Monday, April 23, 2012

Why Historical Inspiration?

Everywhere around us you see either sleek, modern designs with clean lines and no frills or ultra-traditional department store jewellery, so why do I go back and seek inspiration through historical designs?  Because, to me, there is no beauty left in today's designs.

When you go into just about any department store or major chain jewellery stores, just about everything looks the same.  It's all mass produced, and it seems like all the designs look very much alike with almost no difference.  So why would I want to make something that looks like what everyone else has?

Many of these stores seem to think that the beauty of jewellery is all about how many stones (especially diamonds) you can put in a single piece.  But just as with any art form it's not simply about the materials, you may have the greatest of materials but if the composition is lacking then the whole piece fails.  The way a piece is composed/designed is more important than what kind of stones you used and how many of them you crammed into a single piece.  Sometimes, the spaces where there are no stones are more beautiful than the stones.  It's not about how many stones you use, but how you use them.

In the Victorian and Edwardian eras, no matter what they were creating, be it a piece of jewellery or something purely functional like door hardware, they took great care to create something that was not only functional but beautiful at the same time and with such great workmanship that they would endure.  This is very unlike today as now products seem to be being made simply so they can be disposed of again.  The quality of workmanship is no longer there. Why?  Because you can never take the same care to ensure the durability of a piece when you mass produce vs. when you take the time to create it carefully by hand.  

So why seek inspiration from the past?  Because I know there are many people out there, that like myself, are tired of seeing pieces that all look the same and (because they were mass produced in China) they will just have to throw out in a couple of days anyway.  Some of the most beautiful pieces I've seen were made over 100 years ago, and you know what? They are still intact.

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