From Diamond to Design


There truly is no step in this process that I don't love. Each one brings me joy. 

My last post (The Right Light) described finding the right diamond image, one that has a personality or a story to tell. Today I'll describe the fun involved in transforming an image into a potential design for future work. 

Photography by Geoffrey Watt @Mayer and Watt

Photography by Geoffrey Watt @Mayer and Watt

This is the stone that caught my attention -- a beautiful peach Zoisite from the collection of Laurie and Simon Watt. (You can see the rest of their incredible collection of colored gemstones at www.mayerandwatt.com.) After giving it a little make-over by boosting the color, I spun it around to look at it from different angles. 

It was certainly a stunning stone all by itself, but I wondered how a companion stone might enhance the image. Georgia O'Keeffe had a wonderful take on color theory. She said colors adjacent to one another on the color wheel are Friends, while colors opposite one another are Lovers. Marvelous!  Since blue and orange are complementary colors, this is the handsome sapphire I chose for my lovely leading lady. A mysterious charmer, isn't he?

I worked with both images on my PC, but nothing really caught my eye. The designs I was able to produce seemed lifeless, so I decided to change my focus at that point.  My "Bourbon Diamond" series is inspired, not only by amber gems, but Kentucky's iconic spirit and the amazing Kentucky bourbon distilleries that create it. Willett Distillery in Bardstown is one of the most historic distilleries in Kentucky.  Once I spotted the angular lines of the distillery's tin roof and its variegated brick exterior, I knew what might solve my design issue. I went back to the drawing board, threw in a diagonal line, and increased the scale of the facets. The design immediately started to get more interesting. 

Historic Willett Distillery (Bardstown, KY)

Historic Willett Distillery (Bardstown, KY)

Adding a diagonal line and increasing the facet sizes made all the difference...

Adding a diagonal line and increasing the facet sizes made all the difference...

I knew I needed to get my hands on the images, physically moving around the pieces until something sang out to me. I printed out the images, cut them up, and began mashing them back together in new configurations. 

Finally!  

Next time I'll share a bit about the process of taking this little mock-up and turning it into a full-scale work.