It would be wonderful to have a lifestyle in which I no longer need to work full time in a job I don’t enjoy. Part of the (romanticised) appeal of self-sufficiency and frugality is to have more freedom to explore the things that interest me, providing an avenue to do something creative. But straight away I hit a problem – my imagination and its creative urges are not exactly frugal in nature.
What do I mean? Well let me point out some of the creative (and other) pursuits in which I’d love to indulge.
Music. For years I’ve wanted to play the fiddle. I have a large collection of recorded fiddle/violin music, mainly folk and traditional but including a little classical. I love the sound of the instrument and the variety of sounds and styles that it can create. A cheap “students” fiddle seems to cost a couple of hundred dollars but on top of that I would need lessons; but would it be worth it when I wouldn’t have anywhere to use those newly learned skills on a regular basis? I’m also not so sure I’d be satisfied with a student’s instrument. I’d want something a little classier that could double as a decorative item at home when not at use.
Astronomy. I’d love to have a decent telescope and a very dark place to use it. Unfortunately my house is exposed to a lot of artificial lighting from a nearby hospital car park so finding a good clear unpolluted spot isn’t easy. Also those decent telescopes can be very expensive. I still kick myself for not taking advantage of a very good discount being offered by Australian Geographic several years ago when I could have got a very good telescope for around half price. It even had an inbuilt computer to make the finding of stars and planets much easier. It was still expensive, but far more affordable than at full price.
Glass. Gloria has been collecting pieces of art glass for a while now and I’ve been trying to find out more about Australian Glass artists. We’ve visited the studios of some local glass artists and the creative process is fascinating and varied. From slumped glass, utilising a kiln and moulds to hot glass in which molten glass is blown or rolled into required shapes the results can be stunning.
It’s the kind of artwork I’d love to try for myself, but I’m sure the costs of setting up would be enormous. Not the kind of thing you could start on a whim.
Some glass artists offer short classes and the Glass Works in Canberra gives the beginner the opportunity to make their own paperweight or glass beads.
But returning to my extravagant imagination, I would not be satisfied with the short term solution of using someone else’s equipment. My dream would be to have my own studio and creating masterpieces that can be sold for a fortune. Definitely not practical – but that’s why I’ve been writing about an extravagant imagination instead of an extravagant reality.