Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What They Don't Teach You...

I haven't posted anything (or any new designs) for a little while...mostly because I haven't designed anything new. Why? Because I am still working on my own style, my own voice, for the designs I create...and it's not as easy as you might think to make that happen.

This garnet is centered on the pendant, but at an angle. And then I added some asymmetrical elements around it...

What metalsmithing classes can teach you is the physicality of how to create. How to hold the torch, where the hottest part of the flame is, how to prep your metal, how to hold a saw when cutting, etc. etc. What they really can't teach you is what YOUR work looks like. In my opinion they often don't even do a great job of teaching you finishing (admittedly, my experience is limited to classes at two different locations, so other places may be better at teaching finishing, at least).

And finishing is an important part of jewelry making. It also figures heavily into how you design your creations. It's not so easy to get a high shine on sterling silver...and if you have a pattern on your metal, you'd better know if you want a matte, satin, or shiny finish from the beginning. AND you need to know how to place any design elements / embellishments on the piece so that you don't kill yourself during cleanup and polishing to realize your vision.

This lapis piece came together so easily...more easily than any stone design I made before it. And it sold immediately. If only they could all play so nicely... 

All this is not to complain...okay, maybe to complain a little. I AM frustrated. But I know that learning these things is all part of my own design journey...it will get figured out. I just don't like to feel like I'm in *constant* figuring-out mode. I'm not a natural problem-solver and right now it feels like every attempt at design involves so much of that.


This one...I'm still not satisfied with...

So I'm not designing...I'm researching. Studying. Deliberating. Drawing...but not executing designs at the moment. It's not necessarily a question of who I am but what I want to say with my jewelry. And how I actually say it...and a thousand other designers are so far ahead of me on this path that it gets discouraging. But I do believe I have something to offer. It's just going to take some time to figure that out.  :)


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