As an instructor, I’m always amazed how many students claim they’re not inventive and can’t make creative decisions about their projects. Trust me, you don’t need to re-invent the wheel, but inspiration is all around you. Use what you already have, look around you for inspiration and make your jewellery your own.
Here are three places you can look for inspiration:
1. Hardware Store
A lot of people are stymied by colour. Trust me, if you can pick colour for your clothes, you can pick beads! It doesn’t matter if the colour is on you, the walls of your home, or in jewellery – it all works the same way. A great way to help you pick colours is by using paint chips found in any hardware store. All paint producers have the single colour chips, as well as suggested combinations for room decor. I’ve put together a small photo album for myself in which I have room combinations and suggestions. You may not find the exact bead/crystal colour or combination but it gives you a good foundation.
2. Fashion magazines
Fashion magazines, such as Flare, Elle and Vogue, are full of jewellery ideas. I go through the magazines and pull the pages of the jewellery that speaks to me. In almost all of the cases, the jewellery has been fabricated and may not translate directly to your own medium but you can still use it for inspiration.
My Bombay Cuff was inspired by a fabricated piece of jewellery in the November 2013 issue of Flare. I liked the general shape and texture of the Hermés cuff but I don’t work in metal or wood. Using the only paper available (a serviette in the restaurant where I was reading the magazine) I wrote down some notes. Here is the result:
3. Beading magazines
There is a plethora of beading and jewellery-making magazines available both in printed and digital formats from around the world! If you’re into seed beading, you’re probably quite familiar with Beadwork and Bead and Button (both American magazines) but check out Australian Beading, Beads and Beyond (Great Britain), and Perlen Posie (Germany). Each magazine has their own look and so do the projects they feature. Go ahead and substitute your beads and colours and make the jewellery your own. If you’re in the Toronto area, you can come into the store and peruse our back issues of magazines and books.
Take a look around you with new eyes and play. Rip pages out of magazines; take photos; collect paint chips and soak in all the inspiration! You can do it!