Jan Detter Header
My studio

COURTING THE MUSE

Creative work is my game changer—whether it is making a mosaic or digging out a new garden plot—I live to create. Each day is an experiment in trying out a new idea and flirting with chaos. One cannot be present without the other. Disorder makes the muse hum with satisfaction, even if she leaves when its time to sweep up! Because story plays a huge role in what I create, I think of my muse as a slippery, slightly sneaky troublemaker who tells tall tales to wake me up and then leaves me to make sense of the confusion after its over.

 

Studio workPROCESS RIFF

My process varies depending on the project and its intent. My personal work is often an exploration of ideas and symbols encountered through relationships, travel or reading. Objects that reflect symbolic meaning or a narrative mystery fascinate me, as do poetry and mythology. However, there is no guarantee that any exploratory process will lead you to the exact spot you see in your mind's eye. As Clint Eastwood once said, "if you want certainty, buy a toaster".

 

I do know that my muse likes to hang out in old books stores and junk shops, so cobwebs constantly court me. Since we are said to return to dust when we finally flee this mortal coil, it seems appropriate that dust should abide in my creative hunting grounds. So, as I slink around looking for ideas among old things, I often remember my grandmothers making warm and colorful quilts from someone else's rags. Maybe the fruit hasn't fallen so far from the tree after all.