When I talk to people about designing, we often times mention the fundamentals of design. We talk about things like space, balance, contrast, repetition, proximity, and alignment. We talk about the elements in visual work like color, shape, texture, form, line, and hierarchy. And with jewelry we talk about styles, fads, movement, and wearability. But beyond that... there's more.
Every component incorporated has a story. It has an origin and a maker and in some cases there are rich histories and symbolism. Gem lore alone could fill many tomes (and has). But beyond that... what does it mean to you? How are the things that are made by you special and unique.
Unfortunately in this industry there's a lot of copying. I won't really go into that here, because this post isn't really about that. But the reason that I bring it up is that sometimes when you see the work by someone who is stealing ideas from another artist, it feels empty. I call this work, "rootless trees". Because from the onset it looks fine... it looks healthy and abundant, but should a strong wind blow, the tree falls right over and the work can't stand on its own merit.
In my own work, I'm interested in exploring the roots. The work that other artists make that excite me the most are pieces that have deep roots too. When I'm working, I like to dig back into my experiences and the ideas that have filled my life, and run my fingers through this flow of thoughts and emotions and dreams. Sometimes things stick and those little seeds sprout and develop. There's a power in this. There is a power in creating from the heart. Sometimes ideas come unconsciously and sometimes you have to coax them out in a very planned and methodical manner.
In designing, there are intangibles. Even the most simple and streamlined design includes these intangibles. They are everything that went into the creation of the piece that can't be seen. I know there are some people who might scoff at this idea. There are some people who will say a thing is what a thing is and a thing is worth what a thing is worth and they'll try to give you formulas and recipes for evaluating and pricing your work. While this is sometimes useful, I find it can be somewhat limiting and only addresses the tangibles. Sometimes you've got to dig deeper.
For my latest batch of creations made for the Creative heART Challenge, I encourage you to take a moment to click on each of the listings. Not only will you find the ingredients, but you'll find little snatches of stories and ideas, some real and some imagined, that connect to these pieces. While each person will add to it their own ideas and take away what they will, regardless of what I want them to or not want them to, these little bits I've shared helped in the process of their making and I hope you'll enjoy them.