Talk to the Beads!

Design Inspiration - or Madness?

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I’m often asked how I come up with my funky, chunky, fabulously hip jewelry designs. Well, in a sentence, the answer is: I talk to the beads.

That’s right. I talk to them. Some may call it prayer. Some may call it meditation. Some may call it crazy! But the simple act of considering what I want to work with and posing the question, “What do you want to become?” really gets my creative juices flowing.

Of course, any conversation has two sides. So once I ask, I listen for their reply. And that’s when things get interesting!

If I had to describe my creative process, it would go basically like this:

  1. Choose the medium I feel is calling to me at the moment. Sterling silver wrapped copper? Jade? Hand blown glass? Freshwater pearl? Something is going to catch my imagination and that’s where I begin.

  2. This is where I talk to the beads. And Listen to what they say to me. I allow them to guide me to a specific starting point and from there, I build upon the inspiration it provides.

  3. Once I land upon that first element, I carefully consider its qualities: What do I love about this bead? How can I use it in a unique way that will highlight its beauty?

  4. Next, I survey my extensive collection of beads in my studio for complementary elements, with an eye toward what makes them go together so well. In time I will see a theme emerge; that’s my “forget to breathe” a-ha moment that makes me love what I do SO much!

  5. At this point when I’m satisfied with the progress but am unsure about what comes next, I’ll step away for a little while.

  6. When I return, I do so with fresh eyes and a belief that serendipity will strike and the elements will fall together like magic through my hands.

And that’s it - that’s how my creative process works to come up with my unique jewelry designs!

Watch the “Birth of a Pendant” in this video from the bobbi kahn design studio.