I'm a little too insulated. I do that on purpose. I never look at what other jewelers are doing because I don't ever want to be accused of copying. It's a little too neurotic, I think, but it's something I've been hypervigilant about since someone copied my chainmaille shrug.
But, inspired by the words of Paul Stankard, I decided to start seeking out art again. Sitting around making chainmaille all day can create some myopia. Thankfully, the Google Art Project means that I can look at art works when most cultural institutions are closed for the day.
On my first field trip to the Art Institute in Chicago when I was maybe 8 or 9, I remember seeing The Assumption of the Virgin by El Greco. I have never been religious, but this piece stuck with me. I don't know if it was the scale or the imagery, but it's my first memory of being in awe of a work of art.
You can check out what Google Art has to say about the piece by clicking here.
Aluminum chainmail jewelry