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Behind The ScenesJewelleryProject Wabi Sabi

Linen Earrings

By July 2, 2018September 12th, 2018No Comments
Month four outcome -

Linen Earrings:

For those following me on social media, you will know that June was my month of making linen jewellery. Though I’ve played with most fabrics and materials over the years, linen was something that had slipped my grasp.

Month four was a celebration of linen because this is the material that marks the fourth wedding anniversary.  So each month for the rest of the year, I will be selecting the next material in line. Each marks the next sentimental anniversary gift.

My plan this year is to mark months 1-10 in celebration of my ten years in business.

Linen earrings recommended makers

During June I also recommended some brilliant makers who create pieces made in linen, see more here. I interviewed consultant and textiles designer Kirsty Anne Powell, see more here. Finally, I made a pair of NEW linen earrings and this is what I wanted to talk about further in this blog post.

Designing in linen

Being led by the material itself …

For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you’ll remember that at the culmination of my last #ProjectWabiSabi outcome, I was guided by a theme of preciousness. This is a theme that has often reoccured in my work over the years and is very much behind the soul of the keepsake commissions I undertake also.

Other inspirations when creating concepts for jewellery, sometimes come from simply being led by the materials themselves. Through play, I like to see in its most basic form, how it can be manipulated. Whilst creating my linen earrings, this was how I went about creating the final outcome. This is also why I’m always keen to understand how other designers connect with the materials themselves, you’ll see more of this in the designer interviews I have undertaken as part of an accompanying blog series.

Linen earrings made with thread

Work in progress…

At the beginning of June, I was pretty sure I knew what I wanted to make. I thought this was going to be an easy month! I’d had an idea that I wanted to pursue that had been in my head for some time and thought it would make a lovely pair of stud earrings (something which I feel my collection has missed up until now). However after a little research I realised my idea already existed. Now whilst it’s arguably difficult to create completely original and new designs these days, I simply could not ever consciously mimic the design of another designer so I explored other avenues.

Linen earrings work in progress

I began to explore techniques that I’ve played with previously but not created any outcomes with. I tinkered with simple knitting and crocheting techniques, but I found it difficult being so far out of my comfort zone. What I had seen as being a ‘easy’ month became one where I worried whether I would be able to come up with an accomplished finish.

Linen outcome

Problem Solving…
The only way for me to overcome my worries was to practice and trial lots of options, weighing up with overall aesthetic versus the capability of my skill set and then also considering the practicality of the design itself as a wearable piece of jewellery.
I also pushed through my stresses of imperfection by reverting back to my projects’ beginning and the meaning behind it. My focus throughout this year was about working with the sentiment of WabiSabi – to seek beauty in the “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. This didn’t need to be a forever piece of jewellery that I would be judged on until the end of time, it needed to represent now.
It’s easy to critique yourself whilst putting your work out there so openly on the internet but ultimately I keep reminding myself that this is a personal challenge. If people enjoy my work along the way and want to wear it then this is a BIG bonus. Without the love for what I do, my business ceases to exist. In trying to enjoy the process, I hope that I will find a little more fluidity and freedom in what I do. Luckily I got there, a finished piece … on the last day on June!
Linen earrings experimentation

The outcome…

A clean, simple pair of linen earrings. Working with the beautiful linen’s gentle nature in a soft grey colour palette. This English linen thread is crocheted around silver and finished with solid silver post and backs, so perfect for delicate ears. They’re approximately 2cm in diameter which make for a lovely sized ear stud and I’m happy to have a more toned down addition to the last few colourful ones, I’ve made during this project.

Linen earrings crocheted
Linen earrings made by hand
Linen earrings made in the UK

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