Inside the Studio with Claire Lockwood

Welcome to Inside the Studio!

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
Congratulations to Kathy Lindemer! You have won a beautiful toggle clasp from Ema Kilroy.
Please contact Ema so you can claim your prize.
I was looking forward to doing my first Inside the Studio post.  I got the date several weeks ago, around the same time that I decided that a table tidy was in order.
I’ve taken on several writing responsibilities recently, so whilst in this tidy frame of mind, I bought a diary to keep track of deadlines, etc.  Look, you can see it there, at the top of the table. Want to know what I’ve actually written in that diary?  Precisely nothing. So it was with a little alarm that I discovered/remembered that I was due to be doing this post today.  This was heightened by my realisation that I didn’t have a great deal to share!  I’ve been doing some magazine pieces in the last week or so, which obviously can’t be shared here before publication.  I did a market this last weekend, which meant I had to give a certain amount of time over to unphotogenic things like pricing and tags.  I’ve also been working away from the studio/home a bit recently….
which doesn’t make for very exciting images either, does it?  And then, in the last few days, I’ve fallen into one of those fallow slumps where I can’t think of things to make.  I do have a number of pieces in varying states of completion, so I thought I’d share a few of those, in the style of a Bead Table Wednesday.  This first necklace is one I’ve been pondering over and carting around for some time.  Does it need more, do you think, like a larger focal, or should I just link it up as is?
(raku rectangles – Jubilee)
Then there’s this raku connector with rose quartz drops – I can’t decide how elaborate to make the rest of the necklace.  And should I just use more rose quartz or mix in some czech glass, which is what I originally planned.
The connector, as you may well recognise, is from Scorched Earth. I order from Petra once a fortnight when she updates her shop, so there’s usually some Scorched Earth on my desk.
I love these freesias. 
I’m not sure if I’ll get this frame set up to work, or if I do really want to use them together.  I’m sure these…
(ceramic connector – Round Rabbit)
…and these…
(etched copper pendant – Thea Elements)
…ought to be paired, but what else will go with them, I don’t know.  These aren’t paired with anything yet, but they’re on my table and I’m delighted with them!
(lampwork beads – Glass Geo Beads)
You know when you have something in your Etsy cart for an age and you finally order it?  So pleased I did.  I’m really not sure what to make with them yet; I just decided they had to be mine!
As far as making my own beads goes, I haven’t done much in a while.  A few custom orders…
…but no new designs.  I’m kind of between things at the moment, with my own beads, and I’ve yet to decide which of several ways I want to go.  But I have to offer a giveaway, so I’ve dug out some clay especially for it, and rustled up this trio of these perennial favourites.
The question is: What do you do to jumpstart your creativity? Answer below and next week a winner will be drawn, at random, who will receive this prize!
Ta-ra for now, Claire

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38 Comment

  1. Alice
    April 11, 2014 at 11:34 am

    So many wonderful beads!!! I especially like the raku beads.
    As for jump starting my creativity I start by going through my beads and try to make a 'bead soup' to work with. If that doesn't work I pull out my jewelry magazines (I have a lot) and usually find something there that give me a starting point.
    Those owls are darling!!

  2. bairozan
    April 11, 2014 at 11:58 am

    This is a tough question – sometimes I browse through saved images & tutorials, sit down and just make wired links or arrange beads on the stringing board or try a new technique. I usually end up even more disappointed by the lack of ideas but you shouldn't give up and just need to believe inspiration will be back soon 🙂 And, oh, yes, buying new stuff works like magic 🙂

  3. Ellen Lambrix
    April 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I look at my pinterest inspirational jewellery board or I take an art-bead from my stash and start adding beads.
    What can be annoying is that I can sit at my table for over (an) hour(s), grabbing my beadboxes, with no ideas at all and when it's almost time to go the bed, the ideas pop out like weed in a garden!

  4. Sarajo Wentling
    April 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    OMG. LOVE those little owls!! I hope I win one.

    I have several "tricks" to get myself going when I hit a slump. Challenges are a favorite way to force myself into action. Right now I'm participating in Heather Powers' Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge.

    Another thing I often try is just sitting down and making some earrings. They are usually fairly quick and fun to make and the process of doing that keeps me making things and often sparks something else in me.

  5. Becky Pancake
    April 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I would add pink Czech glass to the rose quartz piece to make the color pop more. I love those calla lilies. When I am in a slump I look at Pinterest, books in my library, and I try to focus on the details of things around me not related to jewelry.

  6. Rebecca
    April 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Great post Claire! I love those wee owlies of yours, and they are in perfect Spring colours. Funny you should mention being in a fallow slump – I am very much in one of them at the moment…..what I'm actually trying to do is look less at what other people are doing online, and try and focus on my own creativity instead. There's been so much blethering on about copying in various circles, I think it got me a bit paralysed! So I am trying to thin out my FB feed so that if I want to go and see what my friends are making, it's a conscious choice rather than just that awful addictiveness of time-disolving FB feed. If you know what I mean! I haven't been able to bring myself to stop looking at your jewellery however…..And yes, I agree with Bairozan – buying new beads can help 😉

  7. Susanm
    April 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    So fun to see some of the lovely beads your working with, plus your design ideas. When I'm in a slump, I find bead blog hops/challenges are really helpful. ArtbeadScene monthly challenges are one of my favourites, but there are lots of others too. If I'm stuggling with beading ideas, I often do something else, like make cards, just to keep my muse in the game.

