satisfyingly intense = intensely satisfying

It's been an intense couple of days working on new jewelry.  Watching all those shows about Savile Row tailors and behind the scenes of haute couture with Ralph Rucci and Chanel proved very inspirational.  The details, oh my, the glorious details.  Watching the evolution of incredible garments from pattern to completion and the extraordinary meticulous details therein lead me to step back and slow down and rethink.

Armed with solid blocks of time and an ambient soundtrack, I set to work.  A background sample ...

First thing I wanted to do ... the jeweled cross from the last post got a makeover.  Excited to put my self-needle technique to the test, I commenced to stringing and knotting a gorgeous strand of tunduru sapphires.  Because the cross had some heft, I wanted to give the necklace more visual bulk as well as actual strength.  I wove in a length of my plum silk ribbon.  Stout silk thread wraps between knots finish the ends.  I love the rich colors and how the gems in the cross tie in with the sapphires, ribbon and dark brown silk.

Today, I've been working on a second cross.  This one has a lot of 'bling' to it with faceted peridot, raw diamonds and a faceted yogo sapphire at the top.   I tried several combinations of gems for the necklace and finally settled on a mix of iolite and spinel on gray silk with steel blue silk ribbon.
One thing I learned from yesterday's work, knotting these tiny gems takes a lot of silk.  For this necklace, I used almost double what I would normally use and still came dangerously close to running out.    It is possible to graft in additional length if needed, but it's a pain and I'd much rather have plenty to start with.
I'm quite pleased with my efforts.  I think the finished pieces accomplished my goal of merging medieval inspired pendants with decidedly contemporary details.  I'm also working on adding some of the knotted gemstone elements to my existing body of work.  Here's some early results ...

  It's been such a satisfying day, intensely focused with a steady rhythm to the work.  Design is all about problem solving ... that's probably my favorite part of working on new things ... figuring out how to weave in the silk ribbon, which kind of closure to finish the ends, etc, etc.  

Through the day images of couture and bespoke craftspeople have been lacing through my head.  Madame Pouzieux unraveling yardage for the raw materials of her signature braid, Madame Collette working on the details of a Ralph Rucci gown, the roomful of young women embroidering and beading silk tulle for the grand finale Chanel wedding gown, tailors with their chalk in hand marking patterns and fine tuning exquisitely crafted suits.  Taking time for details, not rushing to make something less expensive, creating from the heart rather than from a mind overrun with thoughts of the bottom line.

I'm not going to worry about how to streamline production of these pieces or where to cut costs or how to make large numbers of a design.  That's fear's hold on me and, little by little, I'm chipping away at it's grip.   Pandora's box has been opened and a shining light has taken aim on my old habits and limiting ways.  

I'm going to stay on my bespoke path and know that it leads to my long squelched, true self.

with gratitude and blessings - kvk

p.s.  Zoe had a nice day as well
Kathy Van Kleeck1 Comment