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Creative Exploration

I use what if to list the possibilities and force me to think differently. The result is a rush of recognition. Creativity expands and my sense of joy expounds.

What if I played with pearls?

What if I created a series?

What if I added elements of sterling silver?

What if my handmade chain was a part of the finished product?

Each what if question opens another door. New possibilities come to light. Intentions crystalize on a never-before-traveled pathway.

If I’m between projects, or if I’ve been absent from the studio for a while, my what if exercise serves me well to prime the creative flow.

One-of-a-kind jewelry lends itself to reflection. Handmade chain is a mindful experience as each link is cut, soldered, shaped and placed into the whole. My work is an expression of what shows up on my workbench on any given hour.

Pearls are listed as a possibility in my studio notebook which is by my side. I accessed it early this morning, doodling as I sipped my breakfast shake. I move a box of pearls to the forefront. In addition to half-drilled round, cream-colored pearls, I lift a string of freshwater baroque pearls purchased at the Tuscon Gem Show and consider possibilities. 

What if I used a baroque pearl as the central element on a bracelet? What if I played up its irregularities? What if I wrapped each pearl in wire and contrasted the smoothness with curved metal? Or, what if I allowed the pearl to name what it might like? (For instance, beaded flowers on a red brass square inspired Once Upon a Flower Moon.)

Generally speaking, I play with designs allowing a light sketch in the studio notebook to lend precision to my thoughts. So begins the wonderfully odd pearl trio. A square of sterling with prongs accommodates my half-drilled pearls. I drape sterling chain from one open corner to the other, emphasizing the missing quarter element, then dip it in the patina. Perfect, I breathe.

The beauty of matte black sterling silver against gleaming freshwater pearls is breathtaking.

What if I enjoyed the experimentation and allowed my pearls to be the main attraction?

How do you play with your own creative possibilities? Have you used what if? I would love to hear about your experience/results/joy.

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