Recently, I had to suspend my efforts at designing jewellery. My Mother's health has rapidly deteriorated (severe Alzheimers disease) and we had to move her into a new home where she will receive appropriate care. That whole process involved countless consultations, phone calls, correspondence, doctor evaluations and lots of stress. In my case, this process lasted only 7 months, but I have heard horror stories about other families spending up to 2 years or more to make things right.
Before I decided to return to designing more jewellery pieces, I decided (again!) to renew my efforts to try and get "my house in order". Not just the jewellery components stored in my home and in my garage, I mean cleaning and editing everything in every room. Whew! My daughter made a comment the other day that I have been cleaning my house since she was 10 (and she is now 30 years old and a new mother). Twenty years may seem like a long time, but I find that I am still hard at work trying to get “my house in order”.
So, the last thing a recovering hoarder like me needs, is even more issues and "stuff" to deal with. I know how important it is to take action to reduce stress (like meditation), but I also realize that it is just as important to devote some of my time and effort to doing something that is creative. Designing jewellery makes me feel good, provides me with a sense of accomplishment and I find that it is also helps me to reduce my stress level. How great is that! Performing this one activity gives me 3 benefits.
I love making jewellery because it provides me with a challenge, provides me with opportunities to learn new things and because it helps replace my stressful worries with happy and creative ideas. I love to learn and I am always trying new techniques.
In my next few blog entries, I thought it might be fun to record what it is like when I am designing and making new pieces of jewellery. This will likely take more than a few weeks, since I wish to share as much of the process as I can with you.
My jewellery can take many forms. I like using pearls, crystals, gemstones, beach stones, metal, driftwood, bone, ... you get the idea. I may design pieces based on tribal influences, or I may design a period piece that evolves the Roaring Twenties, or perhaps something that is simple and elegant that would remind you of someone like Audrey Hepburn.
Some jewellery pieces may look like I just walked down an alley or down a beach and picked up pieces of "stuff" that spoke to me. Sometimes I spend hours poring over beads and components in a very well stocked bead shop like K & S Jewellery in New York because I am just looking for an inspiration. At other times I simply get out my tools and design my own components.
My jewellery may contain found objects, ready-made items or unique components that I make myself using silver, copper, bronze, glass, wood and clay. Usually my creations are developed organically, almost as if by trial and error. I am definitely not someone who fabricates jewellery, based on using a ready-made kit, where I just follow instructions that someone gave to me.
I sometimes favor a design criteria that seems to be in excess. Some of us believe that if a little is good, then more is better. But I may have to work on restraining that urge in me. Using lots of large and colorful beads may be good, but so is the idea of using fewer components that are smaller, intricate and more delicate.
- More To Come...... -