Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Designing for Others

One of the things I get to do is create designs for other designers and individuals. I really love to do this. It allows me to create someone's dream.

When I create a custom piece for an individual it is usually for a special occasion or because they have inherited a piece of jewelry they want to personalize.

Most designers are referred to me by my casting company and in some cases I have met designers while I have been at shows. I use CAD (computer aided design) to create designs. One of the wonderful things about CAD is that I can create renderings as we go along. These drawings can be very technical including measurements or very artistic.

One of the things that happens is that renderings are usually bigger than the piece that will be created and so the impact of the real piece can be different than the rendering. For this reason I will create a rendering and then scale it down to approximate the real size in a word document.
The large size makes it easy for my mature eyes to see details that I might miss in real life. When you are dealing with the reality of making a design into jewelry the experience of the designer and jeweler is important. The weight of metal, thickness and the ability to create and reproduce the piece is important. This is where I can help dreams come true.

The two rings above are two options I created for a customer. She had purchased a  spectacular sunstone and wanted a ring to show it off - If you look at the photo below you can see which design the customer chose. CAD renderings can be quite realistic. The customer in this case felt she had seen the ring before it was created.

After a relationship between myself the the designer or individual has been tempered through creation, the process can become quite remarkable. One designer that I have created over 30 pieces with is very close to me, the fact is we have met face to face only once has nothing to do with it. We have gone the fire of creation together.

I hope to be able to continue the relationships that I have with my customers for many years. I am very proud of the designs that I have created collaboratively. My name is not on any of them and that is okay, I support my customer's happiness and success.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Greek Key Clasp

Many of my clasps are highly textural and organic. This time I wanted to create a clean geometric clasp that brings back a traditional design element in a new way. It is a curved and scaled piece in one of my favorite styles. It is a hook. Hooks are easy to open and close and hold one to many strands easily without overpowering. My deco bloom, the gingko, the scallop and others are some of my most popular clasps.

When I get an idea sometimes I will start something and get stopped and I will have to put it away until the issue that stopped me gets resolved. At times I have looked at old files or sketches and realized it has take a year or years. This time the clasp got designed and completed in less than an hour. I wonder if it is that good if it takes so little time. You, my customers will let me know.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Glendale Bead Museum Trunk Show

Friday and Saturday this weekend I am in the lobby of the Bead Museum in Glendale, Arizona. It is an opportunity to contribute to the Museum - part of the sales are donated to the museum and a great opportunity to see the history of beads.

The museum has amber beads the size of coffee cups and beads as old as 15,000 years. Beads have been used as money, symbols, religious objects and decorative objects for thousands of years. They are very portable, beautiful, desirable and that is why I have a room full at home.

If you come to Arizona, visit the Bead Museum. Admission is $5, donations are accepted and it is inspiring to see that we are continuing something humans have done for thousands of years, using beautiful things to create beautiful things.

Bead Museum
5754 W Glenn Drive
Glendale, AZ

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sometimes it doesn't work

A couple of weeks ago I got all excited when I saw a ring I wanted to create in my mind. I spent many hours working on my computer with my CAD (computer aided design) software creating and modifying the ring. I wanted it to be a ring that a man or a woman could wear. Perhaps it could be used as a wedding or promise ring. I used one of my favorite patterns - the Chartres Labyrinth - which I had used before.

I sent it to the man who cuts the waxes from the instructions I create in my CAD software and he and I looked at it and saw problems so I spent more hours modifying the design. I sent it to him again and he set it up to be built on his wax machine. It blew up on the machine. In the process of creating the ring I broke too many rules and the mathematics of the machine and the tolerance of the materials wouldn't allow the ring to be created and even if created it wouldn't be reproduceable.

At this point my creative process is stymied - I need to put it away and know that sometime in the future - probably at 3 in the morning - the answer will come and a version of the ring that was seen in my blog a few weeks ago will appear. Meanwhile I am creating more things for myself and the other designers I work with - the fountain of creativity hasn't been stopped - just diverted.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Texas BeadFest Show

This is the morning of the third day of the Texas BeadFest Show in Arlington at the convention center. This is the first time this show has been held and hopefully not the last. I have met up with customers I met previously. All have been very positive about the vendors, location and the classes offered.

The vendors expected the traffic to be less than other shows because it was the first time it was held. The bead societies have been very supportive of the show. Come on out and see us!!!  We are open from 11 to 5 today. .