Monday, September 17, 2012

Planning and Preparation

Posted by Lora Hart
Artistic Advisor

Jewelry making should be more than just tearing into expensive materials and starting a new project. The more time you take planning the design in advance, the more likely you are to have what you consider a successful outcome.

If there's an unusual object that you'd like to set, place it on a piece of paper and draw a few different possible examples of the metal backing around it. Wanting to try a new chain design? Make a maquette out of paper first. Trying to figure out how to put together a complicated construction? Use polymer or paper clay to work out each step in the process before you get out the silver.

One of my favorite tricks is to draw a design I have in mind, then repeat the process altering a few details. Repeat the whole thing 5 times, using each previous drawing as a jumping off point for the next iteration. By the time you have 6 drawings of the same theme, you'll have worked out the design in your mind and can choose the best version to get started on your piece.

What kinds of techniques do you use to imagine a new design? We'd love to know! If you'd like to share, please put a picture of your process up on our Flickr set (you'll need to have your own free Flickr account), comment on this post and include a link back to your photo.

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