14 May 2009

Morsels of Inspiration: Playing with my Food

After my happy accident this morning, I had gypsy setting on my mind.  (Or flush setting, or whatever you might choose to call it.)  Unlike the additive process of building a bezel, gypsy settings actually involve carving one out, so that small stones can sit flush with the surface of the metal.  This makes them more of an accent than a focal point, and when done in clusters or in groups, they can really heighten the drama of a piece of jewelry, making it dynamic and oh-so-yummy.

I wasn't really sure what this morning's little impromptu exercise would lead to, until later on when I was snacking on some of those fabulous buttery crackers.  You know the kind I'm referring to.  Though in this blog they shall remain nameless, they were the pretty little oval ones with the scalloped edges and salt crystals that sparkle like the coarse sugar granules on your grandmother's best cookies.  They also have that small symmetrical pattern of pinholes gracing the tops of them, each hole punctuating the bottom of a small concavity.  (I know, I know, I pay WAY too much attention to what I eat.)

About two-thirds of the way through my plate, I had the hair-brained idea to pop some cubic zirconia stones into these little spaces.  Just for "fun."  Just to see what it would look like if you could gypsy set a cracker.  I mean, geez, that's what the little cavities look like they were MADE for!  What else would you do with them?  

The Result:
Silly, isn't it?

But what if the cracker was a thick slice of silver, with scalloped edges and a soft finish.  What if a chain hung from either side, or a clever pin-catch hid on the back?

What then?

(Try, if you can, to get past the fact that this is a CRACKER.  Just see it for the form and shape that it is.  For the record, I do realize my analogies are a little odd. However.  They are also delicious.  Hehe.)

Suppose the cracker shape was more than the whole design, but just a single element in a greater peice.  Or that the shape was repeated over and over, linked together to form a chain, or hinged to form a chunky bracelet, or anchored to an equally scalloped and gypsy set ring band?

What then?

Or, suppose it was jewelry you wanted to eat, it looked so scrumptious.  I remember one of my professors in school saying that she knew she loved a gemstone when she actually wanted to take a bite out of it.  (Maybe it's just us southern girls who relate anything we love to food.)

Even as I was snapping these photographs, I had to notice the juxtaposition here.  Crackers aren't really a luxury food, you know?  They're more a versatile staple food, ready for snacking or casual dinner parties, maybe dressed up with some herbed cheese or creamy spread, but in and of themselves, they're not so very glamorous are they?  But put them on a plate of faceted stones that look a lot like diamonds, and it's perhaps the fanciest batch of crackers ever served.

My point with all of this is how easy it is to SEE something in a different way, if you're just willing to LOOK at it in a different way.  This is something I need to be reminded of often.   No, I didn't go into this silly little experiment thinking that it would be a good exercise in perception.  That just sort of happened.  

But there is something interesting about the notion of eating a plateful of crackers and diamonds.  Like everything is expendable and nothing is irreplacable.  (Of course we don't live in that kind of world.)  But it would be nice, I think, for me to approach making jewelry just ONCE as if we DID live in that kind world.  To use however much silver I wanted without worrying about the price ending up too high for someone to buy it, to use whatever and however many stones I wanted without wondering if it would price me out of the market, to take my time and sit at the bench for hours or DAYS on a single item of jewlery, without worrying about all the other things I have to do or the exorbitant cost of labor.   To be as creative as I can, and as care-free as I can.   To be bold.  And to be brave.  

To have that sort of freedom.

And really, whose to say I don't?  

I suppose the only person who's been limiting me is me.  

What if I stopped doing that now?

. . . what then?

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