What things draw our eyes and brains to it? What do we find beautiful? Is it universal? Is it something in miniature. Is it something familiar that we connect to? Something that makes us smile? Is it the shape and form? How do we get there in our own work? These really aren't meant to be rhetorical questions... Leave a comment on how you would answer these questions. How you start thinking about beginning a piece, what process you go through. How much crap you have to make before you get something you like...
For the last several years my process has been to go in and work with the metal. I had a hard time drawing in 2-d something I was making in 3-d. My 3-d pieces never seemed to look like my sketches. A drawing doesn't give you the feeling of bending or folding or torching something. But lately, I feel that those years were used to get the feeling into my fingertips of what the metal could do, to gather all the information. Now I feel like I want to put all that information together into a well thought out piece and a well thought out piece, for me, takes research, thinking, studying other work, drawing, thinking... I still may have to experiment to see what the metal can do, but I need to have a plan.
Here are a few Ring A Week examples of what I think use good, well-thought-out design elements:
Victoria Takahashi (experimetal)
Shae and Aubrey
I got the following information out of what looks like a high school textbook called 'Exploring Metalwork, Fundamentals of Technology' (John R. Walker, The Goodheart-Willcox Company, Co. 1995, pp. 51-57) from the library. Oddly enough the whole book is pretty informative and interesting. The following is from Unit 4.... Designing a Project:
"Elements of Good Design:
- Lines. Lines are used to define and give shape to an object.
- Shape. The shape of an object may be determined by the way it will be used.
- Form. The 3-d shape of the object. It may be round, square, or some other geometric shape.
- Proportion. The balance between parts.
- Balance. An object has balance when its parts appear to be of equal weight. When the parts on each side of the centerline are alike in shape and size this is called SYMMETRICAL BALANCE. INFORMAL BALANCE presents a design in such a manner that the balance cannot be measured. However, there is a feeling that the design is balanced.
- Unity. A design with unity brings the various parts together as a whole. Each part of the object seems to have a relationship to another part.
- Emphasis. This is where the design is given a point of interest.
- Rhythm. Rhythm is achieved by the repetition of lines, curves, forms,colors, and textures within the design. It gives an object a pleasing appearance.
- Texture. Texture is the condition of the surface of a material. Texture can be added by cutting, pressing, perforating, rolling, or expanding.
- Color. All metals have a color of their own Colors may also be added using chemicals, paints, lacquers, or other finishing materials. Selection of color is important.
Solving a design problem
- State the problem
- Think through the problem
- Develop your ideas
- Prepare working drawings.
- Construct the project.
It takes time to acquire the skill to develop well-designed projects.YOU LEARN BY DOING. Keep a notebook of your ideas. Include photos of the projects you have designed and constructed. By reviewing your notebook it will be easy to see how your design skills improve."
Not bad for a textbook!