  8. Debra Floros
    April 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I pile a few pieces on my bead table and as I ponder over the pile…..I continue to add to it….and at some point…the last item will tip the scale and get me going! I keep watching the pile….and something will finally spark the idea to put it all together!

  9. Ailsa Jackson
    April 11, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I love those Geo beads, I'm forever putting a set in and out of my basket, I think I would probably hoard them than use them!
    Sometimes buying new beads or even just having a look around can help inspire, but sometimes I find it can go the other way I have soo many beads I'm a bit overwhelmed!

  10. Jettabug
    April 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Lovely little owlies, Claire!!
    Sometimes I am inspired when I look down at beads scattered all over my work table. They often land together in a pleasing way. The best jump start, for me, is looking at magazines that aren't about jewelry- scrapbooking, interior decorating, store circular's, etc. I just get inspired by their color palettes, shapes or textures.

  11. Rebekah
    April 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I love your polymer beads and jewelry Claire and am so happy to see you posting on Art Bead Scene! How funny you bought a diary and haven't used it—I've done the same many times—in fact now, whenever I think to buy a diary, I don't, because I know more likely than not it will remain blank! I have two things I do when I'm in a creative slump. My very favorite is to go browsing on Etsy. My Favorites are full of everything from beads (of course!) to home decor and fashion—it's like a mood board of all the things I love most and I almost always feel inspired to create again. If that fails I usually do a studio cleanup or get caught up on bookkeeping—as strange as it sounds, I actually love the more "business" side of my studio!

  12. Heidi Post
    April 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I like the rose quartz with Petra's connector, though I don't know how I'd finish it either! Double bottomed connectors always throw me for a loop. And your owls are adorable, of course.

    Usually if I'm in a slump, I'll just sort through my art beads & focals until I find one or two that I really want to use. Then I'll go through all my bead boxes and inevitably, I'll come up with an idea for something other than the pieces I originally wanted to use!

  13. Watchful
    April 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Love those lamp work beads myself. I don't use them much, but they are fantastic. Your workspace looks just like mine…lol

  14. haezz
    April 11, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    When my creativity needs a boost (or a smack on the head!) I do what I'm doing now: clicking on favorite art sites, blogs and generally wander about until a color palette or design idea waves at me. Most times it works very well. Other times… not so much and then I go play with my horded beads.
    Then I cannot stop creating.
    I adore those lampwork beads! Great choice.

  15. Hopemore Studio
    April 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I am in a slump now, it has been a long one. I find that spring and the warmer weather are helping to thaw the creative freeze. I am taking a sketchbook with me to jot down fleeting thoughts, hoping it will turn into something more concrete in my workspace.

    I'm finding that if I focus my thoughts more on what I want to wear rather than what I think others are interested in buying the ideas flow more easily.

  16. Ann Schroeder
    April 12, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Oh this was a fun post! You had lots to say and show. You also introduced me to a bead artist I didn't know about. Thank you! When I'm in a slump I usually make something easy like earrings to give away for Free Art Friday. It gets me looking at the beads and thinking about what goes together, even if it is on a small scale.

  17. Alice Howe
    April 12, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Sometimes, I have to revisit photos that I've saved for inspiration or my own boards on Pinterest. I often find that not searching for anything new, helps me rethink what I've liked from before and that gets me on the right track.

  18. nunezjohan
    April 12, 2014 at 1:49 am

    What I do to jumpstart my creativity? The most part of the time, nature inspire my creativity. And I used a journal, where I make my appointments and drawings of my ideas. Sometimes, inspiration arrives surprising me in so many ways, so I have to write it down immediately on it. And for the occasions that I don't have a paper or the journal I turn down my wedding ring. But when I'm completely out of inspiration, I used jewelry magazines or my Pinterest board.

    By the way, I love all your beads! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  19. Johana Nunez
    April 12, 2014 at 1:50 am

    What I do to jumpstart my creativity? The most part of the time, nature inspire my creativity. And I used a journal, where I make my appointments and drawings of my ideas. Sometimes, inspiration arrives surprising me in so many ways, so I have to write it down immediately on it. And for the occasions that I don't have a paper or the journal I turn down my wedding ring. But when I'm completely out of inspiration, I used jewelry magazines or my Pinterest board.

    By the way, I love all your beads! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  20. Shaiha
    April 12, 2014 at 2:35 am

    You can put things in your cart and leave them there?!? Really? I didn't know that and you don't know how many times I have found something I love but haven't had the money to grab it right then. I wish that I had thought to just stick them in my cart. If they are gone when I come back then it wasn't meant to be but otherwise I can find them again. I feel like doing a happy dance.

