Designing a Cohesive Collection

I love to put things together. I love organizing and grouping things and making things cohesive. When I started Jewelry Designs by Audrey Marie, I decided that I would release all of my designs in collections, rather than individually or as sets. Collections allow me to express an inspiration using multiple stones and multiple weaves, while still maintaining continuity and cohesiveness in my designs.

It starts with Stones
While it would probably make more sense to most people to come up with an outside inspiration first, I use the stones as my inspiration. Rather than making a board of images to inspire me in my creative process, I lay out all the different stones in my inventory and start putting things together, finding the stones that look interesting and aesthetically pleasing when placed next to each other. This is a very fun process and there’s no “right” combination of stones.

Sorting by Season
Once I’ve grouped the stones I have numerous piles, the beginnings of new collections. I usually group three or four different stones into each. Once I have my piles I sort these piles by seasons. Pastels and light, warm colors work well for spring collections. Earthy autumn colors are great for fall. For summer collections the piles often end up with colors that I associate with life. Blues and greens, maybe some browns. Richer than spring colors, but not warm and earthy as fall. My winter collections end up in one of two categories: dark, bold colors; or pale whites and almost whites. One brings to mind white blankets of snow, the other the strength and tenacity that is required (or at least used to be required before modern amenities) to make it through winter.

Sometimes I name collections right away and sometimes they remain unnamed until I actually design the pieces for them. A collections name should reflect the pieces within it. If the theme is clear just from looking at the stones, I can sometimes find the right combination of words right away. Sometimes I have to go through the design process before I can actually name the collections though.

Inspiration Board
While this may seem backwards, once I’ve created a collection and named it, I find images that I feel represent that collection. I love photography, so many of the images are ones I’ve taken in the past. If there’s an image that I think would represent the collection perfectly that I don’t have, I go take it. I’m surrounded by beautiful wilderness so there are no shortage of opportunities for photo shoots.

I love hearing about people’s design processes because everyone goes about it differently. Sources of inspiration are unique to each person. We might look at the same object and see two totally different things. This is the beauty of creativity. I would love to hear about where you find inspiration. If you have anything to share related to this post please leave a comment below!

Best wishes,