Degrees of originality, and why I would like to paint more

Before my holidays I read a very interesting book review on Art Jewellery Elements . The book under review is called ‘Steal Like An Artist’ by Austin Kleon. Of course a title like that had me intrigued and I had to buy a copy for my holiday reading.

I found myself nodding in agreement with most of what Kleon has to say in this book, what he means by the title is that none of us create in isolation, and that we are influenced by others. It’s well worth reading if you haven’t done so already.

This book got me musing over my own views about originality, basically in my world there are different degrees of originality. These are just my thoughts and you may not agree with me.

Let’s take some of my coasters as an example.

The coasters below, although they are gorgeous and sell very well, are made from a glass anyone can buy, the maker ( me) needs to have cutting fusing skills.
handmade glass coasters pinks

The next set of coasters involve cutting and fusing glass like the ones above, but I added frit and mica. I had choices to make as to how much frit and mica to add, colours etc.

fused glass coasters turquoise

The coaster below involves cutting and fusing glass, and the addition of frit, but I also chose to paint a landscape scene from my imagination on this coaster. There were far more decisions to  make, techniques involved, and much more ‘ artistic vision’ went into the making of this coaster. I don’t want to sound ‘arty’ but dare I say a part of me went into making this coaster, it’s far more original than the other examples. That doesn’t mean all paintings are original but the more of yourself or ‘artistic expression’ that goes into your work has to make it more original.


There are so many ways to make our work more original whatever our medium, for me this involves painting. Note to self……. I need to paint more!

But that’s not the end of it, I’m trying to make a living from my work , it has to sell, and as time is money the landscape coasters should be more expensive than the other coasters but that’s a story for another day, it’s also the reason I make the other coasters.

Before I go I wanted to share this flow chart that I found on Facebook last week, it’s from Ginger Davis Allman of

It’s a great reference to have, thank you Ginger for sharing it with us.

Copyright Ginger Davis Allman


About eganj1

Obsession making arts crafts, and all things creative
This entry was posted in kiln fired art and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Degrees of originality, and why I would like to paint more

  1. Jill Varga says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I have a problem sometimes of being truly original and tend to use ideas of others, or designs which I try to twist to be mine. I must work harder at originality.

  2. Beautiful work Jill, and a great post!

  3. This is a great blog post! Your illustration of degrees of originality is perfect. And let me just say, I am so glad someone actually READ that review as it wasn’t a very well written one. haha! I do love that book and refer back to it all the time. Thanks for reading AJE!

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