Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Planning My Next Necklace

I've been asked numerous times about the design process that I go through to make my jewelry.
I always have to pause and think, "Huh...what do I do?"
With my background as a landscape architect and years of making jewelry, the design process has become somewhat intuitive for me.
I think that most people who have been working with a particular set of skills eventually reach a point where they can make decisions without agonizing deliberations.
A personal history of successes and failures is very effective in streamlining the various decisions that must be made.
So...I thought I would be more conscious about the planning of a necklace that I began today.
It started with a large piece of jasper that I've had for at least 2 years.
I bought the jasper because I liked the veining and the variety of colors and thought it could become a nice pendant, but I would need to think about it for 2 years.
The jasper had a hole drilled at one end.
I could have done a wire wrapped connection directly through the hole, but thought that would be too abrupt and boring.
Sitting on my workbench were pieces of etched silver nickel that I had already cut, intending to use in a bracelet.
 I took one of those pieces, drilled two holes, and carefully wrapped it over the top of the jasper, creating a collar/beadcap.
The wire wrapping now has a graceful connection to the bead.
I then began to select the other beads that will be part of the necklace.
I chose some small jasper beads that pick up and complement the brown/green in the jasper.
I think I only want a few of these small jasper beads because of the opaqueness of the material.
The rest of the beads that I've assembled (labradorite, honey jade, lemon quartz and smoky crystal)again complement the colors of the jasper pendant and they also have a degree of transparency that will keep the chain from feeling dull and heavy.
It's kind of similar to selecting colors for a painting...the transparent paints bring a nice luminosity to a piece.
The more transparent beads, especially those that are faceted, will bring some sparkle to the necklace, and who doesn't love a little sparkle?
I cut some strips and discs from other pieces of etched silver nickel to make a visual connection between the chain and the beadcap.
The 2 discs were cut from my melted mess a few weeks ago. 
It's my plan to connect the beads with sterling silver wire and chain, but plans often get revised once the actual work gets underway.

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