Friday, June 18, 2010

WHAT INSPIRES US? (to keep on followin' that bliss...)


The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you.
- Oscar Wilde

Trying to understand your inspiration is like trying to catch air in your hands. This week’s topic of  “What Inspires You?” has been genuinely interesting.  Inspiration: It’s not always the same, it gets lost in the moment, but sometimes when we catch it by the tail just enough – we keep a glimpse and get to make something beautiful. 
Here are some independent artists sharing their inspirations…

***I am inspired mostly by nature, I think that's partly where my love for the natural stones comes from. 

***Since I started designing jewelry, I seem to gather inspiration everywhere! I see everyday things in a whole new way. I love the shades and hues found in nature, from the bark of the Maple trees, to the soft green and creamy white of the Lillies of the Valley. Anything colorful from lace and fabric to vintage buttons to links on a chain all pack loads of inspiration for me to create. 

***Would you believe that just before i fall asleep -- you know, in that space between awake-and-listening-to-you-hubby-snore phase and unconscious-you-couldn't-care-less -- i see colors in my mind's eye and i "play" with these to form designs. weird i know, but that's how my creative process sometimes starts. Problem with this is i find it hard to fall asleep since i want to get up and start making jewelry! 

    Another source of inspiration are my beads and gemstones. When i get stuck, i take out my whole stash and just look at them. I put one bead here together with another gemstone from one box and then it all happens.

***My mother and I started this business 8 years ago when we could not find serving pieces and plates we liked - and it just grew from there. At one show there was a comment that our pieces looked good enough to eat - like candy, so we adopted the phrase "ceramic confections". Our inspiration has always come from our love of lace, sparkles, beads and all things "girly". Sadly, two years ago I lost my mother and partner to cancer. After some sole searching I decided to try to continue the business by myself. Mom was the one who always made the roses for our pieces and then I had to learn how to make them since she's not here to make them. Now you'll find most of my "ceramic confections" have lots of roses - each one is for her. My Mom will always be my inspiration. I just know she's on my shoulder every day I'm in the studio.

***I would say I get my inspiration from my dog. I think of what he needs or what would fit his personality and then I stat creating.

*** For me its color and nature and random everyday things. I sketched out a design on a restaurant napkin once inspired by the art on the wall. Came home and did it metal and stone. Its one of my favorite pieces lol.

***My inspiration comes from all over. For example for some of my knitted garments: my rainbow sweater was knitted after seeing 4 rainbows in one day. My baby polo shirt was knitted in green and gold after watching a local GAA football match.
For my poetry most inspiration come from personal experience and things that make me smile.

***Mostly my inspiration comes from the glass itself. Often I will sit down with something particular in mind but the glass has other ideas - and it almost always wins! Layers of colour in stones or pictures of mountains, even how colours are contrasted in nature - such as a plant with purple leaves and orange flowers etc. I find such contrasts fascinating and attempt to copy them into my work. Nature's bold use of colour is so wonderful! Sometimes I like "girly" colours together such as pinks and mauves but mostly I just love the reactions between the different colours and types of glasses - it is never boring wondering what sort of bead babies the "kiln elves" will deliver. 

In my jewelry, I get inspiration from my beads and other people - a link, a clasp, the way a piece of wire is twisted or how other artists have arranged their beads and their colour combinations really inspire me.   It's intriguing how just one tiny aspect of a piece of jewelry can set my mind racing off into "Creativity Land"!  I also love interesting shapes but making them work harmoniously in a piece of jewelry is often a challenge! 

***Inspiration for me comes from many places. Dreams, my gardens, when my friends or family tell me they are looking for that special "something" they cannot find anywhere else.  Since my product line is quite diverse, it can be a bit daunting at times to keep up with my imagination!

My Facebook Business page:

***Poetry!! I read a poem and it inspires colors and weaves to match.

*** I am usually inspired by colour. Sometimes in nature, sometimes my kids art, and sometimes I just look through my beads and wire and decide from there, especially the handmade beads my real life pal Tooaquarius makes.

*** For me,  I am often inspired by my daily activities. A blizzard and the subsequent 3 foot icicles that hung from our eaves inspired a crystal bracelet.  Wallpaper that I see,  an outfit that I want to wear but just don’t have the right piece.  Something as silly as a Hello Kitty cartoon will inspire me to go crazy with pink & black.  Often the charms that I have that are odd or random will FORCE me to make them a bracelet :) But quite often it is my customer who needs that special piece for that special  person that they love that inspires me to  take their ideas or desires and make it real.  I am inspired by others’ inspiration :)

Jenn Kos


  1. I love seeing where people get their inspiration from, thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. It was a blast hearing everyone's thoughts!

  3. What a great idea, to talk about your inspiration!! As jewelsodonnell said, I love seeing where people get their inspiration from too! What is amazing is the number of places, people and situations that we draw inspiration from, and how it is so different for each of us.

  4. Isn't tho? Just showing that we all see the world so differently, but somehow come together and appreciate beautiful things.... this was such an interesting topic to discuss :)


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