Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Sum of the Parts...

"At this moment, design, fabric, form - sprinkled with small clusters of particles called stories turn into a high-spirited butterfly to take on the journey through one hundred years of memory." Omata, Chiyoshi {Director of Culture Design Department of 'Shiseido'}
I was reading more of Mina Perhonen 'Particle' today..and this quote, and these particular images set me thinking. Notions and ideas of design have been floating about in my head for a few weeks, what with Mav's posts about Design and the conversations that ensued, amongst other things {maybe it's because I am designing at the moment??}. What has been at the forefront of my mind has been the idea of 'process' and the notion that the sum of the parts equal the whole {the finished design}....but that the design is nothing without the parts, or the process...that the process is what gives design a basis, a story..meaning.
I suppose this also fits in with my thinking of the art of all things handmade...and how important the process one goes though to achieve a handmade product actually is. My job and role, in effect is always rooted and consumed by a process....the exploration of thoughts, the visual research and fleshing out of this...the physical manufacture of this 'idea', which becomes {in my case} a piece of jewellery. The journey, in most peoples eyes, is only now about to begin..when the jewel can be worn and is bought, but that is where my involvement for me is (nothing without the) process.
This brings me back to the images I have shown today...which I think show ' process' in such a beautiful way, not existing without the other. I love how the shells that have been used to make the mother of pearl buttons, with their pierced holes, have been placed next to the buttons themselves..showing the impact process has on the base material....and the Tori bird bag {which I covet so badly} which is shown in pieces, which highlights how well the making process shines though in the finished article, preserved and not hidden. I think this public airing of process is really important as it highlights the different ways that design is experienced. Is design appreciated differently by those who have insight into the process? I'm not sure.....but I think the way I view design, and the design I like, is the direct result {mostly} of my feeling some connection to a process the maker has gone short I want to be able to see it.
" I like using my hands to create products. I like to see the accidental happenings during the process of production, such as surprises found in nice linings or sections of materials, or intriguing mistakes" Hiroyasu Omura {Leather Artist}
This afternoon, I watched The Scent of Green Papaya which is just an amazing film. So slow and delicate, showing the processes and repetitions in life..time and care taken over these tasks, such beauty. Maybe when it comes to process...{to life} it really is true that fruits are only produced after much labour...?


jenny vorwaller said...

yes! for me, this is the dearest [art of being creative...the process, the unfolding of the story, how point A got to point G and so on. as soon as i understand a solution for what im getting at, i'm happy for a single wonderful blissful moment....

then i'm searching again and thinking, NEXT! :)

your stories are particularly beautiful to me abigail, i really do adore your work because of knowing where the lasting point began.

(and i could sooo use a midnight pastry snack right now!! :)

Shari said...

this is such a beautiful post abigail. i've already read it twice and i feel sure that i will read it many more times. for now, i just want to say i feel drawn to handmade items for the same reason...knowing that someone designed and then went through a creation process in order to produce the item. it really is like you're getting a small piece of the person who made it. thank you for sharing this! xx, shari

Marieke said...

That is an amazing post Abigail. I totally agree with you. The process of making gives the end result value in some way. And the more you can see a process in the end result, the more interesting a piece is? Like when you see all the sketches and studies for a painting.

Should see that film! I am off now to go to Ballet Russes - hope that's good too!

Enjoy your Sunday Abigail x

sharon whyte said...

hello abigail. i'm way too tired to contribute any kind of meaningful response to your eloquent thoughts! i'll just say i enjoyed reading them :)

happy week ahead!

lisa s said...

abigail... this is truly an inspiring post! so lovely... and process is an amazing part of making i think.... i can't put it any better than you do! xo

Meg said...

Wow, amazing post. I agree!

I just wanted to let you know that the earrings arrived safely and that they are gorgeous. I cannot wait for a special occasion to wear them (after which point I will probably wear them everyday as I have no self-control whatsoever. Grin.)

Take it easy,
Meg (in Oxford)

cindy said...

a really beautifully written post abigail. i believe the most important part of creating for me is the process. i try and infuse some little part of me during that part. does that make any sense? it's been a long day.
ps the bird purse is amazing! truly.

simple me said...

Hi Abigail,
Thanks for sharing this wonderful post and your ideas on the creative process.
I love the quote by Hiroyasu Omura, it is just the way I feel and understand things around me.
I've also discovered you through Shari's blog sometime ago but due to my disorganised life at the moment I never had the chance to let you know that I think you make absolutely fab jewellery.Really precious and delicate.
Thanks for your comments on my blog.