Studio Saturday with Cindy Gimbrone: Sometimes there are no words…

Welcome to Studio Saturday! 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.

Last week’s winner is EB Bead and Metal Works! Congratulations! You have won hand cast metal cross from Lynn. Send an email to Lynn and she will send it right out to you.

Welcome to the Studio of Cindy Gimbrone!

Readers of my blog know my word for this year is, “do.” So instead of avoiding actually sitting down to make something by surfing the web or any other number of avoidance tactics, I’m making in a big way.

My work table is cluttered with various projects in different media. It feels good to get my hands into beads, chain, polymer clay, stamping, painting, sculpting and just do.

One of the reasons I create is to express something I don’t have the words to express. Yet according to business advice, it’s really important to name your handmade work to entice others to buy it.

How to name a piece you’ve made because you have no words to express what made you make it in the first place?

I made this necklace with great deliberation, I created the lotus pod, took a shell slice from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Beads and strung it together using Vintaj findings. The small beads inside the pod represent the lotus seeds deliberately saved and strung on the necklace. I love the look/feel of the necklace but I can’t seem to come up with any words to explain or capture what I was feeling when I made it or what it represents to  me. I know it represents something but can’t express it.

I need a copywriter!

How do you come up with names and titles for your creations?

Leave your thoughts below and you’ll be entered to win one (1) Wired Red Lotus Pod.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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30 Comment

  1. Michelle
    January 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I close my eyes and allow words/feelings to come flowing in…sometimes they do,…sometimes they don't! LOL!

    Nice pieces though. Way cool!

  2. Boot ~C
    January 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I don't name every piece, but when I do I try to evoke a mood or create an instant memory. These pods are so mysterious.

  3. Alice
    January 22, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I googles the meaning of the lotus flower and came up with this link:


    Maybe if you jot down some of the prominent words and ideas from this you may be able to come up with a name.

    Naming my pieces is sometimes difficult, but most of the time the name comes to me as I'm creating. I've learned never to ask my husband as he comes up with something like blue bead or the like.

  4. Erin S
    January 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    A lot of times I name my pieces after places they remind me of. I recently named a necklace "Tecalote" after Tecalote canyon. Then my husband reminded me I better find out what "tecolote" actually means, in case its something negative. So I googled it. Its some kind of owl. Which is fine, except that the necklace had absolutely nothing to do with owls. I just like the sound of the word.

    the pods are totally cool!
    Erin S

  5. Anna Lear
    January 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I don't use a specific technique for naming my pieces; I guess I pick an element in the piece and build on that, whether literally (such as "Cherry Blossom Festival") or figuratively (such as "Pink Cloud"). And sometimes I just wing it, pulling on the current season or whatever — you could call the necklace here "Winter Lotus" because the colors suggest dormancy…. I used to work in publishing, so maybe it's a knack I just have, but I think everyone has creative talent of some sort. Your pods are so wonderful; it's one of my favorite themes.

  6. EmandaJ
    January 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I am an art historian. I know that names can change the way a viewer sees and understands a piece — the name gives insight into the thought process behind its creation. Sometimes the title doesn't help because it is too private. When I title a piece, I try to think of the best way to express the feeling I experienced in creating the work and the mood I want to convey.

    For example, I made some beautiful earrings from Lisi's Lampwork beads — frit glass — one pair was sprinkled with lilac, lavendar, light and dark green frit on a white background. I titled them "Lilac and Lime". I wanted to give the feeling of enjoying a cool beverage under an arbor of lilacs in a summer breeze.


  7. TesoriTrovati
    January 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I do believe very strongly in naming a piece. I think that it carries with it a story or mood or feeling and that is what resonates with my buyers. Sometimes I come up with the name before the piece. Sometimes the story of the piece makes it evident. Color is a big thing. The names on paint chips is a good place for inspiration, as is poetry. I even found some online name generators (just Google it) that give you fantasy place or character names. Sometimes they can evoke a style as well. I read an article on the Lark Crafts Blog called "Not Untitled" that really is a great look at why you should name. Check it out: http://www.larkcrafts.com/jewelry-beading/title-your-jewelry/

    I love this seed pod necklace, Cindy! In the case of your piece, I would stick with the lotus theme… Lotus Pod Rising… Birth of the Lotus… Blooming Potential. Something like that. Best of luck naming it, and lucky the one who wears it!
    Enjoy the day.

