Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Grander Plan: Designing a Series

I've been working on honing not just my technical skills, but my design skill as well. And this month, I took on a design series. Instead of designing one or two pieces that complemented each other, I designed...twenty-four.

That is a LOT OF METALWORKING! I am tired. My body aches. B-u-t I have twenty-four stone-set pieces that complement one another. 

I did make it a little easy on myself because I had bought a good quality of  Red Creek Jasper stones this winter, and they usually can be a little mix-and-match-y to begin with. And I was playing around with a new design feature, which transferred well among the stones. I'd started sampling it with single-color stones, and I liked it...but it's subtle, and I felt like it needed some more vibrant stones to accentuate.

So I sorted my stones into groups with similar patterns:

I made the bezels, textured the backs (the back of each piece in each grouping has the same texture), and then the fun started. I played around with wire, tiny silver discs, even tinier silver balls, and jump ring placement (for attaching ear wires and neck chains), until I had the designs worked out. Then I moved on to the next series:

And repeated the process. Different back texture, but assorted dots and lines and discs on the top and sides.

And once more:

Voila! Several groupings of mix and match designs. Any pendant could go with any earrings in the series.

I really enjoyed working on these, and I also managed (a twofer!) to refine my skill in joining pieces of metal together like this. I've been able to solder a join on a single piece of metal easily, and I can sweat solder pretty well, but I've struggled with this kind of work for a while. And since nearly every piece (the curved wire, the discs, the balls, and the jump rings) all have to be "side-soldered", for lack of a better term, I think I've improved my abilities just a wee bit. Which was actually part of the plan to begin with.  :)

Now that these are finished, priced, and listed on line, next week I'm going to be working on some more "Capital A" Artisan pieces. Can't wait!


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  2. Beautiful work, Jill. Love the colors of the stones and the design of the setting. Are you coming back to the Sedona art show this year? This is where I live... maybe this explains why I am partial to the earthy colors ;)

    1. Hi Patricia, and thank you!

      I'm afraid I won't be returning to the Sedona art show. I wish I could, because I loved being there (Sedona is so gorgeous!) but it's a lot of expense to travel for it and it just didn't have enough foot traffic for me to justify coming all the way from Georgia. :(

      I do hope to be back in Phoenix for the Tempe Arts Festival in December...but that's probably as close to Sedona as I'll get this year.

      If you're a regular blog reader, you'll know I grew up in Arizona. I'm so jealous of you having all that beauty around you always. It's lovely country!