Monday, April 6, 2015

Recycling

Let's talk about recycling....jewelry. 

When Spring hits, I start feeling antsy - I clean things...a closet, a cupboard, etc.  I have a need to at least "feel" organized (whether or not I am actually organized is another story)!  My creativity level has also been at an all-time-low.With these feelings comes the urge to purge, specifically, jewelry. Now I am speaking of jewelry that I have made that for one reason or another did not sell, or I did not even attempt to sell because the design just did not "feel right".  

So, I took a look around my shop and my studio, and some of my jewelry has been gathering dust (figuratively speaking of course) and sitting for ages.  Instead of cutting it apart and putting the beads (most of which are art beads) back in their bin "waiting" to be used again, I made a challenge for myself to redesign each piece.  Now, I have a pile of at least 25 designs (I stopped counting at 25 - there is more) that fall into this category.  I have just begun to scratch the surface!

First up is this pair of earrings with lampwork beads and headpins from two different glass artists.  I originally added some tiny copper rings which I soldered and textured.  While I still love the design, they are long earrings.  And, it's a lot of yellow.
.  

I just could not cut off the head pin - once cut that wire is shot...and I like the look of the tiny copper ring. So, I took off the top bead set, and added tiny copper charms to the bottom half of the earring. The end result is a much smaller and lighter earring - and I was able to reuse the artisan headpin. Plus, the emphasis is only on ONE beautiful bead.  I think in the first design, the two beads competed for attention.

Glass Head Pins by Susan Kennedy of SueBeads
When I first laid eyes on these stoneware heart charms below, the cornflower blue sent me right to my kitchen cupboards, which are full of my mother's Pfaltzgraff bakeware.  I love these dishes, and instantly fell in love with the charms.  I originally did not want to compete with the design on the heart shaped charms by adding an additional bead, so I hung them quite simply from a jump ring.

Stoneware Charms by SuburbanGirlBeads)

See the resemblance to the dishes?

Pfaltzgraff - Yorktowne pattern
Anyway, I added a tiny freshwater pearl, in a deep blue - to carry the blue theme throughout the earring.


This next earring pair was in a category of "what the heck was I thinking?"  Gorgeous copper baubles that I had topped with some recycled African Beads.  But the shine of those copper baubles was lost by the amount of beads on the top of the earring.  Although not heavy, they look like they would tear a hole in my ear from the shear weight of all the beads.


This time around, I am letting the copper do the talking. The copper-glazed stoneware now has a chance to shine and not compete with any other bead.

Copper Baubles by Scorched Earth
Next up was a design I made many, many times - I love this look.  A beautiful artisan lampwork bead suspended on nice thick gauge of wire .


For these beads, I went to the color wheel in my head and chose these sweet little purple wood beads and I nixed the copper entirely.  Lime Green and Purple is a favorite color combination that my mother wears often.  Plus, COLOR! 

Gorgeous lime green "sugar" lampwork beads by Havana Beads
The last piece I redesigned represented tons of time spent wrapping, including the soldered rings-wrapped in wire, sprinkled within the chain.  I used a set of "orphan" beads - all green, but each one different.


I made the mixed metal pendant by stamping a pattern on a sterling disc, domed the disc, then soldered it to larger copper disc.  I added an eyelet to the top and bottom of the pendant.  And, the bottom bead has a bead cap that I had etched and domed.  It had great drape when worn.  But as I look back on this, it is just "too much" on the eye.


I could not bear to cut up the pendant - I really liked it!  But, the "new" necklace is much simpler. My eye actually has a stopping point now when I look at the necklace.


I used a copper ball chain which I wrapped directly onto the pendant.  



Lampwork Beads by Susan Kennedy of SueBeads

While I still have a huge pile of "old designs" to go through, this has sparked my creativity, which after this intensely long winter, has been on hiatus.  BONUS:  I did not purchase a single bead - my wallet said "thank you".

So tell me, does the change of season's affect you and your creativity?  If so, what do you do to get your spark going again?

6 comments:

Kathy Lindemer said...

I love your sharing your redoes. I am in the process of doing the same thing.

I go to Pinterest or magazines for a visual restart.

stacilouise said...

I love re-working designs. I have a whole bin of things that I know are not quite there. I enjoy when I have time to tear them apart and add or remove that one thing that is going to complete the design:) LOVE the changes in what you did here. thank you for showing how rewarding it can be to rework something

Almost Precious said...

You've proven in many of the pieces that you've re-vamped, that less can truly be more. Sometimes we can get carried away and put too much "clutter" in our creations. It was impressive to see how some very simple changes made such a dramatic difference.
After creating several new pieces

I find that digging out a few of those "what was I thinking" pieces or jewelry that never sold, can actually motivate me. As I look at those pieces I begin to get ideas on how to remake and improve them and often that also leads me to ideas for new pieces.

Bobbie said...

Recycling like this can be a great kick-start to the creativity. And like you, I often find that pieces are really improved when I get away from including everything (and the kitchen sink) into one piece. Sometimes it's hard to grab the designer confidence to keep things simple so they speak for themselves - you've really done that with these revamps!

Ann Schroeder said...

I love all your remakes. Especially the copper bauble one. Those are gorgeous! Amazing how much difference these changes can make.

mairedodd said...

great idea and work. i also think there is a lot of learning about ourselves that happens when we critically assess our old work. it's nice to see what the years of experience have to offer.
change of season definitely affects my creativity. i still don't have the answer to getting the spark going. sometimes i need to recognize it as fallow time. because you can get worried that the muse has packed up and left forever. but she hasn't. she always returns. and sometimes with more ideas than one can handle.

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