  8. mairedodd
    January 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    i definitely need (not want, NEED) one of these lotus pods… cindy, i try to focus in upon the intention of the piece or the inspiration… you write about the symbolism of the red pod… the wearer is able to carry that with them… you are 'spreading the love'… and it is so meaning-full…
    oh, we are so alike – so one of my favorite picasso quotes is 'inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.' just thinking about it gets me moving…

  9. kiwiken
    January 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I think I'd personally name it "Lotus Effect", you know how a lotus doesn't allow mud and dirt and bad things to stick to itself. A lotus flower is always pure and clean and perfect. Just as this necklace 🙂 But I love Erin's suggestions, too.

    Now that you made me think about it, I noticed that I have been terribly uninspired with naming my creations lately. Often, songs are a good inspiration, titles especially, but also some lines from the lyrics. I usually listen to music when I create, and if it fits the creators mood, it might just fit the spirit of the piece as well.

  10. SpookyJulz
    January 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I love this bead. So simple yet so elegant!
    When I name a piece sometimes the words come to me immediately. Like the piece has already named itself.
    Sometimes they get stuck. So I come up with some simple wording then go to the thesaurus for better/different words.
    Thanks for sharing your work space.
    [email protected]

  11. Sabine
    January 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    mine usually come from film or book references and then I twist it. Sometimes nothing comes and I poll the family. They are reasonably intelligent and will throw out interesting ideas that spark me to commit to a good name.


  12. Malin de Koning
    January 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Love the lotus pod, so much hope I win it 🙂

    Your question – a very good one indeed. I am really looking forward to read all answers. I find it a bit hard myself to name my pieces. Sometimes it is just obvious, but sometimes I get stuck, then again sometimes I can be stuck for a time and then suddenly a great name appears. Sometimes I just pick A name in the end to have something to call the piece.

    I totally agree with Erin (above), the name is important. I just wish I was a lot better at it than I am. I have no specific method at all. I work from the components and the feel of the piece. For a period I tried to name all my pieces from songs I like, but it didn't turn out such a great idea. Songs can have somewhat depressing names quite often. Films or litterature is probably another source to look into, or art.

    Talk about the piece with my friends or family can help, something, an association, might pop up in the conversation.

  13. Cillaw
    January 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Great Pods, what a great idea.
    I recently read somewhere that the more simple and direct the name is the better. It helps people find it in today's age of search engines. So lately I have been trying to name with bare bones like you did with Lotus Pod Necklace. So I guess it depends on if you want it found out or if you are just doing it for yourself and friends.

  14. CreekHiker / HollysFolly
    January 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I too think names are important. Luckily, I have a strong writing background…

    But sometimes a piece evokes a feeling or a memory. But I have even resorted to naming something "the bead without a name!" LOL!

  15. Malin de Koning
    January 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Another thing I just remembered – I name my pieces from people sometimes. People who are important to me, either they are inspirational just in general, or, as has happened a few times, they are a Art Bead maker for one of the components in the piece.

    Saw that someone mentioned lines in songs, I like that.

    How about
    "I Pod You"
    for your necklace?
    A play with words and expressions …

  16. Deborah
    January 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    If the name comes to me, it comes during the process (most often for a jewelry piece) or after the piece has evolved to the finished project (more often the case for a fiber piece.)

  17. Gail W.
    January 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    I know that names are important to give to your pieces of jewelry,paintings,colors,etc.But I don't know how it's done.I always pick the first name that comes to mind,which is not always a good thing.Cindy,I love your lotus pods,and the color.Is there a name to that color?

  18. Sharon P
    January 23, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Sometimes the name is all too apparent, and at other times, it's a struggle to name a feeling. Love your Lotus Pods-very inspirational.

  19. cindydolezaldesigns
    January 23, 2011 at 6:13 am

    When I name a piece it pretty much names itself. Otherwise, I'm bad about naming them. I need to start doing that because they are so personal. They should have names.

