When planning the pieces for the exhibit, I wanted them to both stand alone and work together. I've finished one necklace and most of another, have two rings nearing finished, have a bracelet idea gestating, and am working on two brooches. That's seven pieces in total and enough for the curator to choose from to suit the rest of the show and the available space.
Of course, the theme - pollinators - connects the pieces however I'm also working to make sure there are common elements between pieces. The primary ones are texture and a metallic finish. The pieces are a combination of polymer clay and/or epoxy clay and found objects with textured surfaces and gilded or painted finishes. When I started this brooch yesterday, I thought you might enjoy my thinking process.
More often than not - but not always - I know what I'm making when I begin a jewelry piece. In this case, I knew it was a brooch - a large, bold brooch and not something understated, tiny, sweet, or any of those kinds of words. I have a collection of discarded jewelry bits that I've picked up at the thrift store to use as bases to build a design on. This wooden shape was a necklace pendant. It's about 2" wide and 3" long.
Right after I decided to enter the exhibit, I ordered a bunch of insect charms including bees in several sizes. This is the largest and I like the way it hugs the open circle and looks like it's peeking over the edge. It reminded me of a cameo so that become the working title.
Bits like this pin are sold for twenty-five cents at the thrift store so it's both a way to repurpose something no longer loved and more economical than buying new. And the holes and curves fit perfectly together. YES YES! It's so fun when that happens.
In terms of combining with the clay, both of these surfaces are especially workable. The pin has a grooved surface that will grab the clay as will the etched circles and drilled holes of the wooden oval. I also roughed up the surface with sandpaper.
With these three items, the piece has a base, a pin back, and a focal point. Playing with the parts led to the working title and a concept to develop. This is a solid beginning. It's good and enough. The bee peeking over the edge makes me think of her as being on top of the flower looking into the center so peeking, flower center, and cameo are thoughts that are influencing my choices. You don't need a fully developed concept with everything from start to finish already decided. You just need to find a starting point, enough to get going, and then allow the piece to unfold.
This is another collection that started in the same way. I knew I wanted to make a necklace using the large silver heart. I can't remember the size exactly but it's about 5" across. The hand is a charm with a loop on the end that allowed me to hang something from it. Both it and the key were sent to me by a friend (in a big box of lovely things
) when she was cleaning out her studio. How fun to use them and then send her a picture. The smaller heart is three dimensional and was from a necklace where the silver wore off leaving the copper colour showing. I liked the look but not the depth and later switched it out for a filigree one that also came from my friend. I've been working on this piece for the last several days and it's almost finished.
And the rings. My idea for securing the ring bands worked wonderfully. The main sections were made with polymer clay. The bands are secured with epoxy clay which can't be baked so I'll be using epoxy from now on to finish them. The exteriors are complete, the bands are secured, and I'm about to focus on the interiors. The concept is what's going on inside the flower.
And, I have finally managed to block the pieces for the little girl sweater I'm making for one of the baristas at Starbucks. It's a size two because, with Covid restrictions and no Starbucks, I didn't know she'd had her little girl until the baby was already a year old. It's highly unlikely - being completely honest here - that it'll get sewn together until after I finish the exhibit pieces. I'm already doing way more multi-tasking than I'm used to and sewing sweaters together is not my favourite task.
In the evenings when my brain is more than done with jewelry, I'm working on a black sweater for myself. The sleeves and one front are finished and the other front is about half done. I want it to be part of my workshop wardrobe and one of the layers in an outfit so I've been thinking about what to sew to go with it which I will hopefully start next week.
Today, I have birthday lunch with a friend and then I'll be working on the pieces. Tomorrow as well and on Sunday I'm going out of town for another birthday lunch with another friend so if I don't finish all the pieces before then, hopefully on Monday.
Talk soon - MyrnaGrateful
- a well developed, cohesive, body of work