Although inspiration can come to you out of the blue at certain times, and at others it can be hard to find, I believe that with the right mindset, it can be found in many places. For me, the greatest source of new ideas is nature. Water, as well as vegetation in its many forms (even the most minute plants) can make me think of new shapes and inspire some of my jewelry. These images are just a small sample of the many shapes I find interesting see - they are things that one way or another have had an impact on my creations.
Two weeks in, and “One Jewel A Day” has already been a revelation. I had several expectations of what would happen, and some of them turned out to be correct, others less so - but most importantly, there have been some very positive surprises.
Creating so much and so fast, by my standards at least, has occasionally been as stressful as I expected, but it also brought me benefits I didn't anticipate. First of all, instead of being frozen in a world of constant deadlines and rushed work, I quite enjoyed the new pace. My natural tendency is to take things slowly and ponder every single move, but working at a faster pace brought a new lightness to my work. I found the challenge of coming up with something original to very energizing - and, as always, I like a challenge.
However, the real discovery was that I have many more ideas and models ready to be put into practice than I ever suspected. Instead of coming up with mere repetitions of jewelry that I have already created, working faster actually freed me from my usual patterns, and my work is now more spontaneous - more adventurous, even.
After admitting from the beginning that not all of my work might turn out equally well (at least by my standards), I have been much more ready to take risks, and they have been very rewarding. I am glad I had written about these things in my last post - that “One Jewel A Day” might mean forced progress, and that it might mean that my standards might slip. However, as I found out, there is something very liberating in having a sympathetic audience. I am very grateful for those of you who reached out to me about #onejeweladay.
Last but not least, in addition to what happens here between me, my materials, and my readers, this project has also had the great advantage of indulging my love of photography by giving me the perfect excuse to take pictures and post them on Instagram and Tumblr, two platforms I knew poorly and which I mostly neglected. I discovered that I quite like them, so now I'm actually very much at ease with these two image-based platforms. I think that things between me and Instagram and Tumblr are serious - I might have found two keepers!
While we were busy doing something or other, 2014 ended. 2015 is already here and as is typical at the beginning of each year, resolutions are back on everyone's mind and Facebook feed.
I'm not a big fan of resolutions. They seem to exist just to highlight how lacking our lives are. This is partly why I don't usually make any. However, that doesn't mean I don't like to make big plans and change my routine.
Just a few days ago I started a new project, "A jewel a day". The title says it all. Every day, a new jewel will be photographed and posted online, both on Instagram and on Harsh and Sweet's website. The first few images are already up, and I gathered some together for you in the banner below.
I already work on my jewelry on most days, but I have never taken pictures and organized my earrings, necklaces, bracelets day by day. I am curious to see what I will come up with, and how my style will change over time. The idea of doing this makes me think of those videos made up of pictures someone has taken each day for years. Once you see these pictures in a speedy sequence, you can see the subjects change right under your eyes, and a lengthy evolution takes place in a matter of minutes.
This is what appeals to me in the "A jewel a day" project. I want to see how my style evolves. However, given that listing a new jewel every day is quite demanding for someone who doesn't repeat the same model twice, I'm sure that there will be times when I will be photographing pieces that I don't find particularly resolved and that I would normally just modify or set aside for future reworking. In this sense, this will be an exposé highlighting what it is like to create every single day, even when I am having a bad day. I don't expect it to be an altogether positive experience, but nothing truly new can be accomplished without taking risks - so you'll see me taking plenty of risks.
I don't know how hard or easy it will be to keep up with this project, but it would mean a lot to me to have your support. Please, follow me on Instagram and let me hear some cheer from the peanut gallery. Or follow me on my site - it's up to you. I hope you'll find some value in it and enjoy it too!
In the meantime, I wish everyone all good things in 2015! Happy new year!
I love hematite, onyx, and chocolate.