Am I Crazy? Friday, Aug 25 2006 

I’m starting to think I am. This seemed like such a good idea yesterday – then I went to my studio to work on displays for a show this weekend. Afterward I realized I might want to get ‘warmed up’ by making something, pendant or otherwise, on a daily basis so that when I officially start my year of pendants it won’t be a jolt to try to remember to make one each day.

So of course, I had no desire to make pendants. All I wanted to make last night was earrrings. And yes, technically one earring dangle could count as a pendant, but that’s not usually the way I work. Pendants tend to be my more fun, experimental pieces. My first ‘breakthrough’ designing jewelry was with pendants, when I decided to trash a necklace that wasn’t working out as planned and somehow ended up with some cool freeform pendants made from silver wire and fake pearls. From that point on, I’ve loved experimenting when I make jewelry, and pendants provide a perfect ‘medium’ for experimentation. No need to make a matching pair, like with earrings, so I can be a little crazy when I make pendants. Recently, I started melting my scrap metal and working on designs that incorporate semi-melted fused metal, sometimes more successfully than others. I’ve also gone through wire weaving phases, again not always with as much success as my original idea seemed to warrant.

But all of this experimentation has made me more skilled, both at designing art jewelry, and with various the fabrication techniques involved. I’ve also learned quite a few methods to salvage it when an idea doesn’t work out as planned, which I suppose makes me more creative than I used to be.

Of course I am hoping that creating 365 pendants in a year will also build my design and fabrication skills, and result in me coming up with many new ideas, some of which might turn into my next series of successful jewelry designs.

But I’m concerned too. If I didn’t feel like making a pendant last night, how will I get myself to do it every day next year? I’m starting to think that one result of this project might be quite a few charm-like pendants that strongly resemble the types of dangles I like to put on earrings…but I can always hope that the majority will actually be more interesting, artsy, and creative…

Welcome to 365 Pendants Thursday, Aug 24 2006 

Welcome to 365 Pendants, the home of my (hopefully not too) ambitious project to make a pendant every day for a year.

First, a little about me: I am a jewelry designer in Berkeley, CA. You can see some of my work on my jewelry business site, michondesign.com. For the past two years, I’ve been involved in a project where each participant creates a piece of jewelry a week. In addition, we were supposed to photograph our piece and post a picture of it along with a journal entry each week. The first year was called A Year of Jewelry, and the second was called the Four Seasons of Jewelry.

Then I read about artists who make a small painting EVERY DAY and post them on their blogs, and I thought…why not try to do that with jewelry? My first idea was to do earrings, but pendants have always been my favorite thing to make, so I decided to go easy on myself and, if I was going to commit to doing something every single day, have it be as enjoyable as possible.

I’m not sure exactly when I’m going to start, but considering that the Four Seasons of Jewelry project ends in about three weeks, I’ll probably wait until it’s finished to start my project. I may continue with the weekly project as well, posting my favorite pendant of the week on the collaborative project site.
I don’t promise to post every day, but I will try to post at least once a week, and I will photograph all 365 of the pendants I make, even if they are really ugly and uninspired on some days. We all have those days where it’s hard to find the energy to brush our teeth, let alone doing something productive, so I imagine there will be at least a few hideously ugly pendants resulting from this challenge I’ve given myself. Please try to judge me on my successes rather than the failures…

I welcome comments and encouragement – I’ll need it!

If this goes well, and I complete my year of pendants, I may even continue indefinitely with the project. Wish me luck!