Creative time is not as frequent as I'd always like it to be, despite having a creative small business, so I have begun an Exclusive and Unique series. I plan to design a piece of jewellery released monthly, giving me an opportunity and space to work differently, and you something special and unique - and hopefully I can inspire some creativity along the way,
Each piece is available first to my VIP list subscribers, so if you want first look at next month's piece, be sure to sign up here.
Creativity is a subject that's been dissected a million ways, and everyone's got their own take on it. Personally, I'm convinced that we all have a creative streak within us, but sometimes we let fear and self-doubt hold us back. Other times, it's just a lack of time and space to let our creative juices flow. Ironically, too much freedom can also be stifling – like staring at a blank canvas with endless possibilities.
But you know what? The best way to break through all those barriers is to simply start. As someone who tends to overthink and get bogged down in decision-making, I find that diving in headfirst often works best. And, I've noticed that ideas have a knack for showing up when I'm knee-deep in something else or right in the middle of a crazy busy day. It's like Picasso said: "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."
My love for the vivid colours and expressive strokes in Van Gogh's work lit the spark for my latest creative adventure. I began sketching fluid lines and playing with a palette of colours. It was a soothing, repetitive process, and for some reason, it reminded me of a poem my grandpa used to recite when we were kids. It was the dramatic, romantic, and tragic "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes. The line "look for me by moonlight, I'll come to thee by moonlight" and the "jewelled sky" just stuck with me.
In brief, the highwayman and Bess are in love, and he comes to her before a particularly large and risky robbery. He promises to return to her before the morning light, but the authorities are tipped off by a stable-boy who is also in love with Bess, with tragic consequences.
And so I decided to make this a necklace for Bess. A moonlight memento to wear whilst she watched and waited for her love. You can read the whole poem here - although I feel I should give a trigger warning, there are some themes that some may find upsetting.
I tinkered with a few prototypes, trying out different enamel colors and dusting off my hand engraving tools and skills. At first, I thought I'd go for a dark and moody blue-black scheme, but when the lines started to take shape (check out the time-lapse video here, although it felt more like hours than a mere minute!), I had a change of heart. I decided to keep it elegant and pared down, and the pearl enamel colour seemed to capture the ethereal glow of moonlight perfectly. I also went for an oxidised finish on the back to create a striking contrast and highlight the intricate engraving and evokes to me the feeling of the night in the poem.
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.
Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
- Tags: Inspiration