  20. lynsey
    January 23, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I agree with you Cindy, naming a piece can be very difficult sometimes. I usaully name my pieces after the thing that inspired me, and alot of the time this comes to me right at the beginning during the design process. But sometimes i can come up with a design and have no idea what to name it, so i end up calling it what it is like 'cluster earrings' etc, not very inspired i know. I don't sell at the moment, but it is definatly some thing that i need to start thinking about now, and getting into the habit of for when i do start to sell.

  21. maneki
    January 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Yes, naming can be so hard sometimes. Often they come naturally, but other times not at all. I especially find it difficult when I'm forced to make up a name for a contest entry as there's a deadline to consider. Also, sometimes I can't use a name in Swedish as it'd been nothing to the international crowd… (Now, I could write at length about which language to use for names, but I wont.) Sometimes the name expresses a mood or feeling I want it to evoke in the eye of the beholder, other times it's just prosaic names like purple copper earrings. *hrm*

    Anyway, I'm very fond of mythology and legends so I like to find inspiration there. Like in this case, the lotus has such strong symbolic power, you could perhaps find something there in the interpretation of the symbol or how it's used in old stories, myths or fairy tales in the East.

    I think your organic — earthy but still artsy and modern — necklace feels like winter or very late autumn. It's dark and melancholic to me. A feeling of dormancy, as someone mentioned before me. I don't have a name for it, but it'd probably look for it in nature or a poem about nature at this time of the year. Any favourite poets (that includes songwriters of cause) you like and which can inspire you to think of a name?

  22. Ingrid
    January 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    This reminds me of "Circle of Life" You have the seeds, the new leaf, the mature pod and it's all held together by a "Circle of Life". It's really hard naming pieces. I always want someone else to do it for me, too 😉 LOL Love your work!!

  23. Attorney Angela Lund-Logan
    January 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Now that I know my pieces need names, I have found that the names come to me during the process and prior to posting on the internet. However, I didn't start naming the pieces until I read an article. I struggled to name my early pieces when I was preparing for my first open house in December. Towards the end I was getting delirious and frustrated. That is how I ended up with a piece named "Nuggets of Splendor." The bass player in my band found it hilarious and is still making comments.
    There are many good names listed in the comments and some great inspiration ideas. I always show each completed piece immediately to my husband. His comments have often inspired a name.
    I had nicknamed a piece I was about to design after a prominent colleague. Knowing that I couldn't actually name the piece after her, I used her initials to inspire the official name.

  24. Elizabeth
    January 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I'm terrible at naming things. My dogs all have human names just to keep things dignified. Perhaps that is why my Etsy sales are so low.

    Is a rose still the same with another name???…

    I love the piece though.

  25. cw
    January 24, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Cindy, I love your new piece, and would love to own it.
    I think the name/title of a piece is very important. When submitting a design for publication, I believe the title is as important as the piece itself.
    When I choose the title for my own designs, I have the piece right in front of me, focus on materials used as well as color.
    Nature has a huge influence on my designs. So, if I may, I would give your design the title, "Gone to Seed".

  26. My Life Under the Bus
    January 24, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    WHat a gorgeous color! Sometimes it comes thru the inspiration process sometimes I google a word or stones meaning – what ever works. One of my boys named a pair of earrings for me by walking by and telling me they looked like "rain".

  27. Ashleigh Becker
    January 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I try to think about what inspired the piece & if there's nothing then I make something up. 🙂

  28. Cynthia
    January 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I am horrible at thinking up names for my finished designs. So, I'm no help. But I think there are lots of great suggestions here.
    Your necklace is stunning, what ever it's name is.
    (how about "eye pod")

  29. Holly
    January 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I do think that a name is important, but admit that I rarely name my own pieces. I keep waiting for that splash of inspiration, but tend to find that the inspiration was in the making of the piece, rather than the naming of it. 😉

    And your lotus pod necklace is gorgeous – simple, yet complex at the same time….how about "Paradox" for a name?

  30. Shaiha
    January 28, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Oh I am horrible at naming. I have some necklaces that are laying there on my table waiting for a name. I have even asked my hubby for help all to no avail. And he is a writer for pete's sake.

    The best I came up with looking at your necklace was Purity.

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