Saturday, August 6, 2011

"More is Less"

In the world of art, the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe coined the phrase "more is less".  Work created with this philosophy is called "Minimalism" and the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features.  (Actually I discovered that the first person to coin this phrase was Robert Browning in the poem, "The Fabulous Painter", written in 1855.)  But, I'm most familiar with the art concept.

In this era of economic decline I imagine that "more is less" will be most people's mantra.  I know it is mine.  My husband and I are trying to simplify our lives by spending less (wish us luck on that one.)  We have decided to give up the debit card and pay cash, hoping this will make us think before we pull out our wallets for something we don't need.

What made me think of this tonight?  I bought a bag of butterscotch chips and used (what I thought) was half a bag to make my recipe.  I was going to use the other half (which should have been one cup) to make some cookies.  What a surprise when I read that a bag of butterscotch chips is now 1 2/3 cups.  When did that happen?  (Must have happened while I was dieting!)

I also noticed that the price of garlic toast stayed the same but the pieces are noticeably smaller.  So are the cereal boxes.

So what does this mean for me?  Well, the price of precious metal is way up as well as all the components made with it.  My costs are up but not the paychecks of my customers or students.   So I not only need to design my pieces smaller but make designs that are simpler.   I tend to lean toward the tendency of horror vacui (the filling of the entire surface of an artwork with detail) so this minimalist approach will be a challenge. (Which I think design wise will be good for me.)

I'm also going to have to be creative to save my students money on the supply end of the classes.  (Going to have to oil the creative channels in my brain...... I think we are in for the long haul!)

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