I've made it my goal to learn at least one new technique a year.
My jewelry making has evolved a great deal over the years. I started out stringing beads, and then went to beadweaving. From there I went to bead embroidery, and then wirework, and then to etching. Now I've purchased a jeweler's saw, so I'm going to add piercing/cutting to my range of skills. Or so I hope, at least. In my previous post I mentioned my tendancy to injure myself, so this new idea may not end very well for me.
I've always been very obsessive when it comes to new things. When I find something I enjoy, I focus on it with great intensity and do only that thing for months. I'm that way with everything from food (I will eat the same thing for lunch every single day for weeks on end) to books (a new genre that I enjoy will become the only one I read for months). Techniques are the same way for me. Of course, I don't totally abandon my old favorites. They still get incorporated to some degree, re-visited, adored all over again. Nothing beats that initial learning process, though, that satisfaction when the first truly good piece is created after dozens of cast-offs and botched designs.
I don't know why I didn't learn how to pierce and cut sheet metal sooner. I cut my sheet metal now with a heavy set of metal shears, but those are heavy and clumsy and can only really produce a few simple shapes. I want to be able to make intricate cut-out designs, to be unlimited in what shapes and designs I make. It's time to learn something new, as well. I still love to wire wrap, and to etch copper, but this will open new doors for me.
Hopefully I won't damage myself too much during the learning process. I have my doubts about that, though. I'm sure there will be at least a little bit of blood at some point. I'm sure it will be well worth it, as my previous injuries have been while I've learned new things.