Friday, 29 May 2009

Arachnophobia - Food for thought

Now this is kind of interesting (well I think it is anyway).

I am terrified of spiders. Big or small - even money spiders - size doesn't matter - I am scared of them all. I also do not like any other insects that crawl along. It is the legs ... I hate them. So when I made my Egyptian inspired piece (see earlier blog entry called Eternity) it took me quite a while to actually be able to pick up one of the (dead) little scarab beetles to make the mould from it. After a while working with the piece though I was fine with them and thought they were quite cute really. This got me thinking. Would I be able to get over my fear of spiders if I started to make some pieces with spiders on.

This was my first attempt. Strangely enough I was absolutely fine with it. Even a picture of a spider in a magazine gives me the creeps normally!

But here is the really weird bit. I made the pendant, fired it polished it, enamelled it - great. Then I patinated it in LOS and the spider went black and suddenly I am like - yikes - its a spider - let me out of here!!! All this time I thought it was just the legs that got to me but seemingly the dark colour has a lot to do with it as well. Needless to say I rapidly polished the spider back to silver and it seems ok again now.

I shall try some more spider things and see if I can start to cure myself. The only problem is if there are many people like me out there I may not have many customers when I put the pieces out for sale on my stand!

Is that weird or it is just me who is weird? :)


  1. What a good idea - using your art to cure a phobia. That's worth so much more than whatever price you'll put on these pendants. I think that your work is beautiful but this idea of healing yourself through your work is even better.

  2. Oh goodness me! You're a much braver woman than I am, Joy. Beautiful as the pendant is, I can't bear the eight-legged things! Even pictures of them give me the chills. *Shudder!*

  3. You are indeed a very brave woman! I very quickly skipped the pics of the aforementioned legged thing (can't even type it! lol) and could only read your comments when the pic was well and truly off screen! I asked someone (who knew i was a designer/artist) how could i get over my phobia and he said why don't you draw them... Well that was 4 years ago and i haven't got the courage up yet so good on ya! I can't pick up a mag/paper if i know there is a pic of one in there, can't have my hands waving around when i'm telling someone there is one to be gotten rid of and lo-betide if anyone dare as touch me if they have just got rid of it!

  4. btw forgot to say (in my shock!) love the pendants, love the ones that look like spray painted polystyrene. Hope the fairs go well!

  5. I think the explanation is that concentrating on working with something uses a different (higher) part of the brain than the area where we process an instinctive fear. I am very squeamish about blood but I am a surgeon! I don't like to watch other surgeons working and can't watch blood and guts movies. But when I am working, with most of the patient covered up and just the bit I am working on exposed I can deal with it without any bad feelings. In psychobabble what you did is called exposure therapy. It is based on the fact that fear releases adrenaline which makes you feel bad (sick, palpitations, sweaty etc) but there is a limited supply stored in the adrenal glands. If you hang on in there it all gets released and then there is no more left until the glands have had enough time to make some more...

    ...sorry, was that too boring?

  6. Definitely not boring Sarah, but does this mean I will not get over my spider fear this way? I have to say I have been worse than ever with spiders this week and Springwatch definitely did not help with that spider film!!! I was covering up my eyes and trying not to listen :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails