Artists find inspiration for their work in so many places. Sometimes we don't even realize that something is inspiring us. I have one inspiration that haunted me for the longest time. Many years ago I was on a Western Caribbean cruise hosted by my TV mentor Carol Duvall. Her TV show was my first introduction to polymer clay. I learned most of my early techniques watching her show. I was awestruck to meet her and so many of her regular guests that were along for the trip.
Anyway...the first stop was Grand Cayman and the day was overcast so we just 'cruised' the 'cruise line shops'. It was in the Baccarat Shop where I was struck. Of all the wonderful crystal things there this simple necklace engaged my eye. It was styled much better than this image and what I loved was the way the blossoms seemed to float around the neck.
I sketched it in my journal and began to dream about how to design it in polymer. But other things took priority and I forgot about it. A few years later I was skimming through the journal looking for ideas and I landed on this page and became entranced again.
The flowers were the easy part. The hard part was how to construct the necklace to achieve that feeling of flowers floating around the neck without them flopping forward or all coming together in the middle. I made some flowers and played with a few ideas, gave up, and forgot about it again.
A couple of years ago I found myself making flowers with my leftover bits and pieces of clay. I had no idea how I was going to use them, but I was making them anyway. Last year I carried them with me to my annual clay retreat. I didn't really know what I would do with them, but carried them nonetheless. As usual, I had brought a bunch of bead related magazines along for the ride down. I saw this piece in Bead & Button and suddenly some thing clicked.
So I pulled out my funky flowers and some wire and started twisting.
This piece used large gemstone and wire. I replace the gemstones with flowers and voila!
I got some critiques from my fellow retreat attendees and came home and went at it full speed.
The necklaces have evolved over the past year. I build them over a colored cable neck ring to reduce the labor and to provide a more consistent shape. They don't look anything like the original inspiration; either the crystal or the gemstone version. But that is what inspiration is all about. It starts your mind working towards your interpretation of a theme or idea. And where you end up is your own artistic vision, helped along with a little push from the subconscious.