Friday, July 6, 2007


For those who have been speculating, WorthWhile is not a piece of jewelry. WorthWhile is a gallery where the building itself is untextured sculpture. It is named from Harry Winston's famous quote "People will stare. Make it worth their while."

So let's do that.

At 7pm SLT, July 6th, 2007 (that's tonight) I am opening the doors to the WorthWhile gallery. It wouldn't be a strange thing, except that I've always had my work in a single vendor, which has been complained about, sometimes adamantly, by many because it is not user friendly.

But WorthWhile is more than that. I didn't want to create something just part way.

I have realized that my $L2,500 pieces in my vendor in the past have set somewhat of a trend. I had followed the recommendations of those who follow my work. They wanted the prices higher, so I brought them higher. Is it worth more? Maybe. Does more work go into each piece? Probably. Is it valued higher? Definitely.

But please hear me out. Before I introduced extreme detail jewelry to Sl for $L1800 a set most jewelry was $L50-$L250 throughout SL. When I brought my prices up and kept them there most of the jewelers in SL followed after a few months. Unfortunately they (some, not all) kept their prices up and did not improve their quality. So all of SL has become accustomed to expensive jewelry of very poor quality.

So... I am going back to the pricing of my days in Olive where you could get a nice set of jewelry from me for $L250. The quality will remain very high, but the prices are anywhere from $L25 for a nice pair of earrings to match your Wish set, to $L1000 for a full set of Ice Queen.

There are some pieces, like Little Jimmy Brown, which will be put out in another location later off by themselves.

But right now it's back down to earth for you, Random old boy. Remember your beautiful cave in Olive.
Welcome all to WorthWhile. I hope you enjoy the new styles that have just opened up to you.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Wish - The Constellations Jewelry

The creation of Wish coincides closely with the debut of the long awaited (and belated) "Worthwhile", which will soon be unveiled. Another announcement is pending which I will discuss later in this post.

First, and most important, I want you to know how this came about since it has actually been a couple of years in the making. In August 2005 Karamel Madison approached me when I had my studio in Olive. She had become familiar with my limited concept creations such as The Eboness and The Kiss Within the Cup. She sent me an IM one day, explaining that when she was a little girl she used to wish upon a star and it had become such a part of her that if I could do a piece on that concept it would be wonderful.

I tried. The concept in my mind wasn't quite there, and even if it had been, I don't think my skills were where they needed to be. I understood exactly what she was saying, but that isn't enough. Inspiration was needed. Inspiration is that which fills the gap between an idea and ability to make that idea into reality.
I did make the Andromeda earrings and the star on that idea, but that was as far as I could go. That is why the Andromeda earrings have always been there with nothing to match them. As much as I do like how the Andromeda earrings came out, to draw a 5 pointed star is in no way the same thing as having a star to wish upon. The Andromeda star says nothing about wishing, whether it is a nice piece technically or not.

It wasn't until about 2 months ago when Amelia Balczo unintentionally handed me the answer. It came in the form of an energy. It is almost impossible to explain, but I will try. Some of you are aware that when I build I usually go and build and don't come up for air for quite a while. I had been working on "Ode to Caledon" and had finally finished the complete set. What I needed was a break. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I was positive I didn't want to build any more that day. That can only mean it's time to go dancing!
None of my preferred dance partners were online.
When it comes to dancing there are limited places to go. I have gone to great lengths in the past to find a place to dance that suits me. Which place I go to generally depends on my mood and who I am with. Phat Cats plays a whole lot of the Rod Stewart-type jazz, which gets old to me, but not in a good old-timey sort of way. The Blue Note plays a better mix of the old-timey jazz and the new music too, but there is almost never anyone there who is available to dance, but I do go there and hang out as the stand in piano player once in a while; just me and the slim cat. Jade's Jazz Lounge plays an excellent mix of jazz and contemporary soft music, mixing some of the up-beat contemporary in there here and there. To summarize; Blue Note is where I go if I want to continue to be alone and just sit at the piano while I catch up with IMs, or I actually have a date. Jades is where I go if I have a date and want good music. And Phat Cats is where I go if I just want to be in the middle of a crowd and take my chances at the random dance partner. Before asking anyone to dance I always read through their profile carefully, making assumptions about them by the groups they belong to.

