Monday, May 16, 2011

Thinking inside the tin - creative jewelry composition

As previously mentioned, I wanted to show you the method I use when working. A kind of way of organising my thoughts. I'm sure it's not original- that is to say I hope someone figured it out long before I did, it makes things so much easier! It's an extension of an older method; I'd go through my stash with an idea in mind and pick out 'pure' examples of the aesthetic I'm looking for then play with/photograph those elements.

Sparrow Slavage - thinking inside the tin
Now though I've refined the process and in doing so ended up with a more accessible system. I bought these antique mince pie tins not long ago, originally intending to cut them up for their fabulously tarnished metal...but I can't bring myself to get the tinsnips out. They're such sweet little buggers, and as I quickly discovered dead handy for organising things.

So now my work table is largely comprised of about 6-8 of these tins, each filled with a combination of various beads, buttons, charms, chain links etc that all have a connection to each other, usually in colour scheme. Most of it is instinct.

Sparrow Slavage - thinking inside the tin
Previously I'd just make a pile of objects (mostly pendants and focals) and work on a 'vibe', which was great to begin with but made it too abstract when it came to actually making the pieces. It can also be very distracting when you're pawing through box after box looking for the right bead- sooner or later you come across something you forgot about and before you know it you've got 6 completely different things laying around and your mind is scattered.

Sparrow Slavage - thinking inside the tin
Once I think I have enough in the tin, I tip it out and start looking at the pieces, removing what doesn't gel and adding something else to balance it out. One might need more pink beads, another needs a brown circular object, another may need more gold.

Sparrow Slavage - thinking inside the tin
In a way this method is sort of constricting myself- I'm forcing myself to think inside the box. Or rather inside the tin. But as I said before, having so much stash in the studio and in so many different styles, this can help me focus and refine what I'm looking to achieve.

Sparrow Slavage - thinking inside the tinI've found my productivity level has rocketed since adopting this technique. Go ahead and try it (if you haven't already!) -the constraint of having to build something from one small tin of elements often means your creative mind comes up with something totally unexpected.


Andrew Thornton said...

I have a similar system. It really adds to the "collected" look. Thanks for sharing your cute little tins full of goodies!

MiddleEarthsJewels said...

Oh..thank-you! I do exactly the same thing..but,at the moment my work table is full of the little piles that have ended up running and spilling into each other..more chaos than creation. The little aged tins are a wonderful much better than plastic..

stregata said...

Thanks for sharing your method - it sounds and looks wonderful...
and it makes me wish I could paw through your stash! :)

fanciful devices said...

gorgeous little odds and ends. my eyes say yum!

romantic decay said...

i WILL try your methode. Totally relate to looking thru the stash and my mind going in a hundred different directions.

Gypsy Fish said...

I just started trying to do that myself, only I use old tobacco tins (with lids)and then forget what's in them...I like your idea much better~ It's so hard to go through my piles of stuff and not get distracted then realize my studio time is up and I haven't gotten anywhere...thinking this will really the way....I just love you style...your jewelry is amazing! Have a great day

Snowberry and Lime said...

This is so funny, I use almost the exact same technique for my art yarns.... although I use old little wooden bowls and also add sequins and fabric strips. :D

Yours look absolutely wonderful, thanks for sharing!

Debbi said...

I think you are positively brilliant!