Thomas Edison said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Before he discovered tungsten as the material that would light our world, he tried hundreds of thousands of other materials. He worked so long and hard that he didn’t even take a break to sleep at night. He took catnaps on his desk and got up in the wee hours to work out yet another idea. Certainly, Edison was a genius, and I am not, but I fully identify with the hard work that is required to realize creative projects.
Here is a picture of one of my experiments with form. I wanted to create a pendant that had a lot of volume but which was very light. In this example, I used plastic coated chicken wire as the form. Over that I glued tissue paper, colored it with alcohol inks, and then coated everything with resin. It’s not a final piece, but it has spawned other ideas that have set me on a new design road.
I have dozens of examples of other experiments with different materials that I’ve used to develop my jewelry designs – fabric, toys, rope, concrete, rocks, and seashells, to name a few. Some trials have been very successful and have resulted in pieces that are offered for sale. Other experiments sit on the shelves of my studio, waiting for a purpose. Always, past experiments stay in my mind and emerge to inspire current projects. It’s a very organic process, full of buckets of perspiration.