So my husband and I were talking yesterday about custom work and going more in this general direction. Truly that is the direction I would like to go. I am so inspired to do one of a kind work and find I get bored quickly with multiples.
I love when someone gives me an old piece to make modern and more their style, or when they have an object that has special meaning to them that they want worked into something they can wear and keep close to their hearts instead of in a box never to be seen again. I find it super inspiring to also work with someone for a special occasion or to make that one piece they see in their head but not on the shelf.
Some of my favorite memories are of making a piece that spoke to me via a customer. One such story was when I did a home show and a wonderful women said she wanted me to just make a simple earring out of a pair of leaf shaped red glass beads. As I picked up the beads and wire I had a vision of them with a simple but fun wrap and swirl and I asked her if I could do my vision. Without hesitation she let me work and it was magic. Her wonderful personality just spoke to me to make them in a way that was not as she had originally envisioned. Like most of us the vision she had of her personality was very different from the one I saw. She sees herself as a plain Jane(sound familiar) and I saw her as a fun individual that was hiding in her classic style. And so The earrings were classic with a fun twist. When I finished I asked timidly what she thought and she was thrilled. She wears them all the time and she also has a great story to go with them.
I also made the piece pictured above last year for a wonderful man who wanted something for his girlfriend. He said she was classic and dressed mostly in dark colors, but after asking many questions about her likes and activities I found out she loved to dance and was very into the outdoors and was a fun loving woman very full of life and the celebration of it. When he asked me to suggest something I had in my stock I found that I couldn't do it. My head kept screaming her piece isn't made yet, and so I went to my box of goodies and found what I hoped would come together in a lively yet classy way for this man's beautiful lady. When I sent him the pictured he was thrilled and when she received it she loved it. Not only was it special because he gave it to her but he helped me design it for her by sharing with me all the things he loved about her.
That is what really being a designer is all about. You have to design with your own aesthetic and style, but in the end when it comes together with what the customer loves, and may not see at first, it can be so magic! It is the sight of the real person behind each customer that makes a designer special. Anyone can learn to make earrings, god knows a lot of people have, but it is an artist that makes them memorable and One of a kind.
Be creative and inspired by yourself and others!