Creating a New Jewelry Line
Who knows where inspiration really comes from... a colour, a scent, a feeling, a memory? For me, it can be anything from music, a painting, a walk through the woods... Inspiration is endless.
Last fall I was hosted by one of my favorite local Bemidji shops, KD Floral, for a First Friday Art Walk Event. I created a collection called Eco-Decadence, full of raw stones like Agate, Quartz, Druzy, etc.. displaying much of it inside terrariums, on moss, and drift wood. We had a really good response during that month long show, and after I had removed my designs from the store, I got word people were still looking to find my work at KD Floral! That got the owner Raechel and I thinking that maybe there needed to be a line in her shop as part of the permanent collection. My creative gears started turning...
I knew I wanted to make something different then my regular statement line, I wanted to create jewelry that looked like it had always been a part of the shop, that really stood out AND blended into the aesthetics of KD Floral. After brainstorming with some of the ladies at the shop, I tucked that info into my brain with a plan/hope that it would hit me while in Tucson at the Gem and Mineral show.
During a slower day at the gem show booth I was working at, to keep myself busy I started experimenting with design ideas.. laying out stones, colours, and accents helps to give me a visual. I've always been a fan of Druzy. I love the more natural looking pieces, but also love the unique colours you can find. It has a glamour, but an earthiness about it. Yep, this would be wonderful at KD Floral.
Once I knew I wanted to work with Druzy, I started thinking of HOW I'd like to use it. I wanted to create an "everyday" wear line of jewelry. Don't get me wrong, rocking out big statement designs is my favorite... but sometimes you just want a little something simple, yet stunning to toss on to say, run to the grocery store (please tell me I'm not the only one that has to have jewelry on at all times?). So far I knew Druzy was a key component, and simple but fantastic was it's mission. The next solution was- chain.
This was the first visual layout I did- I snapped a pic and posted it on my social media accounts looking for feedback. Was this too simple? Nope- my friends, family, fans LOVED it. Next I shot this pic off to the KD Floral ladies, and it turns out I was on the right track. From there I had a quick phone call meeting with Raechel, and told her I would do the simple designs, but I also wanted to play with embellishing them, and also creating a collection of earrings as well. When I had a little time, I would play with some more ideas and send her more pictures.
That's when things really started clicking for me! I had so many new ideas, places I wanted to go with this collection, and by the end of the day I was ready to buy everything in our booth and call it a day!
Unfortunately, buying out our booth was not in my budget, a girl can dream though!
I set out to keep the collection to a few stones, materials, and styles to start with and see what the response was. If everyone loved it, I could continue the line, allowing it to grow and evolve naturally. So, after stepping outside the booth and getting a 5 mins vitamin d break (oh Tucson in Feb, you are lovely!), I returned with a plan to stay focused! Oh wait... is that something sparkly?
I decided I would work with copper and brass for this collection. I favor sterling silver and gold fill in most of my statement wear, but I love the patinas you can get on brass and copper, a more antiqued look.
With a plan, I picked out my supplies and bagged them up, all ready for my return to Minnesota to get working.
Once actual, wearable pieces start coming together, that's when I get really excited and even more inspired. Hours rush by and I don't even notice- I'm just in the moment, creating what I love.
I used a LOT of Druzy in this line, but there are so many lovely stones, I had to use a few others...
<--- Here the white and red necklaces are both Druzy, the on far right is a faceted blue Peruvian Opal. For the earrings we have Quartz, Apatite, and Chalcedony.
This set is probably my favorite out of the entire collection. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw this piece in the making. Once I'd made the focal, I couldn't decide if I wanted to make it into a necklace, or make another and make the coolest pair of earrings. ----->
Obviously I ended up scaling down a little and making a pair of earrings to compliment the necklace. It was hard to give this baby up.
The gray stones in the center are Labradorite, paired with brushed brash drops, copper rings and chain. This was also the first piece in the collection I added the extended wire coil wraped detail- and I LOVE how that little detail just took this design to the next level.
I installed the collection early this month (March 2015), and we've already had a great response so far! We've been having such a blast with these designs and seeing the reactions from our friends, family, and fans- thank you guys for the feedback and support! All this excitement got me the motivation to plan a photo shoot with real live models! We just wrapped that up, you can see a sneak peek of one of the photos on my Facebook page. So keep a lookout for more coming soon!
But what I've enjoyed the most about creating this line was pushing myself to do something different. I think as an artist it's important to always be trying new things, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and always be evolving.
I'm looking forward to expanding this collection over time, adding new elements and styles each season.
Until then, head into KD Floral and enjoy the 2015 Spring Collection of Eco-Decadence.