Flora & Sauna / by geraldine kane

Some early sketches and models in copper and brass

Here's a little glimpse into my design process...first of all, I sit for hours drinking tea and thinking about what I'm going to do. From years of studying and teaching Art & Design I know that the best way to work through the design process is to think through making. It's better to always move forward and just see what happens while playing with ideas. This is definitely something I do, but initially, I just can't bring myself to jump straight in (not something I ever told my students). I always find that unless I have formed a clear image in my head of what I want to create, I'm disappointed by the unsuccessful random visual ramblings I produce. Of course, once I start to recreate my idea in 3D/2D, it organically evolves far beyond what I first dreamt up. 

Playing with wax carving

So, recently (actually, for rather a long time) I've been sitting and sitting and sitting, trying to come up with an idea for a new collection. I had jeweller's block, I couldn't visualise anything. Or more accurately, I was just visualising too much and over-thinking everything. 100s of ideas were mentally created and scrapped in an instant. I've been torturing my poor sister, waking her up at 5am with "How about this idea?" messages (the time difference is a killer, soz H!). 

A 3D sketch of a new earring design. The final design will be beautiful shiny silver and gold

In the end, I just stopped thinking so much and just started sketching the kind of designs that I wanted to see and wear, in the hope that our followers and friends would too. In this hot and humid Tokyo summer, I've been craving a little escape from sweaty cramped trains and the whir of air-con. Can you relate over there in Ireland or wherever you are? Well let's see, imagine wearing 2 puffa coats and being squashed into an overcrowded sauna and you may be close! So, you can understand why my mind has been wandering back to the country roads of my village in the Mourne Mountains. Home, with the mountains in front of you and the sea at your back, green at your sides and more fresh air than you could shake a stick at (strange visual!).  So, perhaps now you can see why heather and ferns have made an appearance in my creative play these days. This collection-in-the-making will be a simple, fresh and honest taste of home seen from my tired, city-filled eyes. 

It's true what they say, absence does make the heart grow fonder...but it still doesn't make me miss the cold rain!  ; )

I'll keep you posted about these designs as I develop them and, bear with me, they will be ready to wear soon!

Time now to turn on the air-con so I can enjoy a cup of tea without melting...

G