Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Whatever Works

A friend at work asked me how I come up with designs for jewelry. She asked if I sketch them out first before I make them. I thought about it for half a second. My answer: No, it just comes to me.

This made me think about the whole "process" of creating.

That might sound flippant, but it's just how it works in my head. My process, to apply a label to it, is more organic. I look at a piece, a bead, a pendant, a broken bracelet and wait for it to inspire me. They tell me what they want to be. Sound crazy? No more than a sculptor looking at a block of granite and seeing its true form underneath. Usually, these ideas reveal themselves while I'm falling asleep. I construct the jewelry in my brain before I even grab a pair of pliers or bead wire.

This process has its own timetable. I've had certain beads for years because I just haven't found the right thing to do with it. Other things reveal their desire to be a necklace or bracelet very quickly.

The best part is when the jewelry piece I'm working on is finished and it looks like I imagined it. That is the payoff!

You might be thinking of calling a good therapist for me, but I assure you, I'm not insane. (Yet). It's the same with me and writing. The story writes itself in my brain and I'm just taking dictation. I know there are folks who work in a more concrete way. Outlines, sketches, etc. I have learned through writing and now making jewelry that what works for one writer or artist doesn't necessarily work for another. You have to find your own process and go with it, no matter what someone tells you "should" be done.

This is art. Whatever works.

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