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Hi, I just happened across your site while getting ideas for my wire wrap gemstones and sea glass.

The fact that you give away information, don’t insist personal information, has bought my business already.

To add to the joy (yes, I’m prone to hyperbole but I’m absolutely enchanted with your business model), you add stone treatment information rather than burying it somewhere.

It’s very important to me to be able to tell my customers the what’s been done to their stones, the quality, source and composition of the gems they buy.

I believe I’m the only vendor to have the FCC and AGIA disclosure booklets available at any festival I’ve attended.

You have a customer now and, if OK, I will use your page on stone treatments, with proper attribution of course, as a handout at my next festival the end of this month.

Brightest blessings,

Liz

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Stone Treatment Codes

(B) block
(D) dyed
(E) enhanced
(H) heated
(I) irradiation
(M) man made - synthetic
(N) natural
(O) oiled
(P) pressed
(S) stabilized

Generating Jewelry Ideas by Making Connections

Have you ever been totally stuck waiting for your next great jewelry design idea? Most of the time I have more ideas than I can complete in the time available; yet, sometimes I just can’t picture a new design. Since I’m relatively stubborn and am seldom content to sit and wait for my muse to speak, I just dig out a creative thinking tool and stimulate thought. SCAMPER, discussed in a previous article, is one of those tools. Another builds upon the premise behind Synectics, purposeful connection-making through analogies. I sometimes use an analogical matrix for generating jewelry design ideas. I hope that a relatively quick look at the process will prove helpful to you.

 

Today, I was having a difficult time coming up with a new pendant design that used a bezel. I decided to try an analogical matrix for jewelry design and started by generating a random list of objects. I used the following for idea generation: hair brush, mirror, picture frame, baseball cap, clock, handkerchief, knife and an orange. Basically I just looked around the room where I was sitting and wrote down what I saw. Think how different the list would have been if I had been outdoors.

 

Next, I jotted down specific characteristics of the objects as shown in the matrix below. You certainly don’t have to be this formal and actually write the matrix, but I find that it keeps me from missing or forgetting valuable ideas.

 

 

 

Object

Characteristics of Objects

1

Hair brush

Bristles, rounded ends on bristles, handle

2

Mirror

Shiny, reflective, cracked

3

Picture frame

Rectangular, open in middle

4

Baseball cap

Brim, covers something, goes over something

5

Clock

Pendulum, face, hands

6

Handkerchief

Square, hemmed

7

Knife

Sharp, handle

8

Orange

Rough outside, covers something, sections inside, seeds

 

At this point, you are probably thinking this is a really silly way to get jewelry design ideas; but, hang on and you will see how this works.

 

In the next step, I considered whether or not any of the features of the objects spawned an idea for use on a pendant.

 

 

 

Features of Object

Ideas for Pendants

1

Bristles, handle, rounded ends on bristles

  • Add ornamentation to pendant with headpins that have rounded ends

2

Shiny, reflective, cracked

  • Create a cracked look on the back extension of the bezel

3

Rectangular, open in middle

  • Put bezel on something that is open in the middle

4

Brim, covers something, goes over something

  • Create a metal brim to go around bezel

5

Pendulum, face, hands

  • Add dangles to bottom of bezel like a pendulum

  • Add wire extending from the back of the bezel like clock hands

6

Square, hemmed

  • ???

7

Sharp, handle

  • ???

8

Rough skin, covers something, sections inside, seeds

  • Texture part of the bezel back

  • Make several bezels or sections

 

As you can see a couple of the objects, #6 and #7, weren’t helpful, but that’s OK. I would have been pleased to just get one new, useable idea. Luckily, this matrix offers several. While I have not yet made all the possible pendants, you can see how the matrix helped. The first picture shows a pendant using ideas from matrix rows #1 and #3.

 

 

1

Bristles, handle, rounded ends on bristles

  • Add ornamentation to pendant with headpins that have rounded ends

3

Rectangular, open in middle

  • Put bezel on something that is open in the middle

 

I used the torch to make headpins with rounded ends and placed the bezel on copper with a hole in the middle.

 

 generating jewelry making ideas

 

The second photo shows a pendant created by using the hat brim idea generated in row #4.

 

 

4

Brim, covers something, goes over something

  • Create a metal brim to go around bezel

 

 jewelry making ideas

 

Finally, I connected with an idea derived from #4, the clock, and made hands, or spokes extending from the back of the bezel. I wasn’t actually aiming to make a turtle, but you can see what appeared.

 

 Ideas for generating Jewelry

 

There are a few of more ideas generated through the matrix that I plan to use for creating new bezel pendants; but I hope these photos are sufficient to show you that this thinking tool can be productive. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that there are times when the tool doesn’t work at all. Also, sometimes, the idea that pops up while I’m working on the matrix has nothing to do with the analogy. That doesn’t matter since the purpose is to come up with a new jewelry design. Whether it results directly from the matrix or just happens, I’m thankful!

 

When you are struggling to find an idea why don’t you give this matrix a try? It will seem strange at first, but once you practice a few times, you may find yourself thinking of analogous connections without even trying.

 

Karen Meador

**Contributing authors are noted in the articles they wrote. All articles are copyright. You can reprint these articles as long as the original author is sited and a link to this website is included. The name Magpie Gemstones must be used as the hypertext.

 


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