Thursday, February 8, 2007

Welcome Elizabeth

Last night was certainly a busy evening when I got in SL. Aside from a visit from an old friend and a new one too, an article in the M2 (Metaverse Messenger) was published. With that (and the list here on the blog) Elizabeth was "out of the bag".

I announced to the RC New Jewelry Hotline that they may bid, in a blind auction, on Elizabeth sets #5, 6 and 7 between now and Saturday at 7pm SLT by sending an IM to me with their bid. Sunday will see the sale of #8 and 9 at public auction with the proceeds going to charity. Before anyone asks why THAT charity (see the M2), think "acorn".
I'll talk about auctions, first come first serve, set prices and all that in some other post. It's a dilemma, but I'm doing the best I can at the moment.
I rather like Elizabeth though. I want to talk about her this morning.


Elizabeth has been a very interesting experience for me. Initially she was born as a puzzle piece, similar to the Mata Hari, and throughout her build that is what I had in mind. I wanted to make her to exacting specs since she would be enjoyed by many. That's the overall view.

The Inspiration

The ruby in Elizabeth is a new technique I was trying out last month and it turned out surprisingly well for the piece and helped inspire the whole set. What is different about it is that it is actually a full-bright ruby inside a non-full bright ruby. I didn't use any of my old gems for it. It was a new one. The day/night effect was so calming that I thought it was exactly right for the period piece. I built wrought iron around her as earrings.

When the initial earrings were done I asked Kaffebean Doowangle for a huge role play favor. I gave Kaffe the first draft earrings and she went shopping. She found the perfect outfit, at Rebel Hope I believe, and then gave me a call. In the meantime I dressed up in the only period clothing I had. It was from Vindie Vindaloo.

When Kaffe tp'd me to her place she was sitting in her parlor at the piano dressed in her finery, wearing the earrings. She had no other jewelry on. I watched. The earrings were on fire. The shimmer moved so fast across them I was amazed what was happening to the wrought iron from the new ruby and the daylight on black. These weren't the quiet pieces I had supposed they might be. Resting, unmoving, yes they are, but worn they come alive.

Kaffe played the piano and I watched. I imagined what a necklace to suit those earrings might be like. Visions of gas street lamps, the industrial age, graceful manners and the emergence of decorative iron as an art form filled my brain. In silence I watched as the Elizabeth necklace formed itself in my brain following the refined curves over her shoulders and clavical coming to rest exactly where it should and how it should.

At that point I knew what Elizabeth had to be. That is what she became.

I thank you Kaffe. It is amazing to me the vision you sent me to channel into Elizabeth that day. I hold to the idea that the art lies not within myself, but within those to whom I listen, if I would but listen to the voice with which they're speaking.

The Build

The building of the work was a separate challenge. I modified the earrings to be what they are now and went to work on the necklace. The gyroscope around the ruby was first. Imagine if you will a piece which grows itself by itself. Each prim knew where it had to go and was telling me. I wasn't telling it what had to be.

When I got to the shoulders on the necklace I asked Kaffe to join me in my studio. She did, and I was thrilled to have been able to arch the iron over her shoulder as it is. This was a first where the prim conformed rather than a series of angled prims. She was extremely patient and I wonder what someone does when they're being built upon and not burdened by the busyness and concentration of the building process itself. It helped to have her there and brought out the original "piano" vision of some days before.

I completed the necklace in that sitting.

The tiara happened of its own accord. I hadn't planned it, I just made it without really realizing what I was doing. So much so I can't say I actually remember doing it. It just came into existence.

The ring is quite different. I began by trying something as I had with other slim prim pieces and really didn't like it. The problem was that I was telling it what to do. I let that thought go and made the ring as it is now. I asked the question about whether it matched and honestly the design simply told me that it will, but wait for the bracelet. What an odd thing for Elizabeth to tell me!

I spent days just stewing over the bracelet. There was no way she would not have one, but I had two nearly different styles here with the slim wrought iron necklace and earrings and that darned bulky ring. It's not really bulky to those who hadn't just spent a week on wire thin prims. I didn't realize that. So I gave it some time and and stopped making false starts. When the bracelet wanted to come out she would.

The day it happened, perhaps a week later, it happened exactly like you see. On a technical level the bracelet, I believe, is one of the most difficult pieces I've ever done. I did not feel the pain of that because on a stylistic level, when she stepped out of me and revealed herself, I became enamored by her. I still am.

Welcome, Elizabeth. I bow to your grace.


Tayzia said...

I personally think the "Elizabeth" bracelet is one of the most beautiful, exquisite pieces you have ever created. Please keep doing what you do; I can't wait to see what more you create in this amazing world of endless possibilities.

Andre said...

Random, it is a masterpiece!
Once more, I envy the ladies who will have the honor of wearing such beauty!