Monday, September 10, 2012

I Am The Bomb

Yes, it's a boastful title. But I so rarely feel like a design diva, and I've learned to savor the joy of the highs when they happen. Because soon enough I'll be back in the trough of "What Next?" "What Else?" "Do I even have anything else? Maybe that was my last good idea!"

Welcome to the life of a creative. It's full of doubt and insecurity. So if you're not tough enough for it, be sure to keep your day job.  :) 

I'm still very excited about the new design direction I'm taking. And it's great fun (mostly). Why mostly? I'll tell you...but first let me show you some of the other designs I've been working on.

I've mentioned before that I need to supplement my one of a kind pieces with cast items, both to keep costs affordable overall and frankly, to not want to slit my wrists when I can't keep up. Being a one-woman show means there's never enough time to get everything done...and these new pieces aren't helping in that regard.

First, an earring:

It's tough to see the detail in this shot, but obviously my tiny mosaic pieces make up part of the earring. The top will be satin-textured and the back is also textured. How the back texture will hold up during the casting process is unknown at this point. We'll see when I get some pieces back. I really like the elegance of this earring though! I think it will be pretty lightweight and comfortable to wear, but not so flimsy that it doesn't feel like quality jewelry.

Laying out the mosaic pieces on a curved edge proved pretty tricky, but I like the contrast of the jagged pieces with the curved earring shape and the open center.

Next up is a pendant:

Same thing as the earring - it will have a satin texture on the plain metal part and this time I added a bit of beaded wire. I was originally going to add mosaic pieces on the other side, but it either looked too heavy or not intentional. This one took quite a while to come toegether, but I'm so pleased with the end result. I like the earring, but I LOVE this. It's more me.  :)

BTW, neither of these is oxidized to bring out the contrast - it's not necessary for the casting company. Once I get the castings back, they'll be oxidized. Any unintentional oxidation look is simply because they're dirty. I'm still in the cleanup process with these.

So *why* are these designs "mostly" fun? Well....they're labor intensive. That's part of why I'm designing some of them for casting. Laying out the mosaic bits can get time consuming and sometimes frustrating. When I start to add heat and solder all these bad boys down, they tend to shift around. And with these designs, even a tiny shift will throw off the jigsaw effect, so I have to balance the heating and poking at the pieces with my tweezers all at once to keep them in line, as well as keep from melting the whole's not easy!

Also, I have tremors in my hands. I take medication for this, but it doesn't entirely eliminate the tremors. So imagine that you're playing that old game, Operation (remember it?):


For the youngsters who are reading, you use a pair of tweezers to dig out the bones / organs / whatnot from the patient on the game board. If you touch the sides of the holes while removing anything, a buzzer sounds. The first person to get the most pieces out won (or something like that). Anyhoo, laying out these puzzle pieces with shaky hands is a lot like playing that game. Except that I've substituted some choice words in place of the buzzing sound.  :)

So progress is slow. I also had two other prototypes that didn't work out and are sitting in the scrap jar, so that took up some time some, lose some.

But......WHEN the pieces all solder appropriately and they're not shifting and moving and occasionally dropping on the studio floor (and they are TINY and tend to bounce, so if one drops I can never find it again. And of course the only ones that drop are the *perfect* shape I was just getting ready to add to the mix...argh)...when it's all working out I am really enjoying my studio time with these pieces.  :)

I'm having a blast figuring out the design aspects, and once they're finished I'm really pleased with them. I'm itching to design a few more with stones, but I wanted to get the cast pieces done first, because it takes time to get the molds made and the samples back. Later this week though...

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