Monday, May 13, 2013

The Value of Working Fast in a Series

After the prototype proved plausible, I decided to attempt to make at least 20 pins for the swap. I did modify my process a bit because of fit issues with the stones and the tubing, but overall it's still a quick and dirty approach. So I hope anybody who really trades with me doesn't judge me too harshly!

Playing with color has been my favorite part of the project, making me really want to rethink how to introduce color more frequently into my regular jewelry. I've also enjoyed the return to my fiber roots and including the occasional piece of glass. I need to devote thought to how to combine media more effectively.

Working in a series is so invigorating. The basic process is easily set down:

  1. cut tubing lengths
  2. set the stones
  3. reduce the tubing with the rolling mill and then shape
  4. cover with fabric and thread scraps
  5. add a feather and any other embellishments
  6. add the fibula

But within that process, there are lots of places for variation. I work the first three steps with sets of 5-6 pins, then I work the next two steps individually. Finally, I will do the fibulas all at the end.

I find that as I'm working on one pin, I have an idea for another. Since I  know there are more to come, I feel no anguish over what to do with the current variation. I just make a quick decision and move on. The process moves faster because I'm not over thinking.

Inevitably, the process itself starts to feel a bit limiting. I begin to crave a break out into a new direction.