A few weeks ago I was in the jewelry metalsmithing studio having the jeweler’s version of writer’s block. I was completely and utterly stuck. I had absolutely no idea what to make and was feeling unmotivated, not to mention a little frustrated with myself. Those times in the studio are golden. Right now I can only get there about once a month and I need to be able to use that time as productively as I can, not waste time watching the clock tick.
Thankfully a classmate had an idea notebook for moments such as these that she lent me to peruse. (Seriously, I need to start one of these for myself) I started flipping through, and within a few minutes ideas started formulating in my head and images of two pair of earrings began to take shape. I drew a rough sketch before the ideas slipped way, and then I got to work. I took some wire and started hammering. (There is something incredibly therapeutic about banging away at a piece of metal, by the way, just in case you need a productive way to get rid of some tension.)
The first piece looked like crap, and after a couple failed attempts I moved onto the next design idea. As my idea morphed from a vague image in my brain to something that I could touch with my fingers and looked as I had imagined it, I got excited. While the first idea had been a bust, this one was turning out beautifully. I drilled a few holes and tested out my prototype to make sure it would work before banging out a couple more.
I came home feeling a little giddy (as I am prone to do when I have an idea I really like). I put the prototype in the tumbler to give it some shine and then attached my hand-forged earwires to make sure my design would actually work. And it did! I posted my new design idea on Facebook and Instagram and the response was phenomenal, way better than any product I had previously posted. I was only bummed that I hadn’t made more!
Fortunately, I’ll be back in the studio this Sunday (assuming, of course, Mother Nature doesn’t dump another blizzard on us). I’m super pumped to finally make a bunch more of these! I’ve been wearing my prototype and I absolutely adore wearing them. If you are a busy woman like me who doesn’t have a lot of time to think about what you are going to wear each day, they make a great grab-and-go pair of earrings. In my opinion they go with just about any outfit, regardless of the occasion. (Seriously. I wear them to playgroups with Eve and that rare date with Sam.) Plus they’re super lightweight.
They’re made from sterling silver wire and have a hammered texture. As you can see from the photo above from the top of the eardrop to the bottom they’re about the size of a quarter.
Like all of my items, I struggled with the price a bit. Finally I decided on a price that I felt comfortable charging, hoping that one day they may also make it into some of the shops where I consign.
What do you do when you’re stuck in a creative rut?