How to Create the Unexpected and Survive the Day

Posted by brenda mcdermott on

Have you ever set out to do one thing, and then found yourself at a mental road block, only to end up doing something totally unexpected?  Well I have, and here's a story about determination and perseverance:

People ask me all the time how I come up with my designs. Do I draw them out first, or look at catalogs, or use a computer program for instance?  I actually don’t do any of those things to come up with my creations. What I do is spend a lot of time swimming, and that activity gives me quiet time to create in my mind and let my imagination flow. The benefit is twofold:  exercising my body while my mind is free to come up with jewelry designs.  The only "trick" is then to remember them, ha!

One of my favorite pieces had its origin during a long swim. I knew the gemstone combination I wanted to use, the healing properties of the stones, and how great they would all be together. I rushed to my art studio after my swim to get cracking on the piece. Well, I began working around 11am, but after seven straight hours and at least 10,000 gemstones spread out all over my design table and the floor, I did NOT have the piece put together.  

My husband walked into my studio and said, “What in the world is going on in here?” I said to him, “I’m on to something amazing, I just feel it but can’t seem to finalize it."

He said, “Bren, you have got to walk away from this and call it a day.  This is insane.” So after another hour I went to grab a bite to eat by myself.  It was while eating dinner and enjoying a glass of wine that it finally hit me. I knew what I needed to do! I got back home and within minutes it all came together, and the necklace was complete. I chose to call this magnificent necklace The Unexpected.  Why?  Because the beautiful end result was totally unexpected. I had no idea this is what I would come up with based on what I had envisioned that morning, 8 hours earlier during my swim.

Talk about having to clean up after a day’s work!  Well, it took me until the next day to put away all those possible 10,000 stones I was considering for the piece. It was well worth it to arrive at “The Unexpected.”

Do you want to know what The Unexpected necklace made of? It is a ombination of Labradorite,> (my favorite stone) Moonstone, Sunstone, a vintage looking circular piece in the center, some silver beads, silver chain one on side and leather on the other. (I love asymmetry.) Then I took some sterling silver wire and molded it, hammered it into different shapes to attach the leather and chain; and that added a different element into the piece. I handmade a unique clasp to finish the piece to perfection.

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