Friday, March 23, 2012

Exploring the Design Process

What comes first, the chicken or the egg?  In jewelry design, do the beads inspire a design or does the inspiration or theme decide the beads you will use?  Or can it come from both directions?  Let's examine this process a bit from one starting point, for now.

Jessica Stoops recently entered a design contest in Jewelry Stringing, a popular magazine.  She won the Editor's Choice award.  Here is the piece she created.

The theme was already chosen, 'Fairy Tales', but what led her down the path she took to create the final piece?  She knew she wanted to make something unique and spent a lot of time thinking about the theme.  While brainstorming with a friend during a walk one day, she decided to base her piece on 'The Little Mermaid', a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale.

She began with the mermaid tail pendant by Gaea of Gaea Beads that is the focal point.  Next came the amazonite beads.  She loved how they looked with the pendant.  After choosing which parts of the story she wanted to highlight, she began looking for appropriate charms.  She searched online for the perfect ones, purchasing them on eBay and other sites.  She even found a mermaid clasp to tie the whole project together.

The necklace was coming along quite nicely.  She knew where she wanted to place each of the charms but she felt that there was still something missing.  A trip to her favourite bead shop came next and there she found the silver peanut beads. Jessica liked how the beads fit together and they added dimension to the piece. She knew the necklace was now complete and it went on to win the Editor's Choice award!

I want to thank Jessica for sharing her experience with me and helping me embrace the design process in a new way, to see how each step builds upon the one before it. 

To see more of her designs, check out her Etsy shop Joyful Gems & Stones.  To see more of Gaea's work go to her Etsy shop Gaea's Beads.

No comments:

Post a Comment