I am often asked how did you come up with this idea??
My original idea wasn’t to make earrings….in other words I didn’t just wake up one day and say-”I’m going to become an earring designer”. Two worlds of creativity and five years had to pass for it all to come together.
Five years ago- I started playing with laminate- the simple cheap kind you can get at any big box store.( I don’t use the simple cheap stuff anymore;) ) I was slapping laminate on a lot of different things. I was having fun with exploring its properties and how it interacted with what I put it on. I sewed it, glued it, mutilated it with heat. I cut it into a lot of different shapes. I laminated little pictures copyright free images. Then I had a what if ! moment. I liked to wear pins or as they used to say in the olden days -brooches. I came up with a fabric base pin that I adhered the little laminated picture to–THEN WHAT–the idea never went any further–there were toooooo many issues of stability and construction. I put it away. My main concern for letting the idea rest was to check the longevity and stability of the laminate to what ever base I had adhered it too. What would happen over a period of time. Over the five years – I would pull it out of the bag and check it out – then put it back where I found it.
You may have read in the “about section” that I painted ornaments for Cracker Barrel- that adventure made me think about “making things” in a different light. After that run, I seldom could sit down and think of doing just one of something. If I came up with a cool creative idea–I couldn’t think of just making one and being happy with that. NO, I had to think about making a couple dozen at least. I really wasn’t searching and yearning for the next big idea–I just couldn’t turn that part of my brain off. ( that’s what painting 60,000 of something can do to you).
Computer and Cameras started playing a big part of my life. I loved seeing what combining the two could do in my creative world. I loved taking the world of painting and quilting into that virtual digital world. Exploring the possibilities and pushing my self to convert those real world properties of paint and my color study classeswith my love for graphic design. The best part was it didn’t take up space and there wasn’t any mess.
What does all this have to do with an earring- everything- without any of those steps along the path it probably wouldn’t have happened. In October of 2010 I decided I wanted to do custom work for people to embed their cameo pictures digitally into a graphically designed mat offering them 8 by 10’s. I set up shop and had 4 customers- and found out quickly this wouldn’t work- the way I saw it…..So one Saturday in the studio-I took out that bag of laminated stuff- and the what-ifs began again. What if I shrink MY own images to pretty small and thus followed four more months of creating thousands of images and exploring lamination of all kinds. Prototypes were created and tested by friends and family- suggestions were made. The process evolved and was fine tuned along with the durability of the end product. The little voice in my head took me down that road again of production. Could I, would I want to, would it be fun- would I still love it in a year- how would the big world out there accept the combination of paper and plastic in the world of wearable art? Yes, Yes,Yes, Yes and it has been a huge yes by the consumer too.
I sent a gift of earrings (about 30 pairs) to a long time friend back in August 2010- and as they say the rest is history. The friend was Ami Simms. She now carries them on her website and I played with some of her designs to make them into earrings, too. I also worked with the Alzheimer Art Quilt Initiative replicating the World Series celebrity quilts into earrings and raising money for this wonderful cause along the way. The Alzheimer Art Quilt Initiative World Series Earrings were only available for a limited time.
So now you know the “rest of the story or at least how the story began.
So when someone asks me how long does it take to make one pair of earrings? It took over 5 years to make the first pair. The rest I have picked up speed on.
I share this with you- not so much for you to copy the process- but for you to see my creative process involved.
If you are an artist reading this you have your own creative process. Take the time to evaluate how you work. The environment you work in- mentally and physically. Is it working for you or against you. Is one of your goals to sell what you make? How does this factor into your creative process mentally and physically. Imagine your success, but imagine the work that comes with it.- Imagine also there will be forks in your road that you will have to choose which path. We all only have the same amount of time in our day. Our journeys are along a path we navigate. There will be speed bumps, and dead ends along this path. Enjoy the journey. Learn from the speed bumps and dead ends. Press on–for if it is in your DNA to be creative–fighting it will be the wrong way to travel.
For the non-artist reading this- you’ve peeked inside the head of that ultra light earring lady- thanks for stopping by-and hope you’re enjoying your journey.
Remember, the gold is in the rainbow not at the end of it.