In my studio, I have a "work in progress" drawer containing not only partially finished pieces in progress but also work that didn't turn out quite as I envisioned, pieces I'm reluctant to abandon. This drawer turns out to be an inspirational place for me. It is much-visited in the course of a day, and sometimes I'll have a flash of an idea, a sudden vision of how a mistake might be transformed. Often these pieces turn out to be favorites.
One piece recently languished in the drawer for a couple of months. I intended it to be like the piece above, but I had made the rim too narrow. The piece then seemed a bit too delicate. I thought about soldering it to a solid circle of silver, but it wasn't quite what I wanted; I preferred the delicate openwork. One day I spotted it in the drawer and thought, "what if I made it convex?" I gave it a try and the necklace below was the result. I loved it!
The etched Always Necklace below was a happy accident. I started out making a Forever and Always Ring, but something odd happened during the etching process and when I pulled it out of the etching bath, it had this amazing, organic texture surrounding the "always" that I hadn't actually intended. It reminded me of rough, weathered wood. Because the rustic texture was not consistent across the entire piece and it would no longer work as a ring, it went in the drawer for a couple of weeks. When I looked at it again, It occurred to me to cut the "forever" off and use the "always" for a necklace. I was thrilled with the result. The piece sold immediately.
The Always piece has inspired other textured work, such as the edge of my Luna Moth Necklace:
My third example is an ordering mistake. I accidentally ordered chain that was too substantial, and when I received the spool I knew this chain would overwhelm the delicate pieces for which I had intended it. It occurred to me that it would be lovely for a bracelet. Below is the result. (I was tempted to keep this bracelet for myself!)
While it would be fantastic if all my work turned out exactly as I intended, I do rather enjoy the challenge of a piece gone awry; puzzling out a good solution is immensely satisfying.