Exploring the making process…silversmiths & mosaic artists speak

We often explore why we make. But what about how we make?

I’m not talking about technique but about the process.

How does that something, that did not previously exist, start its life in you? How does it evolve, develop,  become solid and tangible?

Have you ever looked at your making process in detail? And is it even desirable to do so?

How long do you take to let your creations gestate? How much of what you make is designed from the start?

How do you design your ideas? Neatly in a sketchbook, on the back of an envelope, in the bath, out in nature, in the wee hours when you can’t sleep?

How much evolves through serendipity and chance? Do you subdue your medium to your design or let your materials lead the way – or both?

I often say to my students that mosaic materials are like characters in a novel – they have a life of their own and you need to let them lead you…

How much of your ideas are ‘original’ (is there anything new under the sun?) and how much are fusions of different ideas sparking round your brain from a multitude of sources and experiences. And…yes yes, how do you know if you are crossing that fine line between inspiration and imitation?

A new exhibition, Mindful of Silver , starts tomorrow through to 26th July at Goldsmiths Hall in London, exploring the making process of silversmiths and touching on many of these themes. I read an article about it in the paper (on the plane to Glasgow where the sun is still not set and its nearly 10pm!) and was intrigued by the questions it posed.

A few hours later I saw this video by mosaic artists, mentor and amazing teacher, Sonia King…exploring the mosaic making process.

Mosaic from Dexter Evans on Vimeo.

There is much richness in these two sources that can help us step back and explore the how of our creative process. For anyone that values mindfulness, it sounds like a healthy avenue of contemplation don’t you think?

6 Responses to “Exploring the making process…silversmiths & mosaic artists speak”

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  1. Suzanne says:

    Wow, what an amazing studio, and a truly talented mosaic artist. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. Amelia says:

    such thought provoking questions. I know I don't know the answers or have control because it all comes from a different part of me that doesn't exist in language and that's a powerful place. The gestation period is long and unanswerable and who know's why 'you know' when it's right or 'time' for something to come into material being . . . thank Concetta. Plus I just put a link to you over on my blog as I write about living from the heart and inspiring workshops coming up 😉


  3. Concetta says:

    Great thoughts Amelia and thanks for the link :)…and Suzanne, her studio is rather amazing isn't it?

  4. Dana Barbieri says:

    hmmm… i think everything gets poured in from all over the place, mixed up with your own life experiences, tastes, personality and out comes your own creation, of course their is also a greater force guiding our way too.
    great thing to think about.

  5. AG Ambroult says:

    mmm. I love this line "different ideas sparking round your brain from a multitude of sources and experiences." It's so true, I pull from everything I experience, sometimes from actual silver jewelry I see, sometimes from a shape in the clouds, and pattern on a tree. etc. It's impossible to be completely original, I think, but I do try my best to be a one of a kind with my pieces. I never understood imitators. I mean, how can you be fulfilled by or proud of something that is copied?
    Love you words here.

  6. Concetta says:

    Thanks Amy 🙂

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