October 12, 2008

How do you Create a Piece?

This may be an odd question, and you may not want to answer it but I am curious how do you come up with the ideas for your jewelry? Your pieces are so unique and have a definite flare that I do not often see.

Unique is that code for weird? Just kidding.

Sometimes I just wake up with an idea and I make it. Not often but sometimes.

Sometimes I sit down with a strand of beads and try to make something out of it that looks good. That usually works out into something I don't much like.

The process that works for me is as follows.

I go through my focal boxes and pull out 4 to 10 focals that are screaming to be used. I love working with focals since that is how I started. You see I was a hard core wire wrapper when I started making jewelry, no stringing for me. I soon realized that if I framed my wire art with a necklace it sold better.

I then work on my focals. I wire wrap them or look at them to see if their is anything I can do to add that extra bit of wow factor to them. I work them all up.

I then grab gift box lids or wooden bowls and put a focal in each. I set one in front of me and I look at it. What colors, textures, patterns and sizes of beads would really make this pop? If I were going to wear this piece how would I want it to look? If I wanted to make this a piece people would look at in the post office and say "wow nice necklace" what would I need to do to it?

I get a few ideas rolling and I take my focal and hold it over my beads. I categorize my beads by color. I have a hook hanging on a wall with all my strands of purple, another for orange etc.... I hold the focal over each color I think may go and see what pops. I will pull four strands of one color and put it in the bowl with a focal. Then I go onto the next color I think will harmonize or contrast and do the same. Then I spread out all the strands I have pulled and look at it to see what sizes and shapes I need to make the piece come together.

I put back what I don't need and move onto the next focal and do it all over again.

I find that if I stay within levels of transparency things blend and pop better. I use opaque with opaque and translucent with translucent. I also use the color wheel and look at complementary and contrasting colors. I like to use colors in a common hue or go for a medley of the same color in different hues.

Now I get to sit down and look at the focal with all the beads I have chosen. I decide if wire, stringing, or a combination of both would set the focal up to really show itself off and then I go at it.

As I go I think constantly about how I can make it just a bit better. A hand wired art clasp? How about a hammered accent? Wired extender chain with the best gem beads dangling down the back of the neck? Maybe this focal needs many strands of beads to really make it feel rich?

I ask myself how can I make this different and unique? What can I add that will set it apart? What would I want on it to make it my favorite necklace to wear.

That's all folks. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.


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