Wednesday 19 February 2020

Stringing things up, Issues with. Advice gratefully received. . .

Well, having created and constructed a good few interesting pendant focal pieces, in my view anyway, I have been mulling over and wrestling with the problem of how to present them as finished necklaces, if that's not too loose a term.

Wire wrapped copper links and jump rings

Simple chain. . .

I can make pendant things that look great on their own, and that are recognisably my work, but as soon as I try to put them on a string/chain/other, they look kind of wrong and somewhat amateurish in a worrying sort of way. It is occurring to me that the choice of stringing/hanging material is a lot more important than I had previously thought. It might just be that am not used to seeing my work in this way, and that I just need to get used to it, but I don't think it's that simple.

Upcycled wire links and industrial style heavy washers

Simple suede cord, titanium clasp - I think this one might actually work

A necklace is a construction in it's own right, I know that, and admire the work of the many necklace constructors whose work I see online etc, but it's hard to echo what they do in my work. By that I mean that the take away I get from others' work is that the combination of beads/items and string/chain/whatever just looks 'right'. It suits their creative identity/aesthetic. The choice of carrier suits the thing carried if you get me drift. I find it hard to find and nail down that relationship in my work. Sometimes sticking something on a chain might work, sometimes something more complex and visually demanding might work too. The issue is working out, or feeling instinctively which approach suits which pendant/bead/etc.

I have made some small progress I think, in that often my work is quite bold and somewhat eccentric, with industrial overtones ;-). Therefore, the choice of 'string' should echo that. To that end I have made chain links out of bits of the wire grid i like to use, from copper wire, and from upcycled steel wire, basically a short length of wire with a loop at each end, which can join onto one or more others. These work OK, but aren't suitable to go round the back of the neck, for comfort and possible allergic reasons. Therefore a piece of chain, suede cord or suchlike needs to be added. This never seems to look quite right to me.

I think I need to accumulate a larger and wider stock of possible stringing material and try things until something 'works' and is identifiably my creative choice and belongs to my aesthetic.

OK, I could spare myself the grief and just sell the pendants themselves, should anyone want them, (and I have done that quite often) but I see my dilemma as a challenge, something I should be able to surmount. Then of course I will have the issue of actually trying to sell the resulting jewellery, but that is something to be addressed when the time comes ;-)