What inspires?

I posed the question about Signature styles. Where does yours come from… or, if no signature style, What inspires you to create the way you do?
So for me, I don’t have a clearly defined Signature style, in that all my works do not look like they belong in the same family. Sometimes nor do they even look as though created by the same artist.
So; What Inspires?
I chose this ring as a photo for this blog post. It is my newest creation, as well, it is a specific style I love. So I will talk about that, to begin.
I made this ring for myself, so being that, it frees it up into the realm of needing only to please me with it’s design, and style. Nor does it need to perhaps compromise into a style I feel my clients are more likely to purchase. Now on that note, I do mostly follow my inner vision, with not a heck of a lot of thought to ‘sell-a-bility’; but , it is a consideration. The things I like most may be a bit too far into left field for my lovely clients. 🙂
Building this ring for myself was a true treat. I love jewellery. and I love rings. I love making rings. And I also think as an artist, you are you own best advertising. So you wear your own stuff, You make sure they’re fantastic pieces, and you make yourself wonderful gifts you love…..
The elements in this ring I love:
weight. The ring shank is 2.5 to 3+mm thick. So it has weight, feel, substance. You aren’t going to bend it or dent it, or break it. It’s a weapon in it’s own right.
origin. I started by recycling scrap silver, melting it down in to a roughly rectangular shaped piece of metal; in a crude ‘crucible’ made by carving a depression into charcoal soldering blocks.
width. this is a wide ring. it is in fact as wide as humanly possible for the finger it was created for, that i may still comfortably bend my finger. And not a mm less 🙂
finish. I take the roughly shaped ingot, and proceed to hammer the crap out of it, forging it down, until it is a thickness I like. approximately 3mm. I have a small old rough anvil. And what is fondly my ‘Divine Hammer’. The hammer is a small sledge hammer from a hardware store. Small handle, big head, and textured. Not your typical Lovely goldsmithing tool. Why is it Divine? The texture it imparts. It is textured with concentric circles on the faces, and I adore the markings it imparts into the metal. The remainders of the labour put in.
So what so I love? I love rings. I love big, bold heavy rings. I love the feel of the weight on my hand. The substance. The presence.
What makes it my inspired style? All of this, and more. When I create for myself, I go always for a big, bold, heavy ring. Unusual stones. But more so it’s the finish. I love the marks left by the hammer, a big file, sandpaper. It shows spirit, and love, and gives it what I call an ‘Industrial’ feel. It reminds me of times gone past. Makes me think of steel tools, factories, and blacksmitheries of 100 years gone past. I use a dark patina on rings like these to accentuate the markings even more; and to give the silver a gunmetal color. This to me is pleasing. The combination brings shivers of joy. I love the sense that I have combined elements, and time frames. I feel that the overall all feel is that of a relic dug up, created centuries ago, when tooling was crude, and working metal was hard. But yet, also, I think my work often looks futuristic. Modern. Otherworldly. So melding these “feels” into one piece? True inspiration. I love the outcome. looks old, looks like it’s from the future. synergistic winding of the two. Into one small glittering weapon like package, just special, for my finger. 🙂 Love. Sigh. Bliss.
The visions of tooling, in a small way to remind me of my roots. Keeps me grounded to the real aspects of metal. melting to molten, shaping, forging with hammer, creating. This is hard work. The marks remind me of the process. And even the path the metal took to come from the earth to come to my hands to be shaped. And, my blood carries lineage of blacksmiths. Maybe it comes down to that. I like to move metal. hammers and anvils give me shivers. Purposefully placed hammer marks are not a detraction of pieces unfinished, but a pattern to entice the eye and the mind, to unleash creativity…..
That’s my inspiration… and music. 🙂