The Simple Things

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I've been finding myself a little stymied lately.  I have plenty of ideas. But somewhere between concept and execution, the idea gets out of control.  How can I make it bigger, more intricate, more impressive? It's not competition, exactly -- at least, not with anybody but myself. I'm not trying to impress any particular person or audience, or outdo any artist or group of artists.  But I get into an "expansion" rut, where everything has to be somehow bigger or better, more complex, more difficult to make, than the last piece was.

So in and amongst the "biggerbetter" pieces where I really challenge myself, I've started consciously making simple pieces.  It's kind of a challenge.  When you commit to simple, you don't leave yourself room to hide flaws; your craftsmanship has to be good, because simple designs will really let you know when it isn't.

This was one of the first of my recent "consciously simple" pieces.  It's basically the filigree design that I use behind stones and overlays in some of my pendants.  But without the stones and the extra flourishes, the wirework has to be fairly precise, or it just doesn't look right: 

Garden Gate Pendant
 
The wrapping up at the top of the square could be neater, cleaner.  But otherwise, I'm pretty satisfied overall with this piece.  It doesn't yell "WOW!" But it challenged me, in a good way, with the knowledge that I couldn't hide the messy bits with extra fru-fru.
 
And simple doesn't have to mean "blah."  I came across a lovely, unusal bloodstone cab with lots of yellow, smeared like daubs of paint, over the more common green. I didn't want to cover the stone at all, so I used a very basic woven bezel with no flourishes at all.  But I did indulge myself with a pretty bail:
 
 
And then there's my favorite "simplicity" piece.  This little labradorite was so pretty; it just needed something to hold it in place without distraction.  So a simple bezel and a simple bail: 
 
 
I'm still working on big, elaborate pieces, but it's just good to pare down now and again and make something simple and clean.  What's a simple piece that you've made that you're proud of?  Feel free to share links or photos in the comments below!
 

Comments

Clean lines

I am drawn to the clean lines of your work. They are by no means simple and they feel very elegant and classy.

Thank you very much!

Thank you very much!

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