before or having a budget quite as large as that, I had no idea if I could actually do what she was asking. After a few emails back and forth with her and looking at some supplies briefly online I decided it was possible and told her so.

I really needed to do something to feel useful as everything in my life both professional and personal was falling apart when she contacted me. I was out of work, out of funds and struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over my head. I wanted something to do, I imagine, probably so that the things that were going wrong would seem less daunting, frightening and downright scary. I know I needed to get my mind off of these things. What better, than a large mosaic job?!

Ultimately, in hindsight, if I had chatted with the many people I associate with daily through social media asking them for guidance before responding to her accepting the job, I’d have come to the same conclusion the other artists she contacted had.

FIRST LIFE LESSON: Never allow your emotions into a potential job.

Let me share a thoughtful hindsight: emotions should play no part in a job … ever … unless you’re a well paid actor. It’s not something that works well if you want to do custom work for a living. The old adage that says you should keep personal and professional lives separate can work for situations such as this if I had known it. I’m a year older and a year wiser.

While my mosaic work takes a lot of emotion to do, often lifting my spirits and making my soul sing when I create, this was a “real job”. My first in my mosaic life. I had no idea how to do anything but found it stimulating to learn. Excited, I could possibly have opened a whole new career making gazing balls as centerpieces for events in the future. This had me sleepless with possibilities! A nice change of pace. Most of my sleepless nights was wondering how I was going to pay the rent or feed myself. The bills were dangerously behind in payment.

While I still had the internet available to me at home, I set to work searching for everything I needed at a price I could afford to make 2 spherical prototypes in gold mirror and ordered it. Using 6 inch styrofoam balls I got at the craft store, I wanted to make one with gold mirror stained glass cut in triangles, one cut in squares. It was my thought that she would need to see the differences because each cut looks different when finished. And in the back of my mind I thought should I get asked in the future to make more spheres like this, these would be small enough to transport locally to share what they looked like. Those unknown online customers who were interested, could see the photos like this customer could. Awesome!

To be continued …

Stay peaceful.
©2012 Cindy White, EarthMotherMosaics