Deborah Wyscarver Jewelry Design Blog

Inspiration 1

I often get asked, "How do you decide what to make?" For me, the answer is, "It depends!" Often, I start with a focal bead from my collection. From there, I browse my bead boxes for beads that either go with the color/style of the focal, or that complement it in some way. I pull a few of this bead and that, until I have quite a melange selected. One of the things that often happens to me is that I don't end up with enough contrast in my first bead selection. At that point, I pick a color or two that provides good contrast with the focal bead and the color way I've pulled, and add some contrasting beads. Another element to consider at that point is metal bead additions, or not! What color and type of metal beads are harmonious with the palette I've pulled (and, how expensive do I want this piece to be, if i'm wanting to use sterling silver, for instance). Then I look over the set of beads I've pulled and see if it satisfies me or not. All of these little decisions are part of the artistic process, and result in a collection of materials that is unique to me.

In the piece below, I began with the lovely glass pillow bead as the focal for the piece. I wanted to bring out the green as a predominant color, as well as the light purple and tangerine from the bead' flower design. I added the soft green dagger beads to continue with the botanical motif- using them as "leaves." This piece was purchased at my last show!
Necklace with pillow floral bead focal
I'll be writing about other sources of inspiration along the way. Stay tuned!
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Beading with a Friend

This week I've had the rare pleasure of spending quality time in the studio with a close friend who is also a jewelry artist, Francie.

Normally, studio work is a solitary pursuit. Working alone enables a deep level of focus and concentration, and can lead to creative breakthroughs and accomplishment. But what a treat it was to create along side a friend and colleague. Asking questions, getting instant feedback, seeing my friend's "ah ha" moments, sharing in the delight of the process-- all that was magical. It reminded me how wonderful it is to work with someone who understands and appreciates what i'm doing. We designed a pair of earrings together to match a drop-dead-gorgeous necklace she had just completed, and that was a lot of fun.

I like the freedom of working alone in the studio, but I have had some of my most inspirational moments when working in the presence of other artists. I am blessed to have another jewelry artist friend, Jan, and I love those rare times when we can work together in the studio too.

One of my greatest pleasures is to spend an entire week in a big studio space with other artists, working on similar projects in a similar medium. The vibe in the room can be at the same time private and public, inward and outward, joyful and frustrating. We're not necessarily collaborating on a piece, but we are all in the explore-experiment-create mode, and are 100% supporting one another in the endeavors. Experiencing that much creative energy in one setting is truly extraordinary, and I thank all those who organize and teach such workshops for me and my fellow artists.

So, thank you Francie! I had a great time, and miss you already!!!!! Safe travels until we can get together again and get up to creative mischief together!

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