One of The Best Ways to Come Up With Wire Jewelry Making Ideas
I was responding to a jewelry making forum question recently and thought this would also make a good post. The original question came from a teacher who was looking to inspire her jewelry students. She wanted to know how we all (forum members) found our inspiration for jewelry making. Where exactly did we get our jewelry making ideas?
I replied that for many years, like many other jewelry designers, I've scoured jewelry making how-to magazines, often tearing out the photos of wire jewelry pieces that I liked and/or found attractive. I then created files for all of them according to their categories, ie; bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. for future reference. I also have a rather large library of jewlery making books to refer to for inspiration.
I also now, after over some twenty years, have a rather large stack of "jewelry making ideas" journals into which I sketch all of my wire jewelry making ideas all the way from interesting design ideas to new technique ideas that I think are exciting and possibly doable. It often takes me years to complete a new wire jewelry technique and get it to the point where it's ready for prime time. Other times, a new technique will spring to life on paper almost immediately.
In any event, when I'm looking to create something new, whether it's a technique or a wire jewelry piece, I pull out all of my files and select the photos that most draw my attention so that I usually have a pile of ten to twelve inspirational photos of jewelry (that I admire) to refer to. I then start mentally isolating the elements that draw my attention from each of those photos and note them. What I'm actually doing here is obviously coming up with my own unique jewelry design by extracting all the attractive elements or parts from my original 10-12 photos of wire jewelry pieces. This is called using "reference". Using this process, my final wire jewelry piece looks nothing like any of the reference jewelry that I've used for inspiration; it is uniquely my own.
While this process that I've described probably isn't all that unusual, with all the available information on the internet these days, it's still important to make your wire jewelry making ideas your own with your own unique style because that's the real thrill of making jewelry: practicing, practicing until you find your own way with the wire. Learn from others, master as many techniques as you can until you just simply "own" it.
Finally, one of my files that I refer to constantly is called "Shapes". I've studied shapes for years and it's greatly enhanced and frequently charged my own jewelry making ideas. Look everywhere for interesting shapes: from trees to buildings, paintings, anything really. Watch for the movement of line in everything you see. Go thru magazines and tear out any interesting shapes you see in the world around you. Eventually, you should be able to incorporate your beautiful shapes into your jewelry making. Look for wire jewelry making ideas wherever you go and you'll be amazed how just about everything starts looking like wire jewelry!