Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You never know where you'll find inspiration

The piece of crystalline titanium came to me in the mail. Sent carefully packaged by Holly Gage, it was nestled in a Newman's Own ginger mints tin. As soon as I took it out I was not only delighted by the titanium, but I was struck by the pretty art on the tin. I squirreled it away.

I took this photo after I started cutting it.

Now I wanted to design something to do justice to that sparkling titanium. I sketched out several versions of a necklace, and decided it would be cool to cut a circle out of that tin and make it into a cabochon to use in the piece.

I liked the bolo idea best.

So this was July, and I had my sketch ready to go—sort of. I started what I call "circling". This is what I do when I'm not 100% certain about carrying something out. I circle, figuratively speaking. I circled and thought about it and never did make it. Something was holding me back, I don't know what it was...

Enter Lora Hart and her 4 a Month challenge for 2012. This group on Flickr is created around the concept of making 4 pieces a month—anything you'd like—but you must make four of them. You can choose your theme and process.

Coincidentally, I also had just completed a "mentorial" with Lora. This is the "creative coaching" service she provides through her web site and Etsy shop. We discussed my being in a stuck spot with my jewelry business. Lora provided much food for thought, and encouraged me to explore and try new things.

The 4 a Month challenge, the mentorial, the tin…inspiration! What if I made that pendant I had sketched out, and 3 more pieces using parts of the tin? Almost right away, I pictured all 4 pieces. I signed up for the 4 a Month group and got to work.

top, left: Holly's Necklace; right: Dragon Cuff
bottom, left: Rainbow Drops Earrings; right, Window Box Pendant
All are precious metal clay except the cuff, which was done with sheet copper.
©2012 Evelyn Pelati Dombkowski

The first piece was the titanium pendant. For this, I cut out a circle from the tin, dapped it into a dome, and set it like a cabochon in a bezel in a bolo above the pendant. I named this piece "Holly's Necklace" in honor of Holly Gage, who I'm sure had no idea she was providing a boatload of inspiration when she tucked that titanium into that tin.

Next came "Dragon Cuff"—because of course I HAD to do something with that dragon!

After that I made "Rainbow Drops" earrings. Last, "Window Box Pendant".

It was a lot of fun and very satisfying to complete a series like this. I am looking forward to continuing on with 4 a Month each month throughout the year.

Thank you to Holly and to Lora for getting me to stop circling and to move forward. You never know where you will find inspiration!

~ Evelyn Pelati Dombkowski


  1. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE what you created with your inspirational tin! What a fabulous idea...the "4 a Month Challenge" (to me it's a totally new and "experimental" way to get un-stuck).

    Perhaps this is what MY creative process need...(or a big kick in the behind! LOL).

    You have turned a challenge into an incredible victory! Lovely pieces, and I'd be proud to wear each and every one! Congratulations on your amazing work!

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  3. Beautiful pieces! I love how you describe "circling" too - so often ideas just need some time to come together properly. Yours definitely did!

  4. Thank you, Roxanne and Cindy! I am glad you enjoyed the story.

  5. Wonderful pieces Evelyn, way to embrace this project commitment!!

  6. Wonderful post, Evelyn !!
    Thanks for sharing with us !

  7. Wow! I'm so proud of you Evelyn. And honored to have partnered with Holly in inspiring you to such great work. I love the inclusion of the tin bits. That may be an element that you want to explore further. It's such a unique look. Carry on. ;D

  8. Thank you all, your support is very meaningful to me!

  9. I love how you used the titanium AND the container. The pieces are amazing.

  10. These pieces are simply AMAZING!!!!! WOW!!!!! by the way -- all the info on the straws in on my blog on today's post : ) hugs...

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