Our Celestial Collection: How I Found My Inspiration
Did you struggle to find inspiration in lockdown?
It’s a funny thing, “inspiration.” If I try to conjure it, it never works. Often it comes upon me like a flash when I’m doing something else so I have to rush away and capture a concept or write down a thought before it fades away. I’ve definitely felt less creative during lockdown.
But, in January I decided in that I wanted to create a new jewellery collection to launch in autumn. I wanted to challenge myself but struggled to identify a theme to focus on. I didn’t want to do anything traditionally autumnal, so I decided to trust that an idea would emerge given time.
Finding My Inspiration
I am an avid collector and hoarder of all things vintage. I have vintage beads, odd findings and broken discarded costume jewellery in my collection. I save everything because I know that I will find a use for it one day. Fossicking through my hoard, I found a 1950s clip-back earring with a mother-of-pearl disc framed by metal leaves, tiny pearl beads and rhinestones. And suddenly I was inspired again.
I created a beautiful necklace with vintage pearl beads with the clip-back earring as its centrepiece. I named it “Lady of the Moon” because it was so feminine and the mother-of-pearl disc reminded me of the moon glowing in the night sky.
I now had a gorgeous necklace but still no theme for the collection. Some weeks later, I purchased some vintage black glass stones set with a star and crescent moon from a vintage supplier in the USA. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to have them.
Later, I purchased some glass beads made in the Czech Republic with stars and a crescent moon picked out in gold. At the time I was focused on other things so I didn’t immediately see the connection. But a few days after that second purchase I woke up “knowing” that I was going to create a celestial themed collection.
Did you know that moon and star motifs have symbolic meanings in jewellery?
The heavens have always fascinated humans, so of course stars and moon motifs have featured in jewellery for as long as we have been around. The moon has been associated with many female deities including the Greek goddesses Artemis, Selene and Hecate, the Roman goddesses Diana and Luna, the Japanese moon princess Kagura and the Chinese goddess of the moon Chang’e.
The moon represents the rhythm of time, of birth, death and reincarnation as it travels through its cycle. It represents change and feminine wisdom. In Victorian times, the crescent moon was a popular motif used in jewellery and was particularly associated with female empowerment
The stars that cascade beautifully across the night sky have long been used by nomads and sailors to help them navigate to their intended destination. Therefore in jewellery stars symbolise being able to obtain guidance from within or without and setting a direction for your future self.
Perhaps that is why this theme resonated with me –it felt strong, it was meaningful for me and provided the direction for my collection.
What Celestial Motifs Have I Used in My Collection?
Celestial objects are those that belong in the sky or outer space. So in my collection, each item contains some objects that have that association. I decided my collection would be set apart by 4 main design elements: chandelier crystals, mother-of-pearl, rhinestones and anything formed in the shape of stars, moons or planets.
I always love using vintage chandelier crystals in my work because their shape is designed to catch and reflect light, and they add an element of quirkiness to my designs. You can often see a lovely star shape within a chandelier crystal, so they represent the stars in this collection. (I actually bought a very kitsch chandelier a few years ago that had glass garlands of hearts and stars, so some of those stars have also been incorporated).
The soft sheen of mother-of-pearl reminds me of the shining moon. It has a very soothing and calming influence and is said to bring prosperity to the wearer; what could be better than that?
I’ve used rhinestones because of their sparkle, just like the stars twinkling in the sky on a clear dark night. You’ll also find vintage stampings and beads in the shape the moon, planets or stars in this collection.
Together they tell a story of celestial beauty.
Find your inspiration
I think sometimes it’s OK to have a goal but not the inspiration to follow it through at that time as I’ve found that inspiration can sneak up on you when you least expect it. I believe it’s important to accept that gift and make the most of it.
This time I think I’ve created an inspired jewellery collection that embodies both femininity and strength. I hope that when you see it you are also inspired by these ideas.
What about you? When did inspiration find you?
I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.