Monday, February 7, 2011

Creative Key

Posted by Lora Hart
Artistic Advisor

When did the public at large begin to take part in mass challenges? The first media contest I remember seeing was Queen For a Day when I was a child. What started as an obsession for game shows has evolved into a passion for reality based one upmanship. From who can last on a desert island longer, to which master chef concocts the tastiest tidbits, to determining the next model to rise to the top - pitting one person's skill against another has become an international phenomenon. In the past couple of years it's even migrated onto the internet.

Last year I took part in a Flickr jewelry making challenge called Ring a Day. But instead of it being a race to better another, the only person we were all encouraged to challenge was ourselves. Such a liberating concept!

I took a picture of a newly created ring every day for three months before my energy for making dwindled to an ember. Some of them were wearable and some were only conceptual. In addition to using metal clay and sheet metal, I made a ring out of freezer frost, felt, and a melted plastic spoon to name a few. Other participants utilized food, twist ties. and children's toys.
Mike & Mary Jewelry, Vagabond Jewelry,
Colleen Baran, Thomasin Durgin

The freedom of being able to let my imagination go wild was exhilarating. I learned so much about design, discovered a few new materials that I want to explore again and had a blast all the while. It was such a wonderful experience that this year I'm taking part in Ring A Week. And I fully intend to go the distance. I'm challenging myself to improve my hard metals skills, and am including a list of Lessons Learned for each ring so I can remember all the new skills and knowledge I acquire this year.

In the spirit of inspiring our readers to be all that they can be, PMC Connection and CornerStone would like to invite you unlock the door to your imagination with a challenge of our own.

The Creative Key challenge invites you to design a piece of jewelry based on the posted theme. There is no right answer. No one perfect design. No winner and certainly no losers. You succeed or fail only by your own criteria. And even then - failing is not an option. Because all perceived failures are just opportunities for learning.

To sweeten the experience, PMC Connection would like to reward you for taking part. Each Creative Key will open the door to a new prize. One winner will be chosen using a random number generator. To be entered into the drawing, upload a photo (or two) of your entry into our Flickr group and tag it with creativekey. No space between the words.

The rules are simple. Use any material you like to realize your vision. If you need to hone your hard metal skills - use traditional fabrication. If you're a wiz with photoshop or have access to (and the knowledge of) CAD software - illustrate a masterpiece. If you have a complex idea you need to work out - make a polymer clay or paper maquette. Or just take the plunge and create something fabulous out of our favorite material, metal clay. Design any piece of jewelry out of any material, any size; shape or color. It can even be purely conceptual. This is a challenge you set yourself. Designed to inspire you to work outside of your usual comfort zone. Some of our Senior Instructors will even be joining in (although they're not eligible for the prize).

Creative Key Challenge #1
Since the international day of love (Valentine's Day) is coming up I thought it might be fun to design a piece of jewelry using the theme Heart's Desire. It's a concept that can be taken in a myriad of directions and use a multitude of inspirations. Let your imagination run wild! Include at least one found object.

The prize this month will be one of PMC Connection's new fiber firing containers and 5 lbs of either activated or coconut carbon (your choice). The winner will also be featured in our newsletter and right here on the blog. Just remember to post a photo on our Flickr group to be eligible. We'd also love a description of how you made your piece and the inspiration for it. There's a space for text directly under the photo. The final day to post your work is February 25. The winner will be announced on March 4th. I can't wait to see all the fabulousness that is bound to appear!


Sharon said...

This is great, I will take on your challenge.

Triton said...

Count me in also!

Anonymous said...

I love the sound of this challenge! Another way to motivate myself in pushing myself past my limitations.