Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wearable Art vs "The Object"

Most of the "Open Heart" series is finished now, photographed and posted in my Etsy store. And most of them are displayed as precious objects--with props. Apples, rocks, a white background. I realized as I stepped back that my descriptions were quite objectified, too.
And is was a conscious decision to choose, for the main image, from these object-type photos. I described references to calligraphy, to playful textures, to interesting uses of fasteners and stones. But after I finished posting number X, I thought, "Wait a minute...the whole point of these is to be worn!" and that was really driven home for me when I delivered number IV to my friend Denise, who had purchased it earlier in the day.

She promptly opened the box and put in right on. I was sitting across the table...and I couldn't believe how good that piece looked on her! No, really, I was pleasantly surprised because I just don't get to see my pieces on other people very often. It helped that she was wearing a wonderful purple sweater that served as a great foil for the patinae on the silver. In this context, the gesture, the shape of the piece was nicely emphasized.

At any rate, later, it got me thinking about the "wearing" of these pieces versus the "object" status I had chosen for display. I put together this collage in order to sort of step back, and consider how these, well, wear. I can see that some are more successful than others where the marriage of form AND function is considered.

Although there are still a few more to finish so this series is complete, I am happy to realize this has been a terrific learning experience.

On a different note, as I'm brainstorming here. I've gotten a couple of "custom orders" the past couple of days, which I think of as wonderful design challenges. A chance to take a set of parameters and see what I can do within these. All the while, hoping to please the other person, the customer. Let's be honest--we all like to be liked, and I confess it's sometimes true about my work. It helps a lot to know where to begin when the conversation includes "...something like that one...and I like......"
But I digress. In both cases, the pieces ordered feature stone focal points and I was rooting about in the studio, realizing I have quite a collection going here of larger "rocks." I wonder if there would be a way to offer some kind of "design your own" neck ware, with the customer choosing from the various focal points and then my putting this together with assorted ways I can work in silver, chain, linen or leather? Hmmmm.....


Carey Lynn said...

I think viewing the piece in context is perfect! makes me think about how Im setting up my photo and how I describe it.

Bev said...

I've only been creating jewelry for a little over a year, but think your idea having customers pick from an aray of focal points would put you out in front...I think you have something there!!!! your items...I adore your series of open hearts!!!


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