Thursday, December 13, 2012

Working in Series as a jewelry artist.

By Barbara Bechtel

Working in series is not a new concept in the process of art making. Artists have long worked in series to develop ideas in their work such as color, composition, style, subject matter. The repetitive nature of  making many things organized around a central theme or style brings a cohesion to your work and may help you better find your own personal style or aesthetic.

If you're a jewelry designer or artist and are perplexed about how to work in a series as it relates to your own work, consider some of the following ideas:

1) Design collections based on the season or theme.

If you're passionate about selling your jewelry, it may help you to design collections with closely related themes or components or colors. Focus on coming up with several designs in earrings, bracelets, or necklaces that can be replicated easily with varying components or even the same pieces.

Sea skeleton and swirls sea glass earrings

a collection of sea glass earrings by Staci Smith

2) Use the same components or style continuously.

By always using the same or similar components, you will build a body of like pieces. For example, focus on building many pieces with tiny variations but using the same materials. Perhaps for several weeks or months, you will only make pendants with bezel set cabochons. Or design chandelier style earrings. Or make as many earring components in one style as possible.

a collection of post earrings by Stacie Florer

3) Develop signature designs.

If you have a popular technique or item that always receives complements or sales, consider developing this piece further by offering the same item with variations.

4) Name or sign your series.

If you're designing work around a specific theme, consider naming your series. If you're inspired by a specific element, use this name whenever referring to those pieces. Signing your work with a hallmark or or specially designed tags also.

Beautifully Hallmarked Jewelry by JJ Papke

What ideas do you have for working in series?


SummersStudio said...

I think as a bead maker, it is inherent in my nature to work in series. Stretching those ideas until the ideas finish. Working in series is also a good way to get through the inevitable dry well of creative ideas. I find that while working in a more repetitive way, my mind gets freed up to 'float' onto other more elusive ideas.

stacilouise said...

I often name a series, and then it just morphs into something else! I am really bad about being consistent! lol! Though I love the idea of a series.

TesoriTrovati said...

I never set out to do anything other than one of a kinds but then people started asking me for more of a particular style in my Simple Truths pendants. So now I go through series that are limited edition. Sort of by season. I have my Forest Finery collection where each has leaves on them and are each different but the theme is the leaf. And the Sari Snapshots that can morph into any shape and have bright colors. I do holiday themes in December/January and I am already thinking ahead to the Spring and Summer themes. My new obsession is a bird shaped bezel. I am planning to release only a few with a theme each season. For December it is a Holiday Botanical theme. Thanks for the great tips! Enjoy the day. Erin

Stacie said...

Loved this post Barbara! and thank you for highlighting my new work too...I do like working in a series for just the reasons you write about...limiting your palette makes you stretch creatively...

mairedodd said...

this is a fantastic post, barbara -
i was thinking on it today as i have to send in an application for an arts festival... i love to experiment and often get antsy sticking with one thing too long... but your point is valid - when you present yourself, what do you 'look' like? is there a coherent nature to it all? thanks for the pointed suggestions -

Libby Leuchtman said...

Great post. I go though so many ideas but it seems that one idea will catch my interest and then a series is born.
Great advice.

AliMc said...

Thanks for helping clarifying some things I have been contemplating. At a few of my shows I felt that my style looked too eclectic. This is due in part to wanting to try soooo many things. By focusing on some collections, I can gain more cohesion. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

there is much food for thought in this post. I tend to flit around here and there, trying new things, I found, as I did inventory that there is no one thing I can call my own "style". I've been thinking where to focus in the coming year and you have given me some areas to think about.

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