Monday, March 28, 2011

Ring a Week 13/52 - Benefits of Working in a Series

My desk is starting to be littered with rings...and we're only one quarter of the way through the challenge. Because I liked the ring from last week so much, I decided to riff on its design. That brought me to thinking about the benefits of working in a series.

I was quite taken with the simplicity of the design last week. The ring was, in many regards, the easiest and quickest to build of all the rings I've made so far in this challenge. On the other hand, it wasn't by any means the least of the collection. In fact, it seemed rather refined, with the reverse relating so beautifully to the front, the egg shape echoing the nestling, and the satin finish yielding an elegant, polished tone. Where do I go from there? Do I do the obvious and simply reproduce it with a different image in the center? Do I add enamel to bring in a pop of color? Do I set it aside to revel in my feeling that it's superior and I can't top it, so I should go back to another design for a reinvention?

Instead I decided to try a merging of two designs, which is quite typically where I'm always working. I like that "on the fence" place, I guess, where I try to combine two ideas that I've been working on separately to find something new and exciting. That's when I spotted the toggles lying on my work table, victims of a rejected class proposal, looking forlorn and forgotten. One of the toggle rings had a similar shape to my nestling ring, with an oval opening in the center. Ah...I could cut my top a tad differently and add an extra triangle for a roof to make a birdhouse ring!

Away I went to quickly cut out the pieces needed, deciding to place a perched bird inside the birdhouse. That's where I erred a tad. I placed the bird too high, forgetting that the roof would hide its face, leaving it a birdhouse for a headless bird. Not quite what I had in mind! So I omitted the roof and just embellished directly with rose and leaves. I guess I have another iteration to try for next week.

I'm missing my Master Muse tutorial sessions. I enjoyed designing the projects and photographing all the steps and writing out instructions. I wonder if there would be any market for small PDF tutorials to sell through my Etsy shop. Beadmakers do this all the time; perhaps it's time for metal clay to get in on the fun. This birdhouse toggle clasp is first in line for such an experiment.