Tuesday, February 12, 2008

really catching up on things tonight/ more blood diamond thoughts

As I'm looking through information and gathered pictures to compose my sketches for the blood diamonds project, I'm trying to tie it all in and make sense and from that I've made some conclusions:

Today Jan posed the question to keep in mind and answer:  What do you want this piece to say?
-Right now I'm not sure I know the full answer to that question yet, but I do know I want it to be something that would evoke a thought or question when you look at it in order to spread awareness or at the least the curiousity to become informed.  Also as beautiful as diamonds are they can hold a deep, "bloodied," and tainted history that we can never be certain of.  

-I've also decided that I want my format to be a charm/pendant to wear on a bracelet.  To me this has its own metaphors.  I love jewelry, rings are my favorite to wear and earrings.  Necklaces are nice, until I get sick of them after a few hours and tend to rip them off.  But I almost dislike bracelets.  I think they look gorgeous on people, but I can not stand them, sure I have a select few (and I mean maybe 2 or 3 that I actually like to wear)  I tend to only wear them if I'm getting dressed up, and again for only short amounts of time. They just tend to annoy me to no end.  I only have 1 bracelet that I really love and tend to wear a lot, and I think the meaning is the significance behind it.  This particular bracelet is one I bought from the Gap, part of the (red) campaign, it wasn't expensive but half of the profits went to AIDS victims in Africa.  That to me means something and has a purpose, I don't get that same annoying feeling when I'm wearing it, I LOVE this bracelet, and even though its a stupid piece of  red leather tied in a knot, yet, I find it very meaningful. It's this same reason that I made the decision to turn my piece into a bracelet.  I want to make it another one I will love (assuming my design holds up I don't see why I wouldn't)  In a way I DO want to make it an annoying bracelet, but with a purpose.  I want to make the charm a bit awkward and large for a typical bracelet, for the sake of seeing it easily, and as a blatant reminder that the reason it will annoy me is a meaningful one, the whole blood diamond problem irks and annoys me to no end, there is no perfect outcome or solution, so it's fitting that it will make me be aware and thoughtful of the situation each time I wear it.  I wanted the beads I chose to be symbolic too.  I wanted them to be a range of deep reds fading into clear to signify the struggles, war, temporary resolutions, Kimberly process coming into effect, and clear representing the hope that perhaps one day it will be fixed.  Also in the back of my mind I kept thinking of these gorgeous red beads I saw years ago, and thinking they would be perfect and symbolic of the blood/struggle.  Turns out as I was cleaning I stumbled upon those beads that I swore I never bought,  they were with others that I liked and I hold onto until they have a purpose, now I've found one for these beads.

-Another note that popped in my head tonight was the statement in the documentary that the real test of the Kimberly Process will be at times of war in Africa's volatile nations.  My friend Rex was born in Baltimore, but grew up in Kenya. Right now their country is in an uproar after an unexpected election in December,  tribes are rising up and creating violent situations.  Kenya has been one of the most stable nations and now people are fleeing for their safety, much like the RUF forced the Sierra Leone people out of the mining areas.  Hopefully this will not escalate into another fatal outcome that could fall back onto diamond funded wars.

-One more thought/ focus area: Diamonds as a raw natural resource.  I think diamonds are just as gorgeous in their natural state.  They don't need over 100 facets to be beautiful and captivating.  This story is raw, uncensored, and true, raw diamonds are just the same.  They have so much more character, and I veered off to look into that.  I'm drawn to natural states of gemstones in jewelry.  Last year at ACC I saw Todd Reeds work and fell in love with the raw diamond workings.  His stuff is great, I want one of his rings so badly. In the fall I went to a jewelry convention downtown filled with millions of gorgeous sparkling pieces, but I found one company called Symmetry whose designs showcased raw gemstones.  The natural colors and shapes are so unique, no matter what no 2 will EVER be the same, which is a beautiful paradox to the millions of cookie cutter commercial jewelry forms.  There is also a company called Diamond in the Rough that specializes in using raw diamonds in their pieces.  Again they are just so breathtaking!  I would much rather have one of these designs as an engagement ring than the latest trend from Jared or pick a place, they have so much character of their own and its own unique look and story.
Here's some links:
(The pictures at are at the top of the page since I could not figure out how to move them to the bottom, the top with the many stones is an example of Todd Reed's work and the second is the Diamond in the Rough example.)

