I have a fascination for nature and look for it everywhere I go, searching out colours, textures and interesting forms. I am forever found with my camera, out snapping inspirational shots – but how do I then transfer them into my orgnic jewellery designs? In my How To blogs I want to give you a glimpse at the processes used in creating some of my Nature’s Way jewellery. A glimpse into how my mind , as a maker works.
Nature has an amazing way of combining hard with soft – petals with stems, leaves with branches, lichen with wood. And that is what I am representing here. I never strive to make a blind copy of nature in my jewellery design but to represent the relationships between textures, colours and forms. Each design evolves from very simple beginnings during the making process, as everything is handmade in my studio.
These earrings started out basic hoops of silver wire, I then repeatedly heat and roll them through a mill until they are fairly regular, long flat ovals. Each one is then hammered along its side till it folded over, creating a narrow opening at the back and a wider one at the front. As you can see, although the same process is carried out on each one they are all slightly different – perfect for my organic style. Having bunched them up and played about with them for awhile I decided on earrings and (I rarely decide what I am making before I start as I do not want to stifle my thought process) to use just the one piece for each earring. Time to solder on the pegs and give them a good polish.
I could now see in my mind how it could be possible to incorporate the bead work to look like it is growing out of the silver – like moss out of a log. All good in theory, but you never know how it will go till you start. By hand rolling wool felting strands I form a long cord to sit in the front of the silver and then start stitching through from the front to back with beads to hold it in place. Each pair has a different palette of bead colours but the method is the same. At this point anything can happen and the wool slips in and out, sometimes falling off completely. I just keep sewing till I can sew no more and every thing sits securely and beautifully together. While making the first few pairs I experimented with loose jumbled beads front and back and also a cleaner row of beads at the back – never say never to new ideas.
I love the way that however many times I make these earrings and follow the exact same process, not one earring will be a copy of another, not even in their pair. It is evolving organic design.
I hope you have enjoyed taking a glimpse into the making of my handmade jewellery designs. Please take a look at http://www.danicromptondesigns.co.uk to see more of my organic beaded jewellery – inspired by nature.
Thank you, Dani