While walking in downtown Vancouver the other day from the Skytrain to a meeting, I started to wonder what I was going to write about for my first Blog for Workingsilver, when I quickly and easily became distracted by seemingly ordinary things…. cracks in the sidewalk, overgrown roots of trees creeping out and trying to escape their concrete cages, bundles of moss attached to beautifully textured tree bark, little buds forming in January…. a large brick wall with cracking and pealing dull blue paint, iron gates, shapes of buildings playing with one another as I pass by…..
How can I capture the texture of moss and bark in metal? What about that cool iron work, would that make a great bracelet and earring set?
Crap, I need to focus and figure out what to write about
Then it occurred to me. I find potential jewellery pieces everywhere, even in a simple five minute walk downtown. All I have to do is allow myself the time to be distracted by whatever catches my eye. Inspiration is everywhere. So lets talk about finding your inspiration.
The most important thing to do is to stop looking at jewellery, (I know that’s a tough one for anyone nearly as obsessed as I am) and start looking at the world around you. What are you interested in; bugs, space, botanicals, yoga, abstract art, architecture, robotics, geometric patterns, the list is endless. Seek from all sorts of sources, and always be on the lookout. Even ordinary everyday things, observe them with a critical eye. Find something your interested in and start studying that. Those things will then influence what you produce, even subconsciously. I’m not saying stop looking at jewellery completely, I’m not that crazy! Other jewellery artists can inspire you in other ways and open you up to new techniques and possibilities. And, it is important to study jewellery to understand its relationship to the body, because unlike any of the other art form, none are more intimately involved with the human body, its movement and expression. But stop for long periods of time because you don’t want the work of others to influence your designs to much, even subconsciously.
My biggest issue is two things really, narrowing down the options, choosing just one thing to focus on, and to start sketching. Drawing, yes, I said it, drawing. I know, everyone seems to dread drawing. I get that, I stopped drawing as a child because I was always told to stop wasting time doodling and get to work. So my drawing is still very much like that of a 10 year old, but I can still get my ideas down on paper, and with practice my drawing is slowly improving. Also, no one has to see it! As well as drawing, keep a source book of visuals, a physical scrap book, pinterest, instagram, and your own photos. Gather these things together and study them. Then…….wait and relax. Your brain needs time to absorb all this information. Don’t sit down and decide to design a piece, let your mind go free so the ideas can flow in. There is a great quote form Polly Morgan I read recently which applies now, “Don’t wait for a good idea to come to you. Start by realizing an average idea, no one has to see it. If I hadn’t made the works I’m ashamed of, the ones I’m proud of wouldn’t exist”.
A Great book which can help you on your way to transforming your inspiration into jewellery pieces is The Art of Jewelery Design by Elizabeth Olver
Cellular Jewellery by Nervous Sytstem, N-e-r-v-o-u-s.com
Two ridiculously amazing jewellery artists are So Young Park and Alexandra Hart. You can see through their pieces and into what inspired them.
Inspiration can also come from the materials you are using, your tools, as well as techniques learned or discovered. There are many jewellery artists who build their careers from perfecting a single technique and exploring all its possibilities. A couple artists where technique or materials is the inspiration are Michael Good, Peter Schmid, Pat Flynn and Margaux Lange.
The above Photos of cellular jewellery is a perfect example of inspiration coming from a source, human cells, and the technique of 3d printing.
Check out more inspiration on our Workingsilver Pinterest Page – HERE
Written by Serena Bartok