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How do I begin my jewellery design process?  Firstly I buy a new sketch book.  This is a little bit of an extravagance, because any paper will do, but I love the optimism and freshness that the crisp; empty; first page of a sketch book represents.  The next step, which I think is the most important step in my design process, is getting out of the house.  I pack my rucksack, camera case and go outside.  I find that getting away from  mundane, everyday responsibilities, household chores and clutter and just spending time with a pressure free mind, is my way to start finding inspiration for my design.  Yesterday it was raining in Thames Ditton (again – what a grotty summer!) but in a brief break in the showers I wandered down the road that I live in, camera in hand.  I was quite amazed at what I saw, things that I have walked past for all these years and never noticed.  Actually spending the time focusing on what was out there was so interesting.

Two photographs from brickwork near to where I live.   One shows organic aspects on a geometrical man-made  background.  The other shows pipes against the brickwork.  What I think is great about these two photographs is that they came from the same brick bridge but each represents a different style area.  One shows geometrical, hard lines, steel grey  and starkness, while the other shows aspects which are organic, fresh, green, light and ethereal.

Anyway.  That is how I usually start my design process – with a walk and photography.  If I have some ideas already in my head I tailor my walk to get as much inspiration as possible to compliment my ideas.  If I am thinking of organic shapes I would visit somewhere like Wisley, which is the RHS gardens near to where I live .  Obviously, there are plenty of museums to visit and wonderful galleries.   On my rainy walk around Thames Ditton I was reminded  that there is inspiration for design everywhere and that you do not need to travel far or spend any money to find some fantastic visual stimuli.  Everywhere I go I always take a camera or at the very least a camera phone.  Today, while cycling I saw two decorative  window frames on an old house. I just had to stop and take a photo of them with my phone.  I will put them on my blog …….when I have found the lead that connects the phone to the computer!