Sunday, August 12, 2012

sink and grip

Still stalling posting new goods on Etsy.  I find the process impenetrable.  Again, it makes no sense.
 Lots of things ready to post, but I'll save those photos for here when I'm actually ready to list them.  In the meantime, here are a couple things I thought were ready, but are not ready.  Above, I can't stand the spiral wire on the connector.  it's easy enough to switch out, so that's no big deal, but I am a little stumped how this managed to elude me until I took the photos, as I look at it here and it just looks so obviously incorrect: the emptiness, fragility, inelegance.  All of which can be wonderful things, but they just don't fit here like this.  I don't know that I could even articulate 'why.'

It's the type of "mistake" I used to make a lot when I first started feeling like I was getting the swing of  balance in construction and design.  I'd feel like something was really cohesive and then when I looked at it through the lens I'd notice one or two things that just didn't fit.  Photographing my pieces was truly one of the biggest and most helpful self-teaching aspects of this whole jewelry making process for me, and it continues to be.

I can't think of an easier or more convenient way of getting your work out of context enough to view it objectively.  It's just not the same as holding it, looking at it on your worktable, wearing it, or anything else.  I think there are so many reasons--the camera as 'screen' is one of course, psychologically.  It creates a comfortable distance we're very familiar with that has allowed us to safely view very charged and provocative images our entire lives as movies, family photos, etc.

Photography is real/unreal, and its unreality in lesser dimensions and flatness yield a simpler, pure form  that can easily be evaluated. Like a painting, you can see what refers to what, this bead to that bead, this texture to that, etc., checking for consistencies, balances, relevancies, and the like.  And a lot of the time it's just kind of automatic without even having to cerebralize it.  Then after a while, as you're working, you'll have vague ideas about the lessons of distance and purity of form that photography has taught and it will be natural to incorporate better choices as you go along and edit while in-process.
Most of my do-overs now have to do with function.  Being so hugely asymmetrically inclined, this can be a really big issue.  Bead shapes, sizes, weights, and placement variables can be everything.  Lopsided  and/or sloppy fit is the effect of even the slightest miscalculation.  It can be usually easily rectified by a counterbalancing side pendant, heavier charm, or a multitude of easy fixes that usually just add to the design.

Sometimes there just isn't anything you can do but replace a bead.  In the case of this necklace, I am going to have to replace that cool funky dimpled striped Indian glass bead on the right.  I took photos of it even after realizing it might have to go, thinking it would be ok, as it only made a bit of imbalance, perhaps even undetectable, but I just can't keep it.  S'loppsided.
However, I have at least discovered what seems to be a very good way to wire wrap a found object like a smooth stone, very, very, very tightly and securely without overwrapping, which has always been my problem in such cases.  The addition of tightly wound fabric between the stone/object and the wire creates a perfect medium--undamageable, malleable surface area for the wire to sink and grip into.
The fabric fills in all that would have been wasted empty space vertically between the wire wraps and also between stone and wire.  When using larger gauge wire to wrap, it seems there are always pockets and gaps between object and wire no matter how tightly you wrap, especially if the object is organically shaped or textured.  

The stone here is another one I found in Topeka outside that Thai restaurant.  It seems to have fossil shadows in it.


  1. what a smart post (you smartass). but really, i hadnt thought about it this way, but as soon as i started the photo editing for 3 of my pieces in my recent batch, i knew that they all needed some verdigris. it was obvy. but of course this only comes after years of making and picking up that feel for it you mention. before it took a lot of days between the time i made it and the time i realized what was wrong. now it goes faster and faster- tho i still totally make mistakes. im also more willing to fix them, knowing there's no way around it and no use whining "oh but it was so much work'. it doesnt matter, its not gonna go away and the work is useless if you dont make a successful piece. plus you learn through those experiences, even if it doesnt seem so at the time.
    blah blah blah. sorry i havent been by in so long. how you doing girl? imna go look at more posts i missed.

  2. Wow! That's brilliant. My method of gaining objectivity has been to sneak up on something and surprise it, but turning it into two dimensions is so much better. And I love the idea of the fabric pre-wire wrap. I love your work. Thank you!

  3. Good ideas .. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Really well-thought out ideas and a lovely post. I love your work with the wire-wrapping as well!

    xoxo Juliette

  5. Really good idea to use a buffer between the object and the wire when wrapping - can't tell you the number of times I've pulled out wrapped stones from designs over concern they might not stay put.