The theme for week four of May’s Self-Representing Artists in Jewelry Design challenge was “Chronos, god of time.” This one had me stumped from the day the theme was announced. I don’t know why. It seems like it would be the easiest thing, right? And yet I couldn’t get past the concept that time equals “clock.” How do I design jewelry around a clock?
Then I thought, “You’re being too literal. What else does time represent or what other symbols are there for time?” It was time (tee hee) to get poetic. Or rather, to consult the works of those who can. I read lyrics for songs about time, quotes about time, poems about time. It seems time is always either standing still or passing you by, depending on your perspective. That’s sort of the theory of relativity in a nutshell. Which is physics, not poetry. Which is perfect, because I am much more comfortable with theories and measurements than I am verses and imagery.
With my time to come up with a design literally running out (tick TOCK), I still couldn’t get clocks out of my head. But now my muse had a direction – time is relative and perception is subjective. And I happened to have in my stash some clock parts meant for scrap booking. I don’t scrap book, although I do love all the pretty paper, stamps, stickers, etc. I picked up the clock bits and pieces a while back because, well, I frequently “steal” tools and techniques and whatnot from one craft medium to use in another. (Note: I did NOT steal the clock parts from the store. I paid for them. I just never planned to use them for their intended scrapbook purpose. No need to contact the local authorities.)
So …clock parts, time is relative, jewelry challenge. How do I turn clock parts into a jewelry design that conveys how the passage of time is subjective? My muse throws an idea up into the air and walks away, leaving me to figure out how to assemble the thing.
I can’t just sting them on bead wire because, well, because I can’t. Look at them. They’re large and not intended as jewelry components. I thought about knotting them on some cotton or hemp cord. Even got out my old macrame book. It’s not about jewelry. It’s basic macrame patterns like plant hangers and other vintage 1970’s decor. I was all set to revisit the 70s and tie one on. Alas, my macrame board and t-pins did not make it to the 21st century with me. And my “guaranteed delivery by” order from Amazon went missing thanks to a very unreliable local carrier who shall remain nameless (but not blameless).
Plan B: I will wire-wrap the components onto chain. My muse feigns a yawn. Not exactly stretching my skill limits with this challenge. But there’s no time for a plan C.
I decided to carry the mixed-metal aspect of the clock faces and gears into my wire wraps, using copper, silver, and brass wire to connect the components. The dual wire wraps look a little like clock hands. I didn’t attach the actual clock hands to the faces, instead choosing to leave a few dangling, outside of time. The clasp is a lobster claw that fastens to a little clock face that started life as a charm. I cut the hands off, to keep with the “time is relative” theme.
None of the hands-free clock faces are telling you what time it is. Or they’re all telling you a different time, depending on how you choose to look at the placement of my wire wraps. How we each perceive time is different and based on many factors, some fixed and some subjective. There’s a whole field of study about it. Two actually. One is time perception, which is based in psychology and neuroscience. The other is relativity, based in physics and mathematics. Both fascinating.
There you have it: my jewelry design homage to Chronos, the Greek god of time. I didn’t try any new techniques with this one. But I was challenged by the theme, by my mis-directed supplies order, and last but not least, by a broken bulb for my photo set up. If the lighting looks a little one-sided in these photos, that’s because it was. More bulbs on the way. Fingers crossed and offerings made to the god of shipping that they ship via a different carrier and arrive in time to shoot next week’s design challenge piece.
The overall theme for June is “Exotic Landmarks,” starting with Kyoto, Japan for the first week. I hope to see you back here to see how I translate that theme into jewelry designs. And I hope you’ll subscribe to this blog (by RSS feed, email subscription, or feed servers linked in the right column under my photo), follow me on Facebook, join me on Google+, and tune in to my Twitter feed to get updates on my newest jewelry designs, sales in my Etsy shop, and other design challenges and adventures from Paisley Lizard.