From time to time, I like to resort to my collection of jewelry books to find inspiration to begin a new project. I may not necessarily use the elements in the book itself, but it does give me a mental challenge. It helps to see how the masters of the days gone by used their skill to create the beautiful works of art that are splashed on the colorful pages. I read how one artisan spent 18 hour days working in front of the bench or how one perfectionist, unhappy with his apprentice’s goldwork, worked all night long to redo a jewel for a customer who was to pick it up the next day. Stories like these fascinate me because it shows a dedication and commitment to a craft that has seen so many changes through the centuries. The next time you find yourself stuck in a rut, take the time to re-learn or re-familiarize yourself with a concept or a procedure. You may find that your Muse had not abandoned you at all– only she needed a fresh perspective to move your project forward.