Thursday, June 30, 2011

Creating with Intent

Just got the latest issue of Nat'l Geo, with the cover all about Cleopatra. The image focused on an amazing gold and pearl earring that belonged to her. A golden snake coiled around huge white pearls. Breathtaking. In reading the article, you discover the intent behind the design. Snakes represent long life and prosperity, and were featured in countless jewelry designs from bracelets to necklaces to clothing.

This got me thinking about the history of human adornment, and how every culture in the world historically created art and jewelry with "intent", meaning behind the design that goes far beyond simple beauty. I think that is fascinating, and have always tried to incorporate a message or meaning in my work. Some of my designs are inspired by, or inspire themselves, a short story or poem. I'm partial to Native American folklore and often incorporate elements of that into my designs and writing. No matter what I create, I find that each design began as something more--an intrepretation of a greater idea or inspiration.

Susan Lenart Kazmer always encourages us to "create with intent". To make concious decisions with each step of artistic design. Every curve of wire, every bead or stone placement, the choice of metal or material, every hammer strike, should mean something--should be meaningful--even if it is only to you, the designer.  I agree, and find that being concious of this--of opening yourself up to explore meaning behind design and creativity--inspires greater creativity and originality.  Each design is a bit of my imagination come to life, made material.

I am inspired by nature, and try to reflect that in everything I make.  I believe I impart a message in every design, and hope the person who ultimately makes that design their own can see or "feel" my intent.  This way of thinking has made me a better artist, and I hope a better person as well...Isn't it amazing what personal expression can do for the individual and the group?? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, and how you express your intent or message in your work.  Please feel free to share here...THANKS!

This ring was made with spectacular varacasite from Out of Our Mines.  I chose it because it made me think of the Earth, with rivers and valleys in the marbeling of the stone.  It feels like magic to me...