Thursday, September 22, 2016

Commission Work...

The past few months, I have had an overwhelming amount of commission work.  On one hand, I enjoy the challenge – I find it interesting to have a client initiate an idea and then I filter it through my aesthetics and work with my heart and hands to create something that I may not have originally made otherwise.  Plus, I appreciate that people trust me with their projects and want me to be a part of their experience.  There are a lot of other people out there who are more than willing and are highly capable to assist with projects... so it's an honor when someone wants me to create something with them.  

On the other hand, because it's something that didn't originate with me, I don't always feel the compulsion to work on a project relentlessly.  With my own projects, I can set to making something and days will pass and I won't notice.  Often times, with commission work, I have to think about things and let them sit out on my work bench and let them "breathe".  Of course, if there's a time crunch, it helps speed up the process.  I try to plug my ears when a client says, "Take your time.  Get to it when you're moved to do it."  Because, if you want me to get to it when I'm moved to do it, it might be months before that particular inspiration strikes.  I still try to do things in a somewhat timely fashion, but it doesn't always come easily and I don't want to just crank something out that I don't feel good about.  Sometimes I try to trick myself into working faster and set little goals for myself, just so that things don't linger too long.  

Since I've been working on things for the Creative heART Challenge, I've found that the floodgates have been open and there's a free flowing current of ideas and energy.  Here are some of the projects that I've been working on this week:

One of my customers likes big jewelry.  She's not afraid of bold statement pieces and has an extensive collection of vintage jewelry by designers like Miriam Haskell.  She selected the kiwi jasper large carved coin beads and the aventurine chip and wanted me to put them together.  I quite like the way this turned out.  I was able to use the chip to create visual weight, without creating actual weight.  The gold spacers also brings out the jade tones in the focal stones and the little glint of gold helps bring the eye around the piece.

I made this necklace for another client.  We have an amazing rug hooking teacher who lives in the area.  She has students that come from all over the country to take classes with her and stay at her studio.  One of the groups that comes in is from Indiana and they usually come once a year.  On one of the trips, my client purchased the sterling silver and turquoise bird pin.  She wanted me to incorporate it into a necklace.

This was surprisingly a difficult necklace to make.  On a trip to town, she picked out the beads and we talked about lengths and the style and everything... but what made it sort of hard to work on was that the pendant was acquired from a fellow shop owner who recently passed away.  He was one of our first friends in town and every time I picked up the piece, I thought about sitting out in front of his shop and talking and about some of the inside jokes we shared.  It was hard to really focus and I ended up making and taking apart and remaking this necklace several times.

I ended using a converter bail, so that my client can use this piece as a necklace or she can take the pin off and use it as a brooch.

The base of the previous necklace was made up of wood opal nuggets, cuprite, and reconstituted larimar beads.  I had some left over from that project and whipped this piece up and I love it.  I'm a smitten kitten with how it came together.  Maybe because I struggled with the last piece so much, working just with the beads was way easier and everything sort of fell into place.

The same client who had me make the previous two necklaces also picked out this fine pewter coffee pendant from my family at Green Girl Studios.  She also picked out the jasper and fire agate beads and wanted me to create a coffee themed necklace for her.  It's a more delicate scale than the previous necklaces in this post, but still has a little bit of interest with the asymmetrical placement of the beads.

I had leftover beads from the previous necklace and used some of the wood opal from the other necklaces to create this necklace.  It's adjustable in length, so my client can layer it with other necklaces or wear it on its own.

This is the start of another commission.  We had a customer come in several months ago and fell in love with the store.  She's planning to get married and really likes mermaids.  In particular, she liked the 80's movie, "Splash" with Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks.  (Which I just found out that they are remaking with Channing Tatum as the merman!)  In the original movie, Daryle Hannah's character wears a necklace with a lion head on it and my client wanted me to make it.

Since it has been awhile since I last watched the movie, I had to do a search to find an image of it.  I found a few small sized pictures that pixelated when I blew it up.  I found a few different ones and ended up creating a metal composite.  The above version is my prototype for the pendant.  I didn't want to copy it exactly and ended up taking some creative license to make it more my own.  The prototype will be molded and (unlike the movie version) will be made in silver tones.  I suggested that she come into the store with her girlfriends to make the rest of the necklace to give it even more sentimental value and to have a nice day together in Ligonier.  Hopefully I'll be able to snag a picture of her wearing the creation on her wedding day.

I'll post more pictures later of some of the other work that I've created for other clients.  It's been a busy end of summer here!

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