Pages

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Working Through the Rough Spots

Hello. We are very happy to introduce you to a new guest contributor today. Her work is fresh and alive, and shows her passion for color & texture. She designs beautiful earrings, and I'll just let you see for yourself her wonderful style. Many of you likely know her and her work. Introducing the lovely, talented, delightful Meridy Migchelbrink, of Two Trees Studio

It’s kind of amazing what you can do with simple glass, copper, and fiber, isn’t it?  But it isn’t always easy to know what to DO with those simple but beautiful elements. 

Don’t get me wrong—I’ve had many “It almost designed itself!” moments, when a design comes together so easily that it feels like magic.  But I’m sure I’m not alone in admitting that I often buy jewelry components because I fall in love with them, even when I’m not sure exactly what to design with them once I have them in my hands.  
 
Case in point:  I’d had these gorgeous rustic verdigris copper daggers by Shannon German of MissFickleMedia  for months before I finally figured out what to do with them.  I mulled over ideas from time to time, trying out different beads and different concepts, but nothing sparked my imagination, at least not to my satisfaction, and I kept putting the daggers away for “later,” always later. 

When I was asked to write a guest post here at Earrings Everyday, I was happy to do it even though I’ve been going through a rough time personally for the last couple of weeks.  I knew it would be a good chance to explore the experience of pushing through the “rough spots” we all run into from time to time…and give me extra incentive to finally make the earrings I’d only been flirting with!  J

So finally I knew I just had to sit down, focus, and brainstorm.  I took out the verdigris daggers, my trusty fountain pen, and my journal and started writing down words that came to mind as I studied the daggers:  teal, green, forest, tribal, lush, textured, organic, stately, hammered, rustic, fiber, beads...and then:  guardian and sentinel.  I wasn’t sure where the words “sentinel” and “guardian” came from, exactly, but it was those words that got me to the heart of the design, the place that goes beyond form and color and medium.   

I went straight to my little stash of Helen Chalmers',  HelenJewellry, lampwork discs and pulled out the deep forest green ones, found a set of small streaky petroleum green rondelles in my store of lampie spacers, and then added a set of hammered copper spacers to my work mat, and I was off. 

Fortunately I had plenty of rustic Czech glass seed beads in the right sizes and colors and a good hoard of Irish waxed linen cord to make these earrings in the style I most love to play with.Three wraps of beads and square-knotted forest green cording later, and the earrings were finished, with only the handmade-paper backings to apply.  

It really IS amazing what you can do with simple glass, copper, and fiber (insert your favorite media here), in so many different and beautiful ways.  And it’s an endless amount of fun too.  Thanks so much for letting me share your very welcoming space here at EE, everyone!

Meridy Migchelbrink

25 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your brainstorming process - it's a tip that I will use in the future, I'm sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you kindly, Kathie! I always seem to think better with a pen in my hand (and I'm a fountain pen geek, so that's what I always reach for). <3

      Delete
  2. Meridy, I have to tell you that I laughed out loud when I read "But I'm sure I'm not alone. . . " Truthfully, 99.9% of the elements I purchase do not have a plan. I love them, that's all I know. And I have had pieces sit for years, bringing them out time after time. . . until it clicks. So I totally get that part of it. These earrings are, as is everything you design, beautiful and decidedly you. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your process with us. I suspect that will encourage a lot of designers to pick up the pen and paper more often. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Including ME! I neglected to add. :)

      Delete
    2. It doesn't surprise me a bit that we all buy things that inspire us--the muse takes many shapes, and lots of times it's gorgeous beads or charms. It's funny how sometimes a design will spring fully formed from just one set of components (Jana's ceramics often do that for me!)...and then another time I have to have components because they sing to me but don't whisper a design right away...those sirens! :) And, yes, the pen and paper thing...I'm a fountain pen person...the feel of the nib on the paper wakes up my brain-to-creative-center somehow, so it often helps just to write things down. I don't understand it, but there you are.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing your process. I am going to try that. I do it mentally, but perhaps writing it down will work even better. I am confused by what you mean by "with only the handmade-paper backings to apply." What are you using paper for? The earrings are wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kathy! I debated whether to add a photo of the backs of the earrings, but now I wish I had. :) Earrings made like this (constructed with waxed linen cord instead of wire) always have cord ends that need to be neatly covered, so I always make "backs" for the backs of the components that I glue on and then glaze (I use Minwax Polycrylic, painted on with a little brush--makes them look quite professional). I used forest green handmade paper for this pair.

