It’s Inspiration Week here at Seattle Findings! I for one am very interested in hearing about all the places where we can find inspiration for our jewelry designs.
Are you like me, inspired by the natural world? Or do urban or industrial settings spark your imagination? Do you get ideas from pictures in books? What about visiting museums and galleries? Do you follow other artists’ new work or study the great masters of the past? Or are you a fashionista with your finger on the pulse of the newest trends in fashion?
I’ll make you a deal. I’ll tell you about my inspiration and creative process on one student piece if you leave a comment about what inspires you.
It was January, and my husband and I were visiting Olympic National Park. On a trail in the Hoh Rainforest, we came across a herd of 20 to 30 elk in the woods. We all looked at each other, the elk and the humans. Some of the animals were resting in the undergrowth, regarding us with cautious eyes. Others were walking slowly among the trees like drifting spirits of the forest. It was quite a profound experience.
I wanted to honor this experience with a piece of jewelry in my North Seattle Community College class. I thought the great antlers of the elk would translate well to the chain and linkage assignment. In preparation, I went to Woodland Park Zoo and took pictures and video of the captive elk. How did they move? What did their faces look like from different angles? At home, I looked for pictures online. By the time I started sawing the copper sheet, I felt I had a good understanding of the animal I was depicting.
When I look back at this piece, I see things I might do differently now that I know more chasing and repousse techniques, and maybe I’d finish it with a patina next time. But I’ll always remember the inspiration and how I chose to honor it. Lucky for me, there’s no end to the variations I could create on this subject. That’s one wonderful thing about art — one piece can inspire the next, and the next, in a long and winding path from that first whatever-it-was that inspired you to begin with.
Okay, your turn! Where have you found inspiration?