I ended up at Phat Cats asking Amelia Balczo to dance while she was AFK. She didn't answer, of course. After asking I'm not going to go ask someone else until they answer, even if its an hour wait. That wouldn't be right. I had read her profile carefully (as most discerning men do) and made all my assumptions, which I was curious if she would verify or prove wrong. I decided it was worth the wait and had a seat next to her while she took care of her RL obligations.
When Amelia came back she accepted my dance offer on the stipulation that she may go AFK once in a while while we danced. That's an opportunity for me to catch up on my IMs or rummage through my inventory or go a little AFK myself, so I agreed.

Amelia turned out to be a very interesting woman who is sharp and ambitious. But there is more to her than meets the eye. Without going into much detail, suffice it to say that our discussion on more etherial topics just hit me and made Wish obvious. I wasn't looking for it, and the whole subject of "wish upon a star" hadn't entered my conscious mind for months, although I had tried to fully understand Karamel's request for almost two years. In truth, it is as if Amelia sent it to me intentionally when both our guards were down.

I really can't thank the two of them, Karamel and Amelia, enough. I feel as if I have received my own wish.
There isn't much to say about the actual building of Wish, except to explain that hours upon hours went into experimentation of how to get exactly the right intensity of light from each star in the piece to match the stars in each real constellation. As expected, there are no textures, with the exception of invisible, in the piece so I could play with the light as I needed to. Looking into the sky at night it was obvious that it had to look like a very simple piece. It is a simple piece, but how it turned out simple, and not a jumble, is rather complex.
The necklace contains different constellations than the bracelet, and no zodiacal constellations on purpose. This was not to be a "zodiac" piece. Below on the star map are photos of the constellations themselves as I made them that were built in.

The bracelet was to contain none of the same constellations as the necklace, and also no zodiacal constellations:

The earrings, which people get to choose, come in four non-zodiac constellations, but are available in every zodiac constellation, for a total of 16 variations.

I will point out that with the earrings there is little difference between the left and the right ones. I did this intentionally - not to save work, but because I realize that any constellation looked at from behind no longer exists. So keeping as close to reality as possible I kept the constellation intact so the wearer knows that they are displaying a merger of both science and art. This is something I have only done with one other piece - Vincent's Unified Theory (below), created for a physicist I once met.

Another piece was added, long after the rest was completed. it is the corona. The corona contains constellations previously created.

I suppose it is here I should mention that there is a dark matter version of Wish, or "Wish Antimatter".

For those reading my blog I will go a little further into detail of recent happenings now that Wish is released before WorthWhile and why that happened. Credit must be given where credit is due.

Some of you have noticed that Nicky Ree and I have been testing our ability to collaborate. She had done such a perfect job with her spring collection to match "Ode to Caledon" that I explained "Wish" to her before I made it. She began formulating her own ideas for it. Since she hand-paints her own textures she has a lot of leeway for her own creativity and inspiration.

When only the Wish necklace existed she tested it and found it to be light and delicate and an inspiration for the most extreme elegance in gowns. She worked hard to create exactly the perfect gown for the jewelry. I think she succeeded admirably.

Decked out in her Wish gown and jewelry she then talked with Tigerlily Koi, of Calla Hair while she waited for me to open WorthWhile. I am very slow and deliberate and don't hurry much of anything, unlike the pros like Nicky and Tigerlily. But in the gown and jewelry Tigerlily instantly "saw" the hairstyle she knew she had to create.

When Nicky and Tigerlily were ready, I had to admit it was time to release Wish. It can be found next to Tigerlily's display at Calla Hair, and also next to Nicky's Wish dresses. I recently put it on the wall next to my vendor in Kandinsky too.

I noticed that Nicky has been calling it "Constellations". That is all right by me. I call it "Wish" because that is why I made it for Karamel and why there is a falling star on the necklace right where it needs to be. It's never just about the jewelry.

And just to see who is looking closely, in Nicky's photos of new releases she also shows another piece of my jewelry I haven't announced or released. Can you spot what it is? This was also brought out at Nicky's Fashion Show on Sunday, July 1st where a good time was had by all, including myself, until I crashed right at the finale.

Another mention is that during the big Ode hunt on IBM's SOA Adventure Island a couple of weeks ago I placed one set of Wish jewelry in one of the thousand or so butterflies on the island. The lucky Ms Aradia Dielli found it. :)