Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Key to Imagination
Well, ultimately, this will be part of a big concept piece (I hope), but I thought I'd show a "process" shot: here's what I'm working on at the moment. I'm a big fan of the lock and key motif that's so popular in jewelry design these days. Last year, I started pondering what I could do with the idea that would be a little different. At that point, I had a mold/stamp start to break on me. It was the one for this pendant:
It was sort of a fortuitous coincidence. I knew I wanted to re-make a dragon's eye pendant in some form, but I didn't want to just re-make the same mold (although, really, I probably will re-make a version of this at some point, as I still like it). So, I thought perhaps I would combine the two ideas and create a little eerie eye through a keyhole. About 5-6 months ago I made a first version (yes, I really am that slow to design right now, sigh), similar to this dragon's eye pendant:
As with the original, I had intended for a pearl or amethyst cab to sit in the center with tinted resin. However, this draft has just sort of been hanging around unfinished for the past several months. Although I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with it, it just didn't have the right eerie quality to it - it was just a touch too flat.
So, I thought I would go ahead and construct a three-dimensional keyhole shadow box, instead. I made it particularly deep, to enhance the shadows around the glass eye. It works quite well in person, but - I have to admit - it made it difficult to photograph clearly today. Here's a nice shadowy shot of the pendant, though (H. said it was tough to tell in this particular photo that the object inside was an eye - what do you think?):
The key also ended up being a little tricky. My first version was a very organic "skeleton" key using my bone beads. I thought it would go perfectly with the pendant, but it ended up being far too heavy-looking for this design - I've set it aside for a different piece. Instead, I went back and designed a simple, classic antique key instead. It's not in my usual style, but I think it works pretty well here.
I also stamped one of my guerdon's on the back - "a fellow of infinite jest", a reference to, alas, poor Yorick from "Hamlet".
I'm still working on the clasp and gathering materials for stringing, so this project won't be a complete for a little while. However, I think I've made a good start.
I have to admit, I set out to make this piece purely for my own enjoyment, which I have not done for a while. It has turned out to be a very good reminder to me of something I think I've lost sight of a bit in the past year, namely, why I started making beads in the first place: because I love making them. Words to live by, right?