Friday, 2 March 2012
A garden running riot
This is a bracelet I made for my youngest sister. She is a real nature-lover and cares passionately about conservation and sustainability.
In her bracelet I attempted to reflect this, using warm pinks set against a background of different shades of greens with occasional splashes of red - like the bead at the bottom of the dangle, which is a red Czech glass heart bead. Frustratingly, the copper wire I originally chose to make this bracelet turned out to be too thick for some of the beads, so I used beading wire for stringing the beads and antiqued copper for the charm and clasp.
I was thinking about the richness of nature when I made this - but did I over-egg the pudding? Should I have restricted myself to just one shade of green or just one shade of pink? I hope that the wild profusion of colour is balanced out by the overall symmetry of the design: I was originally aiming for a beautiful garden more than for an unkempt wilderness, but I'm not sure whether this was entirely successful.
I guess the trick is to work with nature rather than attempt to suppress it.
On the plane trip over here, in an attempt to come to grips with the current political Zeitgeist, I read a book which Wikipedia tells me was "recommended" by David Cameron as essential reading for the entire Cabinet. The author, David Brooks, is a columnist and political commentator by trade, and clearly has his own angle on the world (much of which I don't necessarily agree with). He does however have a punchy, clear style of writing and alludes to peer-reviewed literature to support his arguments. I use the word "alludes" because he doesn't critically appraise this literature, but he does at least provide full references.
I discovered when I was starting out in watercolour painting that the main danger is in over-working a picture, and that the most important skill (once you've mastered the basic techniques) is knowing when to stop. In jewellery-making, similarly, it seems to me that it is important to guard against over-thinking and over-elaborating. According to David Brooks, the unconscious part of our minds, the part we have inherited from billennia of evolution, provides the essential contextual information which the conscious part of the mind relies upon to make its decisions. Which would explain why I feel that these things I make somehow say something about me and my life, and that each carries a message that can't be expressed in words.