Thinking Outside the Box

Posted by Kelly Wright on 6/1/2017
Thinking Outside the Box
"The most important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them." – Sir William Bragg

This week, a KZ Chain's designer said to me, "Today I made a new design... I have never done one like this before. I was trying to think outside the box!" which caused me to explore that idea. 

The saying "thinking outside the box" has been around since the 60's and it's used as a great marketing catch phrase for a variety of advertisements, almost to the point of becoming a cliche. But when you relate it to your creative instincts, it may very well be a beneficial personal motto.

It's often challenging to create new and exciting pieces when you are designing your own jewelry. Say, for example, you want to make a necklace to add to your online inventory. If you're in business, you know that the competition is overwhelming, so you need to stand out in the crowd and maybe put the spotlight on an original, one-of-a-kind item to catch the eye of a potential customer.  

As referenced in the quote by Sir William Bragg, there are seldom new elements, as with facts, to use to make your actual design. A wide variety of chain, leather, fabric, sliders, pendants and closures is available, but not much that isn't being used by every other jewelry designer on the face of the earth. So what do you do?

As in the guideline in last week's blog "Plan Your Work...", the first step is to look for inspiration everywhere. Once you have an idea in mind, then contemplate on it a while. Look with your mind's eye at all angles, in reverse, changing colors and maybe even twisting elements into new shapes. Does the pendant really have to hang at the middle of a chain? Could a piece of Indian Round Leather become a slider over multiple lengths of Flat Savannah Leather?  Do you have to use a typical base metal clasp for a closure, or could a slider become something new? And if your experiment doesn't work out, you can salvage the elements to make a new design. 

Believe in yourself! Never be afraid to let your imagination out of the box.