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Upcoming Blogs

In the next few weeks I will post some blogs about free form design, i.e. designing a necklace or bracelet when you have not drawn out a sketch in advance.  As in the pic below.

This is a carved bone pendant, strung abstractly with 6 of my handmade glass beads (lampwork) and various bone beads.  I dropped the beads on the bead board and let them fall where they may, then strung them. 

Most of the time I am very symmetrical in my designs, making each side of the necklace match, left and right of the focal piece in the center, whether it be a bead, a carved bone pendant or a fused glass pendant I created, but occasionally I get a little wild and just drop the beads and string them.  (My husband likes it when I do.  The necklace in the pic is one of his favorite pieces.)

Maybe you purchased some semi-precious gemstone beads or just some glass beads, and you have been looking at these beads in your bead box for quite some time trying to figure, what am I going to make with them.  How do you take them from just being a pile of beads, just sitting around the art studio, to finished jewelry?  I will do some layout on my bead board and shoot some pics and post them to give you a concept of how I get creative, whether symmetrical or abstract, how does one come up with a design. 

How do I get ideas for my designs, you ask?  I look at the seasonal color charts that are published and I look at clothing magazines and jewelry design magazines.  I get ideas from various places, nature, leaves, flowers.  I never copy anyone’s work.  All my pieces are my originals, but I can look at someone work and get a basic idea and then create my own unique piece from there.

If you have any questions, please post them.  I will try my best to answer them.

Christina

 

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After Annealing The Beads/Design

Once the beads are annealed in the kiln (see my previous posts) they are ready to incorporate into jewelry.  Thus begins the process of design.  I am constantly seeing design all around me.  I take pictures with my cell phone, or on my camera.  I grab a pen and paper and sketch out a design.  Sometimes a design comes from something I see someone else wear.  Maybe on a TV show or walking down the street.  Sometimes I find a picture in a magazine I clip out.  Sometimes designs just pop into my head, from trees or nature.  I have even dreamed designs.

I take all the sketches, photos and magazine pics that I collect, and scan them into my computer.  I save them in pdf format.  I place all ideas in a folder I call ‘sketch pad ideas.’  Then I break them down into two categories.  The first is ‘Others Ideas’ the second is ‘My Ideas’.  I sign and date all my original sketches and write notes on the sketch.  Others ideas I do not sign, but still date them and write notes on them.  That way when I start looking for ideas I will remember when and where I saw the idea.  I never steal someone’s design, but I use others ideas as a launching pad to stimulate my mind.  The collection of sketch pad ideas are just that, ideas.  A place to start.  I look at someone’s piece of jewelry and think, how can I change that and make it my own unique piece of jewelry.

Example:

 

The drawing above was an idea I had for a necklace for a birthday present for my Daughter, Becky in December 2005.  It was drawn on my computer in Paint program.  Since then I have a computer program called Bamboo.  (My Son’s family gave me Bamboo for Christmas in 2008.)  It is a drawing tablet that looks like a mouse pad, and the mouse looks like a fat ink pen.  You draw with the mouse/pen on the tablet just like on a sketch pad, which draws right on the computer screen.  I love the Bamboo sketch pad.

This necklace was designed around the small Topaz gems.  I purchased them then had to design a necklace that would fit the small Topaz without overpowering them.  Thus the making of the very small clear glass beads.

Below is the finished necklace which has 6 of my handmade beads.  They are small, clear, wrapped in dichrioc glass and it has 5 Mystic Topaz gems, with a Sterling Silver clasp.  Topaz is the Nov birthstone, my daughter’s birthstone.

 

The closeup shows the small hand made beads.  They are about 5 millimeters, and the Mystic Topaz are about 8 millimeters.  I hope this blog post gets your design juices to start flowing or at least gives you some insight into my mind and how I come up with a design for a piece of jewelry.  Christina