Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Thematic Design

I've always envied designers who have a clear coherent style or design ethos. My head is always so full of half formed ideas that I lurch from one thing to another with no clear path or direction. In some ways I love that because I get bored quite  easily and it's that plethora of ideas that keep me inspired. Just recently however I have found I'm using a recurring design element and have created a range of components that do have a clear style

When we did the Spring hare challenge back in March I wanted to include spiral symbolism in my designs somewhere to represent the rebirth and growth of the season. I'm still working with that design and have been developing new versions for the summer...

The spiral patterns in these designs are hand carved and I find this process very calming which is quite interesting when you see this definition of the symbolism of the spiral: 

Spiritually the spiral symbol can represent the path leading from outer consciousness (materialism, external awareness, ego, outward perception) to the inner soul (enlightenment, unseen essence, nirvana, cosmic awareness)".

Shortly after making the hares I was thinking about a new design for an owl component - always popular but mine have been around for a while now. I wanted to try and keep it quite simple and stylised and if possible incorporate the spiral again and this is what I came  up with...

The spirals are not quite as full but the idea is still there.

At this point I wasn't planning to start an ark full of spiral decorated animals but my team mate Caroline suggested I should do a fox and course once she'd sown the seed there was no going back until these little fellows appeared...

Hot on the heels of the foxes came butterflies...

Followed in quick succession by turtles...

At that point a kiln failure brought everything to a halt which might be a good thing as it stops me getting carried away with the idea and doing it to death. That said I am pleased with the way this theme has developed and I do have plans for a couple more pieces but I might keep those for the future as you can have to much of a good thing!

Hopefully the kiln will be repaired shortly so that I can finish these little critters and get them into my shop so they can go out into the world and spread a little more enlightenment.


  1. I love these. It makes the job of a jewelry designer/maker very easy as they can easily put together a coherent collection with these components

  2. You can never have too many spirals. Or, rather, you can never make too many, because I will always be there to buy them. I love the spiral totem animal theme you've got going on and I cannot wait for the shop udpate. Just one suggestion ...lizards. ;)

  3. Wow, Lesley what a wonderful series, I love them all but the butterflies and fabulous! I hope you get your kiln sorted soon, I want to see lizards too :)

  4. That is a great series! Don't stop! I love the butterflies! (..and the owls, foxes, turtles, them!)

  5. I really enjoyed following your thought process in the development of these critters. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I have to agree with everyone. This is a fabulous series. When I get some money, I want the fox and turtle. Hey how about a feline?

  7. How fun! These are all wonderful but that little turtle is just darling... :-)


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