Thursday, November 27, 2008

Magic Words...

In my post about Finding Inspiration, I briefly discussed jewelry design as a mode of visual language.  We opened up our creative toolboxes and went over using color, texture, shape, nostalgia, and literary allusions to enrich and inform our work.  In this post, I wanted to explore a more literal approach to visual language and examine pieces made that incorporate components that brandish actual words.

I approached this challenge by creating five new looks and reconfiguring a sixth.  In addressing this inspirational source, I will let the pieces speak for themselves.

The piece above features a "Seek Wisdom" link from my family at Green Girl Studios that I wire-wrapped into a natural brass finding from Vintaj.  This focal piece is accentuated by a rose gold plated leaf, copper-colored Swarovski crystals (from Fusion Beads), copper chain from Ornamentea, and an assortment of pearls from Talisman Associates.

"Just breathe."  I'm reminded of the song by Telepopmusik.  In the midst of a sea of cyanite, potato pearls, labradorite, and jasper (all from Talisman Associates), I featured an electric blue ceramic link by Melanie Brooks Lukacs of Earthenwood Studio that simply states, "Breathe."  I also used a few Swarovski crystals from Fusion Beads and a pewter swirly bead and sterling silver toggle from my family at Green Girl Studios.

Pablo Picasso was noted as saying, "Art is a jealous mistress."  Heather Wynn captures the quote in polymer clay with this new stamped piece.  I've used the Heather Wynn piece in a mix of sleeping beauty turquoise, various kinds of chain, sodalite, and pearls (all from Talisman Associates).  To give the piece a little warmth and a little extra bounce, I used copper wire in parts of the piece and gold-plated cornerless cubes from Saki Silver.

One of my favorite bead artisans is Anne Choi.  She simply is divine.  One of the things she's known for creating are "poetry" beads.  In most cases, she uses a barrel bead to feature lines of poetry and snatches of literature.  In the piece above, I've featured one of her pieces.  It reads, "Lux et umbra vicissim, sed semper amore."  That translates to, "Light and shadow by turns, but always love."  The necklace is made up of seed beads from Jane's Fibers & Beads, Swarovski pearls and Golden Shadow crystals from Fusion Beads, a mix of chain from Ornamentea, a bird clasp from my family at Green Girl Studios, and a sterling silver cast heart from Candice Wakumoto.

I've spotlighted another poetry barrel bead by Anne Choi.  This one sports a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that reads, "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."  I've used it in a piece I created with Czech pressed glass, faceted pearls, and moonstones (from Talisman Associates), Swarovski crystal bicones from Fusion Beads, a lampwork bead by Patti Cahill of Dyed in the Fire Designs, and a clasp from Saki Silver.

Capturing one of my favorite poems, Anne Choi crafted two barrel beads donning words by Francis Thompson.  The first reads, "All things by immortal power. Near or far, hiddenly to each other linked are."  The second reads, "Thou canst not stir a flower without the troubling of a star."  I've used them with wooden beads from J & M Gems and Things, rutilated smoky quartz, blue sunstone, and pewter daisy spacers (called Pewties) from Talisman Associates, Hill Tribe silver from Hands of the Hills, a Egyptian crystal from Beads and Rocks, and a sterling silver small flowers clasp from my family at Green Girl Studios.  I reworked this piece.  CLICK HERE to see the earlier version.  I wanted to really do the Anne Choi beads justice and create a better balanced piece that has a more even visual all-around weight.  (I also wanted the Egyptian crystal to have more movement and not be as stiff.)

The pieces above are just a few examples of jewelry incorporating text-based components.

11 comments:

Lorelei said...

wow. just the inspiration I was needing. all beautiful and stunning as usual Andrew!

Anonymous said...

I woke up this morning thinking "I hope Andrew will post another necklace on his blog soon."
Thanks for sharing this with us. I really love the light & showdow one...
Nicki

peacockfairy said...

Every piece is lovely - too hard to pick a favorite!

HINT Jewelry Design said...

Gorgeous! I realized that the one I was most drawn to was the first picture and had to go back and figure out why. There is that little hidden gem "Seek Wisdom." Perfect message for my day. Thank you :)

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

Beautiful! I love jewelry that has meaning beyond just pretty.

2 If By Sea said...

Your pieces continue to inspire me to think "outside the box." Thank you for sharing them.

jeweledrabbit said...

They're all beautiful, but I'm especially fond of the first one.

Andrew Thornton said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words! It means a lot to me coming from you all - most of whom I know to be jewelry rock stars!

Heather Powers said...

Andrew your designs are so amazing. I'm seriously lusting after an Anne Choi bead now, if I didn't have it bad enough before. I will have to treat myself, that's all there is to it.

I love the seek wisdom necklace. Each part works so well together, there is a poetry to it.

Jean said...

You did a beautiful job with each one, and when I got to the one where you acually used TWO Anne Choi beads, the mere idea of that, and the way you did it, made me say "WOW!" out loud. I decided not to look at the earlier version. Not sure why. I think it is because what you made is a really great necklace.

RupaB said...

All the pieces are brilliant...good work Andrew!