Design Inspiration: Playing with Materials

Design Inspiration:  Playing with Materials

One of my most common questions is where do I get my design ideas.

I talked about architecture as inspiration here.

And today we’re talking about materials.


Gemstone Chips

Often we are inspired by nature or other outside sources.  Sometimes it’s how we’re feeling or a situation we’re dealing with.  And other times it’s the materials themselves.

Bead and Wire Bracelet

Yesterday I spent some creative time just playing around with materials.  I went through my beads and found some that I liked.

Then I started making shapes with wire (I call this doodling with wire in my eCourse, Rediscover Your Creativity and Make Jewelry, for which I created a step-by-step tutorial for this project.)  I didn’t pre-plan it, I just had my different pliers available and started shaping the wire.

In this case, I made tons of loops, but who knows what I will make next time!

Then I mixed a couple of techniques.  I used two strands of beads using stringing and made some wire wrapped bead links.  I also made the clasp.

Then I put everything together.

Bead and wire bracelet

How to be Inspired by Materials and Create Designs:

  • Instead of planning ahead of time, just pick out some materials you might like to work with.
  • What different techniques are you familiar with that you’d like to try together?  Maybe two or three techniques you wouldn’t normally combine.
  • Allow yourself to try different things with your materials.  If you’re using wire, try doing some free form shapes.
  • Don’t worry about the outcome.  The worst thing that could happen is that you take it back apart and make something different.

So get out your tools and some beads and wire or whatever else you might want to try and just play without worrying about the outcome.  You could even set a timer and see what happens.


Wire Wrapping for Beginners

Want to start working with wire, but you’re not sure where to start?  Start with Wire Wrapping for Beginners!  Click here to learn more about this eBook or print book and start making stunning, sturdy jewelry while making amazing projects!

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