Saturday, March 5, 2011

Creative play

Entry with some of the material: acorns, Franklinia seed pod, sweet gum  tree pod, pine cone, eucalyptus leaf, wisteria seed, styrax seed. (not pictured:mustard seeds, peppercorn)

I am a collector of seedpods, leaves and pretty much all range of flora.  Often I find inspiration for my jewelry in the infinite shapes, forms and texture.  This year I was able to use some of my stash to create a piece of jewelry to enter in the Jewelry Class at The Philadelphia Flower Show.  The theme, Un Colleir pour la Reine (a necklace for a queen), is not intended to be worn however it is supposed to embody all the attributes of a real piece.  There isn’t a monetary award or notoriety attached to this, however if you win a blue ribbon you and your guest get to attend the big Luncheon for all the winners. If you live in Philly and/or you are into gardening, this show is a big deal. I do this for my own pleasure and to take a creative break even though this necklace took about twice as long as a real piece to make.

Art supplies, nail polish and dried pods take over the kitchen table. 

I have been designing and making jewelry for others and myself since attaining my BFA in Metals from Rochester Institute of Technology, back when it was The School for American Craftsmen. Finding inspiration for new work can be challenging at times and I have found that working in another medium infuses the creative spirit.  The design process is the same as if this were a commission however the only thing at stake this time is satisfying myself. And once completed, my necklace will be seen by thousands of visitors who slowly file past the lighted cases where mine and the other entries of this unique art form are displayed.

The pieces I didn't make.

Looking back over my sketches and holding the finished piece, I see changes that I could have made to make this a stronger design. If I were to make another I know what I would do differently the next time. This is the creative process at work. There is always something new to learn and put to use the next time.

A few things learned:
Admit that something isn’t working and don’t be afraid to start over.
Don’t get hung up using one element.
Step back and see the whole piece.
Rather than add, simplify- take something away.