Transforming Inspiration Into Design

I realize we may have thrown some of you for a loop with this month’s design challenge. Since our new challenge themes for 2009 are all from art history I thought I’d share some thoughts on my creative process of transforming a painting into a jewelry design.
Inspired by the movement of the brushstrokes, I want to create a design with movement and texture. I would use lampwork disks by Blue Seraphim in the colors of the painting, wire-wrapped with silver to show off their swirls. To emphasis the feeling of a garden, I’d pair them with leafy green freshwater pearls. To finish the design I’d return to the theme of abundant texture and use one of Mamacita Beadworks floral inspired buttons as a clasp.

Zoom in on a detail of a painting for unexpected results. Not every design inspired by Van Gogh’s Irises need to have irises, blue or purple! By taking a corner of the painting that you find visual appealing, you can come up with a striking design that is a little off the beaten path. For this necklace I focused on the upper right corner of Van Gogh’s painting to explore a design using those lush greens and sunny yellows. For this design I’d use a ceramic pendant and connectors in green from Chinook Jewelry. I’d connect them together with hammered silver links from Prolifique. On each link I’d add dangles of yellow crystals that remind me of the flowers in the painting.

While it’s not necessary to take a literal approach to interpreting a masterpiece into a jewelry, you may find just the right bead for such a design. Lampwork artist Hannah Rachel offers sculpted iris beads that are made to order. Could there be a more perfect bead for this challenge? I’d make a tassel of pearls, crystals and stones in greens to create the “stem” of the iris. To carry on with the bold and organic theme I’d use peacock stick pearls mixed with silver beads. A handcrafted clasp from Cathy Dailey’s shop would compliment the shape of the pearls and the earthy feel of the design.
I hope this encourages you to pull our your art beads this weekend and enter our monthly challenge! You can view this month’s entries on our Flickr group. Let the masters in art history inspire your sense of color, design and creativity!

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17 Comment

  1. Reply
    No Easy Beads
    January 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Great inspiration and staring point for those who haven’t started this their challenge piece yet.

  2. Reply
    January 23, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Wow that’s really cool Heather. What a great post!
    Jennifer Jangles

  3. Reply
    January 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you for such great ideas! This makes me want to go home and Bead!!

  4. Reply
    January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Cool challenge. I love the interpretations you have created.

  5. Reply
    January 23, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Heather, you are amazing and still continue to amaze me with your creativity and artistic talent. What gorgeous pieces!

  6. Reply
    January 23, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    That was great!

    The theme is a little different, but the challenge is a good way to get our brains moving in a new way.


  7. Reply
    January 23, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Heather, I really love your sketches! I have ideas in my head but I can never really get them down on paper like that! What an artist you are!

  8. Reply
    January 23, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I’ve nominated you for the Lemonade award! 🙂


  9. Reply
    January 24, 2009 at 12:58 am

    how wonderful to see the necklaces in the basic design phases! I am fairly new to jewelry creation, and i really enjoyed seeing the thought process that goes into the creation of a piece, even before the first bead has been strung. I especially like your third necklace there… the tassle was so fabulous i had to run off mid read and go make a tassle myself!

  10. Reply
    Fab Fibers
    January 24, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Oh, aren’t you just the cleverest thing!

  11. Reply
    Heather Powers
    January 24, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Thanks everyone! I love drawing and sketching. I keep a few sketchbooks filled with ideas. I also work with just beads and play around with designs at the table. But with not enough hours in the day, a sketchbook comes in handy when inspiration is long and time is short.

    Thanks for the award coloraddiction, I will have to check that out!

  12. Reply
    Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry
    January 24, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Gorgeous pieces Heather! Thanks for including my pendant and connectors in one of your designs- now I want to make that necklace for myself!

  13. Reply
    January 24, 2009 at 4:19 am

    I love your design story boards! Beautiful designs and art!

  14. Reply
    January 24, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Oh Heather! You’ve got my mind racing now! I’ve had a printout of this month’s challenge taped to my bead table for 2 weeks now, not knowing what direction to head in with it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Reply
    Andrew Thornton
    January 24, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    This is a really great post. I love seeing where people get their ideas and how they come to create the things that they do. Awesome!

  16. Reply
    January 26, 2009 at 1:38 am

    This is an absolutely fabulous post. Great job, Heather!

  17. Reply
    Kitty Wilkin
    January 28, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Wow! Those are great! The pieces really do embody the paintings! Great job, and what a cool idea!

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