Jewelry Design Challenge: Futuristic Minimalism

Futuristic pearl earringsThis week’s challenge on the Self-Representing Artists in Jewelry Design blog was to create jewelry in a futuristic minimalism style, inspired by the movie THX 1138. Of all the challenge themes this year, this one was the most difficult for me.

The futuristic part was not the problem. I am a science fiction fan from childhood and can imagine what jewelry in the future might look like. It’s the minimalism part that really challenged me. Resisting the urge to embellish made me twitchy.

What is minimalism and why am I so challenged by it? Minimalist style uses “pared down design elements.”  As in everything is edited out until you are left only with what is necessary. You’ve probably seen examples of minimalist architecture and interior design. It can look austere, cold, or uninviting.  Or it can be seen as uncluttered, open, and calming.

It’s the editing part that challenges me. I like to embellish. I feel like a pair earrings isn’t done until they have a beaded dangle somewhere. I was tempted to find “futuristic” looking beads, stick them on an ear wire and call it a day. But that’s not minimalism either.  So, I started with the futuristic concept and tried to edit from there.

futuristic pearl dangle earrings

These earrings have a futuristic look. But they might not be minimalist.

My first pair of earrings looks futuristic. At least, I think they do. The main part of the earring is a plaster washer from the hardware store. It looks a bit like a satellite dish. The bars in the centers of the washers are half of a toggle-bar clasp. They’re holding the top of a bit of chain from which a glass pearl dangles. See, I couldn’t resist a beaded dangle. But I did resist adding beaded dangles to all the holes in the bottoms of the washer. Baby steps.

minimalist futuristic pearl earrings

Take two on futuristic minimalist earrings.

The next pair also uses the washers. I bought a pack of them for this challenge and was fixated on using them. There are glass pearls again. Why are there pearls in my futuristic jewelry designs? I don’t know. Their perfect white gleaming finish just seems to fit. This time they don’t dangle. They are wired into the centers of the washers. Are these earrings futuristic? Could be. Are they minimalist? Compared to my usual style …yes.

That’s it for my futuristic minimalism jewelry designs. Do you think jewelry of the future would be dramatically different from what we wear now? Maybe it would be “functional” as in earrings that are communication devices, replacing blue tooth and phones. Bracelets that act as access cards so we don’t have to carry keys around. Necklaces that monitor our vital signs.

The challenge for next week is to design “organic” jewelry. I wonder what I will come up with. I already have quite a few ideas. I hope you’ll stop back here next week to see what I come up with. To be sure you don’t miss it, or my future jewelry design adventures, be sure to follow this blog. You can also keep up with my latest designs if you follow me on Facebook.