      Delete
    2. I too loved your account of your process. I brainstorm with my pen for so many things, but I forget to use this method with my jewelry! I too would love to see your backings...that line sounds like a solution to me! Thanks for sharing and I love this pair!

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much, Carla! As I was telling Norbel, above, I'm a fountain pen person and the feel of the nib on paper activates something in my brain's creative center (or maybe it's the hand-eye-brain connection?), and somewhere along the way I found that it helped me with jewelry creative work as well as writing and composing. The backings are pretty simple--I just cut pieces out of paper to match the shape of what I want covered (in the case of these earrings, the triangle shape of course), trim to fit, then glue over the messy fiber ends. The handmade paper is great because it's sturdy but not stiff (and it's also pretty). Construction paper also works, but since it's stiff it has to be moistened on the outer, unglued side.

      Delete
  4. OH I'm so with you and Norbel on the buying side of beads, grin. Nope, no plan at all for my ever growing stash of bead beauties LOL.
    You made such beautiful earrings with your hoarded daggers Meridy. In your signature style I love so much. Very interesting read about your design process as well. Perhaps I will give it a try when my muse decides to take a holiday.
    I'm so sorry to read you are going through a rough period. I hope things will settle down for you soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Janine. You're very kind, and I appreciate that very, very much. <3

      Delete
  5. You remind me so much of my own designing process which can be walking in circles for days around some components I love but haven't yet figured out what to do with...until the right word or imagine flashes, and then I'm off like a thoroughbred! I love your notion of "rough spots." For me, it feels like I'm gestating (something) but don't yet know when or how or who will emerge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds so familiar, Mer! "Walking in circles for days" really conveys it! Ha! And at the flash of the right image things fall into place. So it often is for me too. I love the process, rough spots and all. xoxo

      Delete
  6. Hee, hee, hee. You describe the creative process well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, dear one. I left out the parts where I was tearing my hair out, but people who make things already know about THAT. :) <3

      Delete
  7. So lovely to have you here my friend! I love your work and it's nice to hear some of your process. These are beautiful Earrings! I was surprised when you mentioned paper as well, very interesting! I'm also going through a very rough patch, let's hope we both get through it very soon!!! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, sweet Kristi! I'm so glad I finally took the plunge and wrote a post here--it was fun! I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through a rough time right now too--sending you hugs and love always, my friend. Here's hoping things are looking up for us SOON! <3 <3 <3

      Delete
  8. It was a treat that this lovely article popped up serendipitously on my screen this morning, so LOVELY to read your words along with your ever-beautiful work, Meridy. I could almost imagine sitting in your studio cross legged, cradling a mug of tea, chatting with you about your creative process while watching you work! This was the next best thing :) Thank you for being candid about the fact that we don't always make the pretty things during the pretty times in our lives - sometimes, just the opposite. Hugs to you. xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for sharing your process and working through your muse. These are a sure hit. I don't think I have ever planned out pieces in advance and yes, i just buy components that I fall in love with before I have any idea of what I'm going to do with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Kim!! I don't think I've ever planned out pieces in advance either--I have to have SOMEthing that strikes me first and then I go from there. Sometimes I do know what I might do with them when I buy them, but most of the time it's pretty nebulous, and fairly often I have no idea at all. :)

      Delete
  10. Lovely article Meridy! Gorgeous Earrings too! Really enjoyed your explanation of how you work up a design including the explanation of adding a paper backing to the earrings to "groom" the loose bits!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely article Meridy! Gorgeous Earrings too! Really enjoyed your explanation of how you work up a design including the explanation of adding a paper backing to the earrings to "groom" the loose bits!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Glad to see you posting here. I love your work, and it's fun to hear more about it. I'm fascinated by how you described finishing off the back with sealed paper! That is one thing I'm dissatisfied with in my jewelry - how to finish off connections in a professional looking way. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Welcome Meridy! I adore your work and am so glad that you've joined Earrings Everyday! I love the way you've wrapped the waxed linen on the "shoulder" of these components (& many others you have done). It is completely original and sort of like a trademark Meridy accent.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Stunning earrings Meridy ❤️❤️❤️

    ReplyDelete