adaptive reuse Mini Collection 2016 — Harmonics

I’ve been making jewelry from upcycled tins for something like a dozen years. At no point in all that time did I even consider working on a “line” of jewelry. A collection of pieces created around a theme and released into the world en masse? Ah, no. My process is a mixture of material exploration, craftsmanship and boredom. That doesn’t really lend itself to a lot of planning and consistency.

So what inspired this first ever thematic line? Who knows. Inspiration is such a finicky thing. It happens at some level all the time, but the exact thing that makes someone decide to try something new, that’s really hard to pinpoint. I know for sure that a snippet of one of those “how to improve your online business” videos got me thinking about introducing a line of work. I don’t at all remember how I settled on the theme of waves and harmonics. It’s possible our new, more water-centric life, but the waves I was actually thinking about were the invisible electromagnetic sorts. Most likely I saw some image like this on Facebook or Pinterest and that probably started it all.adaptive reuse wave earringsI do know that ordering a new tool was at least partly responsible. I’ve been eyeing this guy for a while, but I wasn’t sure it would be strong enough to actually corrugate the tin. I was ordering other findings and finally just decided to try it out and see. I could always use it for it’s original intention—to squeeze the last little bits of paints from their tubes. When I got it, I found out that not only does it do a great job making wavy tin, listen to this:

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And yes, different shapes of tin make different music. So, given all this, Harmonics seemed like the appropriate word to encapsulate it all.

Regardless of the inspiration, it has been an interesting exercise to make pieces that fit a theme. It required me to approach my process from an entirely different tack and that really sparked some interesting new ideas. In fact, I just walked back out to the shop at 10 last night to try out two ideas that came to me while I was searching for the above diagram. One I think might really work and the other, yeah, not so much.

For me, that’s actually the most exciting part of making—the mistakes—the experimenting and playing with new ideas. My work space gets littered with half-formed, inadequate, ill-conceived, and just downright bad ideas, but it’s only by making all the mistakes that you learn how to make the good stuff. There are disappointments though. I had to scrap my favorite wavy design because I just couldn’t make the material work for the idea. As with many past problematic designs, I will throw this in my Bin-O-Blunders. I pull this bin out now and then to revisit ideas and often find I’ve learned more or found a new tool or technique that allows me to put old ideas into production.

Anyway, that’s a long backstory. Here are the new pieces coupled with a graphic that shows a bit of the inspiration. Some of you may recognize a couple older designs in the mix. Apparently I was doing wavy things before I realized it was a thing!

adaptive reuse Harmonics Collection--Gamma Wheel Earrings adaptive reuse Harmonics Collection--Gamma Column Earrings adaptive reuse Harmonics Collection--Standing Wave Earrings adaptive reuse Harmonics Collection--Double Radio Earringsadaptive reuse Harmonics Collection--Retro Saucers Earringsadaptive reuse Harmonics Collection--First Interval Earringsadaptive reuse Harmonics Collection--Fifth Interval EarringsSo there it is. My favorite part of this little Harmonics collection is that all of the pieces are kinetic and most are a bit musical when you wear them. Head on over to my Etsy shop to see all the variations on the theme.