Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Complicated Simplicity

Have you ever noticed, that the simplest things in life appear more complex, once you look a little closer!  If you haven't, try going for a little stroll, and really examining the world of wonder, beneath your feet. You'll find a surprising array of colours, textures, and shapes, each one more complicated than the next!

The world is full of designs, and design principals, but the one I seem to have adopted lately, is what I like to call, "Complicated Simplicity".  As a fairly informal person, I find myself designing, and reaching for simple jewellery pieces, that consist of multiple elements.  Now that's not to say, that I'm not tempted by other styles, but this just seems to fit my current lifestyle.  Am I allergic to bling, or do I simply find this casual design style, more comfortable?  Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind, because I do love other styles, and a little sparkle is good for the soul!

"Complicated Simplicity" plays a starring role, in my intuitive design process.  I start by buying a few pretties at BeadFX, pull some elements from my stash (either handmade or not), and then perhaps, cutting up something vintage.   The pile on my bead mat gets higher and messier, until my muse jumps to the rescue, and items are eliminated.   Let's call this an audition process, or rather, a beady "cattle call"!

When the pile reaches a manageable size, I start the shell game, of moving items into a pleasing configuration.  I add, subtract, and move things around the bead mat, until I'm satisfied with the results!  Then the construction phase begins!  I admit to being a rabid lover of techniques, so it's not surprising to find multiples of them, showing up in my pieces.  For instance, you could take a handful of paper beads, mix them with a little chain, then add Swarovski Pearls, using stringing (or you could even try wire wrapped loops),  for a one of a kind necklace! Or how about an Intuitive Bead Embroidery piece, combining different sizes and shapes of seed beads, with crystals, pearls, cabochons, stones, family buttons, metal, broken jewellery, left over chain, and perhaps a rusty bottle cap (but not necessarily all in the same piece)?


Limiting colours, simplifies the piece, while adding multiple textures and techniques, adds an interesting level of complexity.  I didn't say that the life of an intuitive designer was easy, did I? I design on the fly, and rarely use a sketchbook!  When I do break out the pencil and paper, it's normally to capture a simple shape.   I sometimes wish that I was more disciplined, but I suspect that my creativity might suffer, if I tried to restrict my free and easy style.

I love beads, and I love techniques!   I try to keep my work fairly simple, but my intuitive nature, has been known to bury me in an avalanche of ideas.   Not necessarily a bad thing, but it can, and does, complicate my designing life!  Who needs sleep, anyway?  Does anyone want to share my pain?

3 comments:

Gail Speers said...

Whwer's the Like button? Fun post, I like your description of your process. Mines similar except I bring everything I might want to use into my living room (in the storage box it is in with a bunch of other stuff), then pull out another storage box, etc. Then I have a hard time putting stuff away! This approach, I'm learning can become overwhelming. But I'll never win tidiest studio award!

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Well Gail. I didn't exactly say that I put things away, did I? In reality, they just get pushed to the side, until I hit an unproductive phase, and am bored enough to put them away. I'll never win that award either. Thanks!

Anne Marie - Toronto said...
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