How I develop my designs

The Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival is back! This month's subject is how we develop our own designs.

There is not really much I can write about that. I sit down with a piece of paper, a pen, the cats locked out of the room, and draw the design that's in my head. I measure wire, I count beads, then I measure some more. In the end my designs always come out exactly the way I had planned them, and the cats are allowed back in the room.
Excuse me while I'll be laughing until I cry. I'm not a planner at all. I'm a playchild. Actually that is the reason why this flower basket is unbalanced the way it is. I knew it from the moment I wired the flowers into the basket that it couldn't work - I mean even I can see the blossoms need a counterweight - but instead of changing it right there and then, I decided to go through with it to see how many flowers I could fit into the basket.
Afterwards I cut up the basket and set the flowers free. Nah, I didn't. They are going to get a new basket.

Now don't think I do that all the time. I have neither the time nor the material to throw them away like that. Sometimes I turn things around for a spectacular save like in this case when I had sewn up the wrong side of the pendant. To me it was rather spectacular, not only because it ended in a completely new design, but because it hurts much more to cut up a loomed project.
Instead I chose to sew up both sides and make it a slider necklace.

I get asked if I make tutorials. My answer is that I don't use tutorials myself - with rare exceptions - and don't make them. I can't imagine to take a break and write down what I just did and take pictures. Once I start, I have to keep going.
The consequence is that I'm not able to repeat some of my designs because I have no idea how I made them. I might of course have the general idea and get close, but can't make the same piece again (that's how planned earrings become a pendant ...).

I'm not even sure if I develop my designs, it's more as if they develop on their own. There is this feeling for example that something isn't finished yet.
Sometimes if my brain is rather empty - creatively seen - I take a cabochon or a rock and make a setting for it and see where it goes from there. Maybe I'll come across that cabochon again and again and suddenly I know what to do.
It took years to finish this pendant. It used to be a rock in a silver bezel until it hit me that there should be a tree.

Hm, this post does make me sound a bit unorganized and maybe I am at times, but in fact I like it. It's the perfect balance to having to be organized in other aspects of my life and I immensely enjoy it.
Please excuse me now. I have a flower basket to make ....

Let's hear what other JAC members have to say about this topic, shall we?

Jewelry Art by Dawn
The Crafty Chimp
Bead Sophisticate 
Ponder - the cat


  1. I am liking the sound of your organised chaos, right up my street.

    1. And there I thought you were always organized! Glad to hear it's not always so ;-)

  2. Cat, for a minute you had me believing that bit about planning, measuring and organizing - don't scare me like that! It's obvious from your beautiful results, that it's not at all necessary for you to plan your pieces. I'll bet the cats prefer it that way too - no fun being locked out of the room!

    1. Cats get only locked out in emergency situations here, Dawn. The wailing in front of the door distracts me much more than them running around on me!
      It makes me laugh to think you believed me for a minute ;-)

  3. well your method pays off, that pendant was superb...and I want it!

    1. Thank you! It makes up for the times when things do not work out at all! ;-)