A tuna? Heather have you lost your mind? (Photo credit: Kretyen)
No! Not the fish – although I’m sure there are some lessons there too, but today let’s consider the cactus tuna. Tuna is the name of the fruit of cactus, shown in the photo above. It’s also known as a prickly pear. So the other day I came across a few inspiring photos of tuna and started thinking about how they relate to jewelry making. Well, really if you look at anything in nature and study it carefully you’ll find inspiration for your creative work.
(Photo credit: Pizzodisevo)
Now that we’ve got the eye candy out of the way, here are some lessons from the tuna:
Be resourceful! Who looked at those things and decided, umm tasty? But not only do folks cut the fruit and eat it plain, it’s made into candy, jelly, drinks and a whole lot more. The green part of the cactus is cut up and cooked into dishes. Both are sold at my local grocer. So look around your studio and get creative with what you already have on hand!
That leads me to the next lesson – take chances! The plant screams out danger, but someone took the risk to see if it was edible and they made quite a discovery. Try something new and a little scary in your studio this week.
Nature is the best color instructor – I mean just look at those two palettes. You could spend your whole life studying nature and color and you’d still have things to learn.
Texture makes life interesting! Look at those textures – smooth, spiky, velvety soft – mix it up in your jewelry to add life to your work. Think smooth stones next to warm wood, slick glass next to rough raku ceramic. Have fun mixing art beads from different mediums with accent beads in dynamic textures.
Explore variations of a theme. Nature didn’t stop at just one type of cactus. Oh no look at how many there are! Look how different just the two of these plants are and they are the same type. Basically don’t stop at the first design solution – you’ll often find working a design 2 or 3 times in different variations will produce even more creative and successful results. Revisit older designs and try them in a different color combination or with a new focal bead.
And speaking of lessons from nature – I’m so inspired by nature when it comes to jewelry that I wrote a book about it!
It will be out in September and can be pre-ordered now: