Evolution of a Design

Crystal Vine Take One Copyright Margot Potter All Rights Reserved
Crystal Vine Take Two Copyright All Rights Reserved Margot Potter

I created this necklace for one of my design clients. I began with 10 gauge tinned copper wire, hammering and forming it into a simple choker, then added a sprinkling of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS sew on stones attached with a thinner gauge of wire. (This is the design I'm wearing in the Create Your Style video.) I was really going for something simple, striking and primitive here with a big nod to Alexander Calder's wire jewelry work. Unfortunately the client didn't like the first version and asked me to cover up the wire wraps and the exposed hammered wire at the front of the design. I had to work and rework and rework the piece because it's all secured with tension and has to be wearable or it's pointless. Yes, I can be patient, though it usually involves a smattering of juicy expletives.  The two arms of the thicker wire actually create the tension that secures the necklace around the neck, so the smaller stones had to be out of the way of that action. The large stone had to go, unfortunately, but that gave the design a more curvilinear feel. Honestly, I like both versions, but they're very different. Alas, after the rework and though the client genuinely liked it, they asked me to scrap this one and start over using different techniques and materials.  So...I'll be wearing this at some upcoming events.  This is part of the deal of being a freelance designer, not my favorite part, but one that can't be avoided I'm afraid.

What do you think, the first version, the second version or neither?! What do you think about editing your work? How do your designs evolve?

That's a prompt for you to converse with me! Be not afraid. Oh and, Tune in tomorrow, I've got a giveaway!



TesoriTrovati said...

I was going through similar machinations for some design team work, except the client was me making all the adjustments! It took me a few days to make the chains lay just right and many re-workings to get the look as I envisioned it but it happened and it looks great. I should have taken shots of each of the different attempts, but my computer is not talking to my camera right now. I love the Calder-esque quality of this. I have been exploring his portfolio of work for some inspiration as well. Thanks for sharing the reality that it is not always perfect the first time and that it takes editing to make a piece really sing. I like both, by the way ;-)

Enjoy the day!

WireMySoul said...

I really love that first version, but I'm a sucker for sculpted wire elements, and that focal crystal is simply mesmerizing, isn't it? Re-dos are the one thing I don't like about custom orders. Sometimes your vision doesn't match the client's, and it's disheartening when the latest masterpiece isn't received well. Anyway, gorgeous work, Madge!

Sarah Sequins said...


One thing I think would be really cool is just to have the wire necklace with the neat curliques in the front.

But I like both versions, I have to say!

Unless I get it right the first time, my designs evolve slowly. Just like writing, I don't feel so bad about changing something around if it's had awhile to sit. I guess there's (slightly) less of an emotional attachment, and I can think clearly.

Margot Potter said...

I agree on the plain wire version, which is where I started before adding elements, but the client is a manufacturer of components...so that would not have worked! If I was just doing the plain wire, I'd probably work in sterling and do an oxidized finish. Maybe even hammer and forge this more.

Margot Potter said...

Yes, it's an endless edit and rework and edit and rework in my studio on a regular basis before I even show the design to a client! Design is a process, the hardest part is knowing when it's finished!

Margot Potter said...

The redo was a bit tough to swallow, but to redo it and have to start all over again was a little...disconcerting. I love the piece though, so it's one less design I have to make to wear to the shows!

oroboros said...

I'm partial to the first version. that's all I have to say about that... :)

Elizabeth *^..^* said...

I love both designs! Can't say I prefer one over another as your style is very similar to how I design. As for the custom orders, I have been really blessed as to not have to re-design pieces. If I experienced something similar to what you posted about, I would re-design once and if they didn't like, I would be done. Too much time is invested in custom designs and it's not something I like to do. I only entertain custom designs for my very best customers willing to pay for my design time and want MY design. If they have another design in mind, then they can make it themselves. Ha! That's just my two cents after wasting time trying to please others.

Margot Potter said...


I stopped doing custom work for individuals years back for the same reason. This is for a manufacturer with whom I have worked for years and the final design which is nothing like this will be published in a book. I almost said forget it , but I persevered!