For me, the process always starts with a question, and is then driven by other questions that come up along the way.
I have always been fascinated by the various ways that humans have created to communicate with each other. Those of you who have been following me for a while might remember the braille line I created a few years ago by fusing little glass dots onto larger pieces of glass to create the letters. It seems a natural progression that a fun question to explore would be, "How would I do Morse Code in jewelry?"
While I have some interesting ideas on that score, the best ones involve learning a new process and getting tools and supplies I don't currently have. So the next question is, "What can I do with what I have now?"
This question is easier to answer once I take the time to distill things down to their essence - in this case dots and dashes. Then I make a mess! I like to just dump raw materials, tools, components, half finished pieces - pretty much anything I can find in my studio into one pile. Then I sit down and start to play. Here are a few of the designs that I have come up with on this theme so far.
Lastly, the most important question then becomes, "which ones do I like best, and why?"
While it's important to play, create, and not to judge in the moment of creation it's also important to recognize that most ideas are not going to be good ones. The next part is to decide which ones I really like, why I like them, and then how I can push those ideas to become even better. Probably less than 20% of my ideas ever get shown - showing off the "rejects" like this isn't something I've ever done before. But in the interests of sharing my thought process, here is how my thought process went with each of the prototypes above.
A: I think my problem with this one is that it's going to be really hard to create a symmetrical twist. It does catch the light though in interesting ways when you wear it.
B: Practically, this one is a no-go as designed. The middle piece tends to wrap around the chains making an earring that would be really annoying to wear.
C: This one is too busy. I do like that flower motif though and will keep trying to find a fun way to put it into a design at some point.
D: This one is really too plain. I know people who would love to wear it though, but I'm concerned that it really isn't that different than what others are doing for plain earrings like this.<br>
E: I like this one - it's lightweight, looks nice on and has really great movement. The texture on the bar really makes it sparkle in the right light. This one has possibilities.
F - G: Actually I really like these together as an asymmetrical set - which is really strange for me as I love my symmetry! But I think I might like them because they are symmetrical in their asymmetry.
H: This is OK, but still kind of boring to me.
I: This is more interesting to me - probably because I do always like the juxtaposition of metal and wood together. I might play with this idea more at a later date.
So what is the final verdict?
To me, E and F/G would be concepts worth exploring now. They are not things I've done before, and I'm already thinking of things I might do differently with the next iteration to take things to the next level.
So there you have it - a peek into my creative process! Which ones would have made the cut for you? Do you disagree with my thinking in any of the analyses above? Let me know in the comments below. I'm always curious to know what people are thinking!
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Because I believe in conscious fashion, my focus is on creating beautiful and classic designs from high quality materials that will stand the test of time. My goal is to create jewelry that will receive compliments today as well as decades from now.