A first look inside our new vintage inspired series
Why vintage? Why now?
Well, I’m happy you asked! I’ve been inspired by vintage jewelry since I was a little girl. When my Grandma Julia passed down one of her pieces to me I was in awe of the detailing and the stories that lived inside that piece. All the little scratches and imperfections were beautiful to me.
A whole lifetime of adventures lived within those imperfections and it filled the piece with so much character.
Befitting to the above, this new series (coming out in early Spring!) is called The Vintage Inspired Collection. I felt it was time to evolve the minimal and dainty aesthetic of KDJ to include this style that I hold close to my heart.
Now, on to the creative process.
Step zero: observe while living life.
A lot of people ask me what my creative process is like.
I believe everyone is inspired in different ways. For me it’s all about being out and about in the world. Smelling the roses, taking walks, meeting new and old friends for coffee, watching documentaries about artists, traveling, window shopping, museum hopping…and seeing how other people live.
It gets the creative juices going. I call this ‘step zero’ because for me it’s constantly happening. And if for some reason the creative thinking isn’t coming easily I get out and do more of the above because I always want to be inspired. That’s when the life energy really shines through into my work.
From there I mentally take note of what caught my eye, what symbols and shapes made me do a double take. I have about 5 different places that I write notes when I get inspired and have a bright idea. Sometimes I’ll write it down in my iPhone notes, send myself an email, jot it down on a piece of paper in my purse, or take photos of whatever struck a cord with me. After that I go on to the official step one in making a piece.
Step numero uno: sketch, sketch, sketch.
All designs go from idea in my head to paper as the first step in the creative process. Usually many sketches are involved until I’m finally satisfied to go into the digital portion of the process by making a computer generated image.
Step two: Digital images.
This helps me get really specific with the detailing that will go into the piece and then we create waxes from those images. Here’s a computer generated image which often looks very distorted to the end result of the piece. That’s because it’s zoomed in to show all those tiny details.
Step three: waxes.
Next up those digital images are created into waxes. It’s pretty amazing this step and they are extremely fragile. Each wax is then used to create molds of each piece.
Step four: samples.
This is by no means the final step but at this point we do see samples of the pieces. They are fine-tuned even from this point. I then decide what needs to happen next in order to put the finishing touches on the pieces so that what I originally envisioned in my mind is fully created in real life.
Step five: the completed piece!
Not shown here but my team and I are hard at work putting the finishing touches on this beautiful collection and we can’t wait to show you.
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Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed seeing a glimpse into the creative process at Katie Dean Jewelry!