Traditionally, when I venture into an unknown and new realm of sorts, material wise or skill wise, I pick something that is well beyond the scope of a beginner and then chew off all my finger nails in frustration until eventually, I get a hang of things and learn.
That is exactly what happened when I started experimenting with glass fusing. I did not start with a beginners project like smart people would do. No!
I needed to figure out the basics of glass fusing at the same time as developing a pattern for encasing cremation ashes that would yield the exact same results every time I fused it. It was quite obvious that I needed to write down precisely what I did and the results of it if I wanted to get anywhere. I started a note-book and, more or less, I have been sticking to this habit ever since.
It’s a very good habit to have. So many times I thought about not writing down anything because “there was just no way I would ever forget that one”. Unfortunately, I have a very selective memory and it’s truly amazing how many facts my brain files as ‘not worth keeping’.
Despite the fact that I took notes about my projects and experimentations, I always felt that it would have been so much more useful if I could attach photos of what I was doing. Sure, I drew sketches and diagrams wherever I could but, as everybody knows, a picture is worth a thousand words.
When I got my iPhone, I did not realize the amazing possibilities that came with it for quite a long while. And it was, in fact, an entirely different matter that made me discover the Black Book app.
It is a very simple but tremendously versatile little program for the iPhone and it’s free. HERE is the iTunes link for it.
The basic principle on which it works is the ability to add a title and notes to a photo, which can then be organized in different categories.
So, for me, that means I usually take a photo of the kiln content before I fire it. I add notes like the dimension of glass pieces, the glass arrangements, glass used and anything else that I deem relevant. Most of the time I also add the firing schedule. Then, once the firing is done, I take a photo of the kiln content again and make notes about things gone right and things gone wrong. I usually also add thought on how I could improve on mis-haps or mistakes.
For more extensive notes, I still use my note-book but my phone has really been very helpful in keeping track of things because it makes it fast and efficient and therefore it is easy to stick with it.
The only thing that is a little bit awkward is the lack of backup ability. I periodically send the entries to my email address, which is easy enough to do but it would be even nicer if the developers could add something that would make it more efficient.
So, this is how I keep track of my projects and document my learning curve.
If you have anything to add or have another super-duper method, it would be great if you could share it here! =)
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will take something useful away from this post!