    As far as inspiration, I will usually just start reorganizing my beads and I will find something that just had to go with something else. Before I know it, I have a design laid together. If that doesn't work, there is always PinInterest.

  21. Truci C
    April 12, 2014 at 3:33 am

    I like to look at blogs for inspiration. I recently linked to yours from Songbead and felt very inspired to create after seeing all you have created! The writings or sometimes ramblings of the blog author can be very inspiring also, whether its about their creative process, favorite bead sites, or what is going on in their lives.

  22. Carol Dee
    April 12, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Spending time IN THE STUDIO helps. Putting it off is so easy! I do love sorting and piddling with "my precious." Sometimes that will inspire me. Sometimes trolling Pinterest will spark inspiration!

    Love the rose quartz! I'm sure you will pull out the perfect combo!

  23. Angi
    April 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I pull out my jewelry magazines and I make the rounds of some of my favorite blogs. There are so many talented designers and I love to check out their amazing creations. Sometimes its the design that sparks an idea but mostly its color combos that get my creative juices flowing!

    Angi Mullis [email protected]

  24. bairozan
    April 12, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I'm back for a second comment – sometimes a diversion may also work. I've been looking for that sparkle for two weeks and finally gave up. This morning I got up with the intention to make something else, like refashion an old pair of shoes but right after my coffee I sat at my beading, aka dining table and started making a bracelet!

  25. Erin S
    April 12, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I look through other people's work to get a jump start. Not necessarily jewelry–I am also inspired by fabric design, art, and furniture. Just looking through Etsy or a few cool catalogs usually inspires me.

  26. Lynn
    April 12, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I look for inspiration in my bead magazines and also on Pinterest and sometimes a certain color combination will catch my eye, or a certain technique I'd like to try out. I wish it would happen soon as I have some lovely new pieces I'd like to work with but just can't seem to get going, so here I am on the computer looking for my "jumpstart".

  27. Berina RGA
    April 13, 2014 at 2:01 am

    beautiful beads!! very nice
    to jumpstart, I take a look at the other blogs and mainly the challenges… that inspires me to take up a particular theme…
    Moxie Craftie

  28. lindalandig
    April 13, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Wow those geo beads are enough to get my creative juices going.
    When I need a creative boost, I like to browse through Pinterest.

  29. Jane Galbraith
    April 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I usually go to any one of my note books I have
    1. for my collections,
    1. for my stories behind the piece
    1. for the beads I will make myself
    1. for my designs
    1. for my seed bead ideas
    1. for blog ideas
    1. NoteOne online that has sections for all of the above as well as materials and instruction,
    then I go and look through the net and magazines
    then I usually find more inspiration and end up writing sketching a new into those books and find tooooo many that I want to create.

  30. KayzKreationz
    April 13, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I try to go through my books, or the blogs I follow. Plus I'll look at pictures of our small ranch I've taken. I like to check out Design seeds color palettes and pictures, too. They're always great inspiration.
    Love all the things you have going on. And the little owls are too cute.

  31. Ann
    April 14, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I usually jump start my creativity by flipping through one of my travel notebooks. Usually I have a sketch in there that reminds me of something I wanted to make.

  32. Jane B.
    April 14, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    When I need to jumpstart my creativity, I like to go back to the last thing I made/wore that "didn't work quite right". I usually find that "fixing" something leads me to a stash of beads I've forgotten, a technique I've wanted to try, or some great color combo. At the end I have a "fixed/improved" piece and an idea for something new!!

  33. Liona (Blue Merlin Creations)
    April 15, 2014 at 2:40 am

    When I hit a slump, buying new beads definitely helps, but I've done a lot of that lately, so I think it's time to browse my own collection! If I had more time, I think organizing said beads would also be a great way to inspire some new ideas – one of these days I'll get to that =)

  34. Cynthia
    April 15, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    When I'm in a slump, I try to sign up for a challenge, or something (blog hop) with a due date. The limited time or materials somehow gets my mind in gear. I find looking through my stash has the opposite effect – it sort of paralyzes me,

  35. Kristi Jaro
    April 16, 2014 at 12:18 am

    to jump start my creativity I read blogs, look at pinterest, and/or hope a gift needs to be made. Sometimes just cleaning my desk works, and sometimes a movie or book is what is takes.

  36. Debra Gibson
    April 16, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Claire!
    Thanks so much for the chance to win one of those little cuties1 To jump start my creative slump I will start mixing skinner blends or clean up my studio work table and things just start popping into my head. And if my muse is on a walk about I will hunt Pinterest and my bead books it works for me every time!! Have a Great rest of the week!!

  37. Cory Tompkins
    April 18, 2014 at 12:52 am

    I usually get on You Tube and watch videos of techniques I am interested in, that takes me to Pinterest or Flicker where I get lost for hours. If I don't find any inspiration I will take a walk or just walk away for a while.

  38. Despina
    April 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I visit my favorite blogs, search on Etsy or look into my archives of photos with inspirational designs and materials

    [email protected]

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