Wednesday, January 2, 2013

FROM SKETCH TO EXECUTION...

Sketch:  A rough design, plan, or draft, a simple or hastily executed drawing.
I am often asked where my ideas come from when creating art pieces.  Sometimes there is something tangible I can point to and say this is what inspired me and sometimes it is more of an intuitive inkling to want to try and create something that I have to work out on paper by sketching.  Both of these apply to the creative process of my latest art pieces that I gave as gifts for Christmas.

While sorting through some of my mothers jewelry I thought it was such a shame that it was not being worn and enjoyed.  Truthfully I, nor my daughter or daughter-in-law, share the same style or taste as my mother but there were some really nice elements to some of the pieces.  I came across a broken necklace sealed in an envelope that sparked an idea of how to create a new keepsake that could be worn and enjoyed by my daughter and daughter-in-law.
I began by sketching out ideas incorporating new elements, Etsy finds, and parts and pieces of some of my mothers jewelry to make unique necklaces that were tailored to each ones taste and personal style.  I rarely sketch directly in my sketch book, a bulky book seems to get in my way, I prefer to grab whatever paper is handy and my favorite sketching tool, a cheap black BIC ink pen, and scribble away making detailed notations.  Then I will glue the sketch into my sketchbook for safe keeping and reference.

It is extremely rare that the outcome of the project will mirror the original sketch.  Often allowances have to be made in the design leaving room for adding to, taking away, or minor tweaks to the original.  For these two jewelry pieces I had the concept but they both seemed to need an extra drape and in one case I made several different sketches moving the main elements around until I found the one that was most pleasing to the eye.  I also knew that I wanted each piece to incorporate some sort of photography, which sparked the idea of using watch cases to encapsulate the photos.
I found a supplier on Etsy that had some new watch cases in stock that were delicate in design with diamond chips for embellishment and thought they would be perfect for one and for the other I ordered a wonderful old pocket watch case from and Etsy seller in Europe.  I also ordered some pastel pearl glass beads in shades of the ocean and some Chez glass bronze transparent luster beads on Etsy.  I purchased some quality chain for both pieces.  All the rest of the beads and elements came from various pieces of my mothers jewelry.

The next step in this particular design process was pure play, moving beads around, pairing different combinations and color families until everything looks right.  I snap a few photos to reference for placement.  Then I began the stringing/wiring process.  Trying on, adjusting, messing up, starting over, tweaking, and finally finishing each piece. 
My daughters style is feminine, delicate, and always with a fun funky quirky edge to it.  She adores some elements of Steampunk jewelry design so I decided that hers should be along that vein.  I used one of her bridal portrait photos, enhanced it with paint, and added on an extra layer by using real dandelion seeds from my grandmothers field pressed under the glass.  The glass orb on the end of the necklace also holds dandelion seeds.  Her necklace is generational, seeds from her great-grandmothers garden, beads from her grandmothers jewelry, beads from a no longer worn bracelet of mine, and her own bridal portrait with one glass bead left over from a project she did as a teen.
 This design perfectly marries the hard and soft and captures the right amount of quirky by using rich chocolate velvet ribbon, metal, wood, stone, glass, delicately designed hammered copper chain, with the soft sweetness of the photo.  I am not a jewelry designer/maker but this statement style pendant necklace turned out better than I dreamed it would.
My daughter-in-law loves fashion and jewelry is her favorite accessory.  Her style is always trendy and fresh with a twist of classic elegance.  I thought designing something with a twist on the classic pearl necklace or locket would be perfect for her.  I encapsulated mini beach photos of my daughter-in-law and my son in one watch case and their son and daughter in the other as "lockets".  Glass pearls in ocean hues mixed with clear glass beads and cultured pearls as well as other elements from my mothers jewelry round out the design.  This design depicts a special family memory of introducing her children to the beach for the very first time.
  
 The gilded shell from one of my mothers necklaces perfectly reenforces the beachy feel of this statement style pendant necklace.  I am kind of excited to design one for myself now.
 
