Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Variations on a Design

One of the hardest things artists must deal with is developing a personal body of work with an original point of view. A helpful exercise to achieve that goal is to work in series. Even before the actual production, sketches are a great way to work out ideas and find that point of view. 

Analyzing previous work for an element that recurrently appeals to you is the starting point. Since I regularly use a leaf texture in my work and also use a leaf shape, I eventually combined the two. One of my favorite pairs of earrings uses this concept. My challenge was to use that jumping off point to do forty sketches for potential designs. The first twenty were easy and predictable, and the last twenty were where things got interesting. Perhaps my very favorites were the last two, shown above.

Quite a jump from the first sketch here, right? I've made a bracelet very much like that first sketch, several years ago, without the leaf-on-leaf texture.

And one of my favorite pairs of earrings are those double leaf earrings in sketch 2, but without the movement. You can see that I started off struggling for ideas and just doing tiny variations on what I already knew. But those tiny variations with each step forward to a new sketch certainly do add up over forty steps, to get me to the final designs. 

Over the next weeks, I'll be showing more sketches, components cast into Argentium silver, and my conversion of the sketch ideas into real jewelry.