The art world uses the term “working in series,” while the business world refers to “jewelry collection design.” These are two ways to think about the same thing. As an artist, I build a vocabulary of elements that I reuse in my work in various ways. These elements are what makes my work instantly recognizable as mine. Even so, there are various groupings within my work, as my skills and inspirations and ideas evolve.
Recently, I’ve been exploring ideas for a new series or collection. While I want to keep my general inspiration of nature and the studio garden, I also desire to move forward from the previous work. I really enjoyed the detailed pictorial elements that I hand-sculpted from metal clay and then added to fabricated pieces, but I also want to explore simplified forms. So I’ve been working on a new series that doesn’t have a speck of metal clay sculpture included.
It’s both challenging and rewarding to place limits on the work. The rules for this series are:
- riff on acanthus leaf forms
- use only sheet and wire (maybe tubing for small stone settings), Argentium of course
- add gold accents
- include beautiful stones, especially ones I hand cut myself
- explore using “stones” cut from glass
- explore both light and dark patinas
- work toward simplified and elegant forms
- make only things I love, with no regard to how long it takes or how expensive they become
I’m several pieces into the new collection now and I’m really loving some of the pieces. I’ve been wearing the acanthus leaf earrings and the long (30″) dark pendant as frequently as possible, because they really feel like my style. I wear a lot of black clothing, and while dark oxidized jewelry doesn’t appeal to everyone, I find it to be striking and fitting with my own wardrobe.