A while back I was talking to a friend – an artist and a graphic designer who is a guest lecturer in my department and we were looking a series of drawings that he was working on. He then told me that out of 35-40 images that he had drawn so far he found 5 to be good. Frankly, I had found all of them to be beautiful.
That remark has stayed in my mind ever since, that how as artists and designers we have to work on, evolve and many a times reject an idea before we can create something that is worthy of being, just created. It is true the outside world only sees the fabulous finished products which would be only 50% of the our actual trials and perhaps imagine us to be extremely creative masterminds who can churn out workable and wonderful ideas but the minute. Only us and maybe our family members, see the hundreds of trials, UFOs and experiments that we create in the process.
Let me recount a tale of the evolution of necklace that I remade 4 times (attempted to make atleast 15 – 20 times) before it has reached its final avatar.
It all started when I got a strand of Lapis Lazuli and Tiger eye beads and wanted to loop them to together into a necklace. It remained as a simple looped bead – tassel necklace for a couple of months adorning the statue of my favourite God, Narasimha. I never got around to taking a picture of it as I thought I would take one before/while wearing it.
I never got to wear it! nor did I sell it!!
Then the Stringing jewelry guidelines for Winter 2017 were out and one of the stories was Earth Form which required us to create a necklace inspired by nature’s four elements: water, earth, air, and fire. We had to use colors like gray blue, yellow ochre and mineral blue and rough cut gemstones and earthy gemstone beads. My eyes were immediately drawn to this necklace and I proceed to take it apart to create one that would suit this theme.
After many trials and many hours trying to work with the existing and new beads I came up with this design – slightly asymmetrical and with a pop of color just like how editors like it. It was ready to go with the creators note.
I let it be for a few days before I took it apart again. Why? because I thought that I should practice what I teach – there was no unity or harmony in the piece and I knew better than to send it. You see when two of the five principles of design go missing in a design, you shouldn’t wait for somebody else to tell you that it is a bad design. So I went back to my computer and looked at loads of inspiration images and read the given brief more than 20 times when I realised that I had rough cut sapphire connectors with me that I could use. I removed all the tiger eye beads and blue glass briolettes and replaced them frosted glass spacers, faceted clear glass and crystal beads and dyed agate beads. I added some chain as a tassel (as an ode to my first version of the design) and was happy with how it turned out. It was rhythmic, balanced asymmetrically, fluid and had movement in it, had a focal point of emphasis and had come together as one design despite all the different colors, materials, and textures. I quickly sent it to the editor of JS along with 2 other designs (for other themes) feeling quite pleased with myself.
I was sure that it would get selected – but it didn’t, while another design was selected for the Winter wonderland theme. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed that after so many trials I couldn’t make a piece that got an editor’s approval. So I literally chucked it to the bottom of my bead bag feeling bitter, as I knew that with the expensive sapphire connectors I could never sell it in India.
You see, I was just coming off a publishing high, two of my designs had been published in the Jewelry stringing Summer issue after years of trying and I wanted to continue riding the high tide for as long as I could. But every good thing has to eventually come to its end. It is a pity, that magazines like Stringing jewelry, create jewelry (before 101 BNE) and Step by Step wire jewelry have now been scrapped. So much for my enthu!
Then as I was working on my Festive 2016 collection, I was playing around with old/ leftover materials from another pendant and somehow suddenly made one with an image of Sakuntala (image create during my Chithiram collection in 2012). After a dash of resin, I felt that it looked really great and thought that my blue – yellow necklace would work well with it. That is how the Lapis – Tiger eye tassel necklace came to be the Forlorn sakuntala necklace.
Hopefully, the blue, yellow and gray beads will live together happily ever after under the care of a proud new owner.
I hope you found it interesting