I've been conducting a little photo shoot here at home this morning. Just me and the tripod, some semi-decent light, a digital camera, and ten of my newest designs. I intend to put these photos online to share with my site visitors and when time permits, I'll even add prices, descriptions and "buy me" buttons. Or some such.
But the process, and the ensuing cropping, contrast-enhancing and renaming that is also necessary to making that happen led me to some thoughts I wanted to write about. In part because it's interesting to me, and in part because I'm asked a lot of questions about my work - why not share it on my blog?
It seems that I'm not really "a symmetry girl." Actually that's no surprise, given that in high school when I sent some photos taken in my bedroom to a penpal. Remember the days when your bedroom was your main haven and it was such a reflection of your interests that you felt such pride in certain design choices, however questionable they might have been? In these photos, he saw that some of the momentos, bumper stickers and photos had been placed on my walls in a seemingly-haphazard way. In reality, there was nothing haphazard in my choice at all. I preferred the placement, the asymmetrical alignment of my special things. He, it seemed, did not.
Fast forward to the days when Melody discovers a love for making beaded and clay-pendant jewelry pieces. The topic emerges again. What surprises me the most, though, is that from time to time people mention it to me...as if it's an oddity. I've heard, "I liiiiiike it, really I do, but you know...I like it when both sides match." There's a question in the assertion. I hear further evidence that my love for erratic patterns is not the norm when another friend offers, "You know what would be really cool? What if you used that pendant, and then this little grouping of beads were on this side and that side, then you did this...." and on it goes. In the end, I realize she'd love it a lot more if it were a perfectly symmetrical necklace.
Today when I started thinking of the question of "necklaces which have mirror-image sides" I realized something else. There's more depth to my appreciation of an unpredictable pattern than meets the eye. Not only do I enjoy mixing up patterns, but I also think it's fun to use perfectly matched, cookie-cutter beads with consistent sizes and shapes and intersperse them with those that only sorta-kinda match each other. They're friends, let's say...maybe even in the same family. But identical twins they are not.
I cropped a couple of patterns to show you what I'm talking about. The image that has two little rows of beads in the same photo is actually a cross section cut from the same necklace. In my mind, there's something great about the imperfection of the larger beads that have flaws and inclusions. Placing them alongside a different grouping of perfectly matched ones gives them even more appeal, in my book. The other shot with the words and arrows shows one section of a necklace that incorporates more variety than even I usually try. I love, love this necklace.
You'll get to see them both, in their entirety, on this very website. Hopefully even soon.
It does occur to me that I didn't even touch on the truth that I also very much love some of my symmetrical pieces. So I'll just mention it here. I think symmetry is great. It's just not the only game in town. That's all.