Spring is in the air! Here at the workshop we’re working on new pieces for this coming season. In the last couple of years more and more of our work is developed as a collaborative effort between our silversmiths and Joan and I. Up until a year or so ago almost all of the design work was generated by the two of us. Nowadays it’s much more of a group effort.
We look for ideas that are imaginative and beautiful (of course). Sometimes they are whimsical and/or nostalgic. We take a lot of our ideas from nature, as anyone familiar with or offering is aware and we choose natural design because it almost always has an elegant simplicity to it. But very often our wishes are stifled by practicality. For example I once made a belt buckle with a pattern meant to duplicate the surface of a pine cone.
I was very happy with my success at creating the texture and look of a pine cone. It molded without difficulty and I could cast duplicates of it with very little problem but…..it weighed way too much to be practical. It was designed to fit a 1 inch belt a weighed over 2 ounces in bronze. It was aesthetically pleasing, but entirely too heavy.
So we have to ask ourselves several questions in the design process. First of all is the design appealing to our customers? Secondly, what form will it take; Pendant, bracelet, earring, charm, etc.? Thirdly, can we produce it in quantity at a reasonable price? And finally, will anyone actually put down money for it? In other words is there a market for the piece. These are the basic questions. There are many other ones which involve details of material and methodology, but unless we can answer these four questions in the affirmative, we shelve the idea and move on to something else.
This spring several ideas have survived our decision making and will appear shortly in our catalog and website. We have resisted this design for years, feeling that there were plenty of Shamrocks around, but we bit the bullet and present our version now.
Another survivor and one that has been on our minds for years is a Butterfly. We’ll be making this available as either a pin or a pendant.
We couldn’t resist creating a nice little sailing sloop which is perfect as either a charm or a pendant and will appear later as earrings.
New Designs are now available and we're offering free shipping until March 8th. Our March mailing will be in home. If you want to be included in special web offers and get first look at new designs, go to our website and sign up for our mailing list. Your email address will only be used for Breakell and company’s business. Promise.