As to how my design process works, sometimes inspiration and ideas come all of a sudden (many times in the middle of the night), and sometimes they come by chance while I'm experimenting with certain materials or techniques.
The hard part is to stay motivated. Motivation is hard to control. Recognition is certainly a boost to my motivation. It might be from running a successful business, from feedback from friends and colleagues, or from getting a piece accepted into a book, gallery, museum, or a special event.
I get frustrated when things don't go as I plan or ideas stop coming. I sometimes get a little panicky thinking I won't get good ideas to keep going. I try to stop and do something else I enjoy doing and enjoy life in general. Visiting museums, looking at art, reading books, enjoying the outdoors helps.
Doing other creative activities also helps. I like to explore and experiment, and be surprised. I like to paint and once in a while do small horse sculptures with soft steel wire. I also love gardening and improvised cooking.
This piece in particular came from experimenting with fold forming. I had bought a book on this technique, and tested many folds and shapes shown in the there. After I was done with the exercises I started to experiment and find my own thing. I usually take a material or technique and think "well, but what if...""what if I do this instead of this", "what would happen if I added this step/fold/shape, etc". And then when I end up with a cool shape I have to design around it to make it wearable (or somewhat wearable). More questions are asked "would this make a good ring?" "how do I present it?", etc.
|Fold Formed Double Blossom Ring by Cynthia Del Giudice
Sterling silver - Fold formed, constructed
This other piece below was made by experimenting with recycled plastic bags. I had read how fusing bags was done, and I tried it, cut it, made a couple of things (I think I made a sturdy re-usable grocery bag), and then again I started with my own questions: "what if...?" "what if I use more heat?" "what if I use less heat?" "what if I...?" Once I was happy with the pieces I was making, I had to think and design how to use them. I have made many pieces of jewelry with this technique, here is a necklace I made for a show, and was latter exhibited at Luke & Eloy Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
|Fused Plastic Necklace by Cynthia Del Giudice
Plastic, sterling silver - Fused recycled plastic bags, Constructed
I made this ring with the same fused plastic pieces. It was recently published in a book of rings edited by Nicolas Estrada, and written in four languages. I can't wait to receive my own copy!
|Fused Plastic Ring by Cynthia Del Giudice
Plastic, Sterling Silver - Fused plastic bags, constructed, riveted