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black and gold lampwork bead setToday's post focuses on where many jewelry designers look for inspiration. So many, I've found, are self-taught – and as such have turned to naturally-occurring inspiration rather than academic design principles. And yet the results are often just as stunning as with formally trained artists. Since I spend a lot of my time admiring the many talented jewelry designers I meet in this business, I thought I'd put together a few of the most 'telling' phrases and quotes from some random jewelry artists. I hope you'll add your thoughts on what inspires you, and that we can dialog about this fascinating topic.

  • Number One for many:  Music  (Not the same music for everyone of course, but music that resonates with the designer's personality, mood, and artistic leanings)
  • Also at the top of the list:  Nature (Many mention both the simplicity and the complexity of nature)
  • Taking a raw material, like wire, and turning it into a new creation.
  • Other people (family, friends, fellow artists, customers, prospective customers and their requests/ideas, and more)
  • The drive to express themselves, or to create something that reflects who they are and how they live
  • Other activities, objects, creatures, ideas, etc. that fascinate the artist – things that are not art in themselves, but that become translated into art and design because of an initial fascination (or obsession)
  • The desire to reach one's 'personal best', or sometimes, the desire to compete
  • A desire to push boundaries and create something new and unique
  • Objects of beauty that lend themselves to becoming a piece of jewelry art (a beautiful stone or bead, carved wood or shell – the list of possibilities is endless) Side Note:  The photo in this post is of some gorgeous lampwork beads made by an artist we know; these beads served as an inspiration in themselves for a custom design we're working on -- incorporating them with black onyx beads and lemon vermeil to accentuate the golden glitter in the lampwork.
  • Causes: Many talented and compassionate artists lend their passion and craft to a cause, like helping others heal or thrive, raising funds for a philanthropic organization they believe in, or providing help to others in a disaster situation.
  • An artistic drive growing out of a feeling of calm and peace. Many note that it is helpful to get away from stressful situations – via a gaze out the window, a walk in a beautiful setting, a time spent in nature – something that releases them from the practical yet nagging concerns of the day.
  • Design elements in themselves: shape, color, texture

What are your inspirations? We would SO love to hear your thoughts and stories on this issue! Please weigh in!

If you enjoyed this post, you'd likely also enjoy our post on Lampworked Beads.


0 # A. J. Hernandez 2013-06-28 01:20
Never give up the quest to create harmony out of diversity, unity out of seemingly unrelated objects. Everything wants to be part of something.
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0 # Sheila Mclaughlin 2013-06-28 02:38
Well-said! I think this relates to the elements of 'surprise' in some designs -- which in turn often create delight -- Thank you for the comment!
I wish I had a way to invite photos along with these comments. As an alternative, let me know if you'd like me to post something of yours that illustrates your point! I'm at Thanks again!
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0 # Vintique Jools 2013-07-07 22:03
My inspiration comes from the piece(s) of broken vintage jewelry, beads or brass stamping that I happen to pick. I let the piece lead my creativity~~che esy as it sounds my completed jewelry has a part of me in it. For me, jewelry designing means freeing my mind of all troubles and negative thoughts and feeling the joy and excitement as the piece evolves. Music is always playing in the "Jool Cave"!
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0 # SRM 2013-07-08 03:42
Hey, Ellen -- ALSO one of the things that's so cool about what you do is the fact that you're 'repurposing'/' reviving'/'reno vating' something vintage and special -- so you likely have the pleasure of knowing you're sustaining something and giving it a whole new life -- Thank you for your comment!!
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