Material + Trajectory Updates

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Around the time of my midterm presentation I began to feel overwhelmed by the broad scope of my concept and couldn’t imagine possibly whittling my jewelry concepts down into a cohesive line of accessories. This was also around the time that I discovered ferrofluid (via some article on Facebook about mesmerizing desk amusements. I promptly bought some). I was more inspired by the ferrofluid than I’d predicted– it gave me ideas for the both the physical mechanics and configurations of my pieces, but also, started to push me in a visual direction.

The various forms assumed by the ferrofluid reminded me of all things aquatic: anemones, plankton, jellyfish, seaweed, and I realized that this was largely the basis of its appeal. I’ve always been extremely drawn to aquatic forms, and more recently, the “Seapunk” net art movement:

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Going forward, my plan is to use visual elements inspired by contemporary Seapunk net culture and more traditional depictions of under the sea relics: hidden treasure, pirate’s booty, or even The Little Mermaid (although hopefully an elevated version…) to tie my pieces together visually. This is because these elements appeal to me personally, but also because there’s a certain nostalgia to these visuals. A major development in my concept has been the notion of connecting the wearer to digitally fabricated accessories to the same or greater extent that they feel connected to personal talismans or family heirlooms. It’s my belief that digitally fabricated items have less sentimentality to them because they lack the sentimentality and personal history that something like your grandmother’s cross necklace has.

Conceptually, my pieces will be tied together by the common feature of magnetic materials like ferrofluid, iron filings, and so forth. This will be the mechanism that drives the “mesmerization” and what makes the line feel unique or attention-grabbing.

In addition, I met with Aneta Genova to seek some guidance as to what “constitutes a line” of jewelry versus a series of semi-related pieces of jewelry. This is essential to figure out if I plan to produce an elevated fashion line. Some things I learned from my meeting with her include:

  • a line should be 5-6 pieces at a minimum
  • the pieces should feature repeating elements within the visual theme
    • these repeating elements can change scale and orientation across the pieces but should ultimately be otherwise the same
  • a well-merchandised line covers the whole breadth of jewelry: necklace, bracelet, earrings, rings, etc. (as opposed to 3 necklaces and 2 bracelets)
  • even small details like fasteners and closures should be uniform across the pieces
  • I should avoid being literal in my designs in order to avoid seeming kitsch
  • designs should be simplified and elegant
  • color choice should show some restraint
  • I should consider taking inspiration from the forms of ferrofluid and applying them in different way (even creating patterns or prints to apply to my pieces)
  • WGSN.com is a good resource for trend reports and forecasts as well as valuable information on color palettes
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