I have been working every possible moment I have in my studio these days preparing for the fall shows. I have a trunk show in October and The Best of Missouri Hands show in November (more details to follow). So I need a lot of beautiful things to sell, especially jewelry (as opposed to Judaica).
What inspires me? Well, my approach to designing jewelry in very different than Judaica. For jewelry, I have to go back to my roots.
First, I research. I look at everything! I see what the metal clay artists are up to. Most of this research is on the web. I look at artists I admire and also those I don't. I want to see what everyone is excited about creating. I get ideas about trends in style as well as technique. Maybe a new way to add a bail to a pendent. Of course, I never copy, but use my own style to interpret the technique. I always take a look at my old metal clay technique books too. Sometimes something old looks new again. That's also why I go through my old sketch books. I interpreted my old wire wrapped designs into metal clay!
Now it's time to research the fashion trends. I was a knitwear and sportswear designer for years so I am very interested in fashion. I'd like to think my jewelry is timeless design, but I can't help to make designs that relate to whats in. It's just fun for me. So I look at sportswear, couture as well as accessory and jewelry trends. My favorite places for high end jewelry designs, Barneys New York! For real trendy, young jewelry you have to check out Urban Outfitters, (of course it may fall apart by the time you get home). Ideas can come for high and low end, so I look everywhere.
Finally, I always take some time to design for me. It may sound silly, but some of my best sellers have come from this approach. I just bought a new dress for the Jewish holidays. It's a solid purple Susan Monaco, from my favorite boutique in town Essential Elements. The dress is understated, so its perfect for jewelry. I designed these link chandeliers to wear with it. I think that a necklace with the earrings would be way too much, but lots of chunky silver link bracelets will look great! Stay tuned for these to show up in my fall collection.
Well, I better get back to the studio, I have a lot of work to do.