Dave Grohl Podcast Response

I like how Dave Grohl talks of being humbled by the miners that asked for an ipod with his songs, and how they genuinely thanked him and he took brought them to a concert, dedicated a song to them and put it on an album as promised.  That's an interesting perspective to hear.
Its interesting to hear that he stopped playing and listening to music for a while after Kurt Cobain died. He started to associated it with death, instead of life and celebration like he once did after loosing his friend.  Then he realized that it was part of the healing process because it had been such a big part of his life.
He describes Nirvana's music as a party and everybody came.  I really like that analogy, it's a great way to tie to many things in life.  In a sense you create something to make yourself happy and thats your own 'go to' place to be happy and at home and then it does turn into a party when others join in and share that same mutual feeling.
I think its interesting to hear his perspective on Kurt Cobain's writing process.  He would sit for hours in his room and just write or play guitar, Grohl's song alluding to this is nice.  That goes to show that Kurt Cobain was really focused into what he was doing, it was his passion, and he would pour long amounts of time into it, whether playing songs, writing songs, reflecting, or learning new things.  This is the same aspect we should all take if we are truly devoted to something, you need to take some time out and really focus on your craft to make it worthwhile, it should be something that you enjoy and look forward to, it seemed as is Cobain had this drive or desire to do this or he would not do that as his nightly routine.
This podcast gave some good insights and ideas.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Blood Diamond Project

I've been spending a lot of my insomniac time researching this project, which I'm REALLY looking forward to.  Last Summer I watched the documentary and was shocked and wanted to learn more.  Later on I saw the movie Blood Diamond and I was so inspired to do something.  I kept telling everyone I could about the movie and more so the real actions that were happening because of this, to me it made such an impact and immediately the first reaction was that I wanted to create jewelry in regards to this.

As I was re-painting and organizing my room I stumbled upon my personal jewelry design sketchbook and stumbled upon my initial journal reaction to the movie, which was as follows:
Blood Diamond Reaction 9/24/2007.
"What an unbelievably inspirational movie...especially  to me since becoming a jeweler is my life's passion.  I only wish I had the power and money to create the design idea in my head to sell and donate the profits to helping rebuild and fund those affected by the circulation of blood diamonds and to prevention efforts of conflict gems in Africa and beyond.  I seriously wish as 1 person that I could make even the tiniest impact to help on such a huge problem that has been overshadowed by our society.  If someone only knew the lives cost to wear the diamond on their fingers, wrists, ears, or necks...that price is far more valuable than the stone itself...unreal!  It was such an eye opening and enlightening movie that has sparked my interest and creativity and I hope that one day I can put it into practice."

My initial idea/image for a piece that popped into my head would not be a real possibility for this project, because I wanted it dripping in diamonds, rubies, and garnets, since I don't have the means, skills to set stones, or money for that idea I'll let my creativity run free for some new ideas. Looking back, I still feel as passionately about this, I was so excited to find that this would be one of our focuses this semester, and even if I can't go on with my real project I'm constantly finding new ideas to bring my feelings to life. 
My creative process is always a big jumble of ideas that can hit me at any time and if I don't have a notebook to jot things down I've learned that I loose them forever,  in lieu of that I've learned to keep a small journal with me at all times for those purposes, incase I'm out and see an artist, store, website, etc. that I can take note of and revisit later on.  Sometimes I'll run out without my little notebooks and in that case I'll create a memo in my phone with guide words or quotes as I would my notebooks and sketchbooks and as soon as I get home jot them onto paper so they won't be lost.  This project brings a new ideas constantly whether I'm thinking about it or not.  I can be driving or out at dinner and out of nowhere see something that sparks an idea and I'll jot it down,  I've learned a lot from doing this, I used to ignore those impulses especially if I would be out with my friends or family, but I know now its always better to react right then so I won't forget my thought, and now everyone has gotten used to this if I just scream "OH!" and start typing away in my phone or fiddle through my bag for a notebook and pen, then they just smile and laugh.  Also looking through magazines always fuels more ideas.  I have many sketchbooks just filled with clippings, all with different categories: jewelry, beauty ideas, interior design, and other random designs I find appealing.

This project is a really fun and enjoyable one, I think my hardest decision will be bringing it down to only one idea to fabricate.