 
 While I had to deconstruct some of my mothers jewelry in order to use the beading or other elements, in the end it was worth it to have something that is a new keepsake that will be worn and enjoyed rather than it being put away in a drawer.

I hope that you have enjoyed a small part of my rough sketch to execution design process.

17 comments:

bobbie said...

OMG!!! These are absolutely EXQUISITE!!!
Wow ~ just WOW.

Even your sketches are beautiful ~ they would look lovely framed!

You've outdone yourself, Sandy ~

Lucky girls!

Sue said...

Absolutely beautiful, Sandy, You are indeed so gifted.
Thanks for sharing.
Blessings, Sue

Desires of the Heart said...

These necklaces are sooooo beautiful!!! and such a keepsake from your lovely mother and you for the family. I love your sketches too, Sandy. Thank you for sharing your process, just so lovely and inspiring. I lost my mother this past summer and have many many pieces of her jewelry, broken, and whole. Maybe I could do something like that. I have saved many many little trinkets thinking I would like to make some kind of wall piece for each of us children utilizing these bits and baubles from our past. Happy New Year for you and your family.

Elizabeth Johnson said...

Your work is beautiful. And I agree, better to be using it than have it stashed in a drawer.

Sherry said...

Stunning, beautiful, unique, individual and created with love, using antique elements and being able to keep something of your mother's in a new design. What wonderful gifts and I'm sure both your daughter and daughter-in-law were moved beyond words!

Vee said...

Is there anything you can't do?! Amazing and amazingly beautiful creations. I can well imagine that both your daughter and your daughter-in-law loved their necklaces. Walking away just marveling...

amy of four corners design said...

I find it fascinating to explore other artist's creative process...so thanks much for sharing how you went from idea to sketch to construction...and you are so right - much better to remake those jewelry pieces laying in a drawer into something that will be cherished and worn...wonderful job!

Diane Knott said...

Well, you've been busy, Miss Sandy! And I've been hiding away for months and finally getting my new blog in order and updated with my favorite people - you being one of them - of course! It will be so nice to stop by and visit with you again!

Hugs and blessings....
Happy New Year too!

Love, Diane

Cathy said...

Your sketches are gorgeous and the jewelry is exquisite! I think you could sell your beautiful sketches to be framed or as greeting cards or something. They'd be fabulous to decorate a studio with.

Cathy :)

Createology said...

With Creative Bliss you have created heirloom treasures for your daughter and daughter-in-law. I adore how you have sketched your designs and then completed the pieces using bits and parts from so many generations of the women in your family. Such divine designs dear...

Little Birdie Blessings said...

Wow, these are beautiful Sandy. I'm sure the girls were thrilled with them. Same style but each reflecting their personalities. What a rare gift I'm sure they will treasure forever. Especially since there are pieces of your mother's jewelry in it. Thanks for sharing these treasures with us. ~ Abby

Julene said...

Beautiful! The thought of wearing something so artful and the little sea shell is dreamy!! Who wouldn't love to hold that in their hand and feel the smooth surface while going through the day. Truly amazing work!!

Karen Valentine said...

They are lovely Sandy! I've been having fun creating jewelry lately to, but haven't been lucky enough to use any of my mom's jewelry. I'm sure you love wearing them!!!!
xo,Karen

Katherine Wolak said...

Ohhh these are absolutely beautiful!!! And you know what? your sketches are stunning too, I could totally see these in a collage of some sort! Beautiful!

Hugs,

Lady Jane said...

These are beautiful and such a nice keepsake with the momento of your moms incorporated into them. Very thoughtful gift.

mike ribeiro said...

Outstanding work showed in the post, and i thank quill cottage for wonderful execution from paper to pilot and then to the main process. nice little show of creativity.

wall art decor

Wendy said...

gorgeous! love how you first draw the sketch before making the jewelry. Hugs, Wendy

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