I've been asked many times already whether I draw or sketch my designs. The answer is... no and yes. "No" - because usually it's the stone who is the leader: its shape and texture, its colour and warmth that I feel in my hands when I touch it. Sometimes I prepare colour combinations that I like and think they will work well and then when I start working all the set up disappears if the main stone doesn't agree.
It can be the wire that too leads my fingers - how it wants to serpent on the stone, how it curves to fit the shape. And nothing can be done by force. The stone breaks. The wire snatches. I get impatient.
Sometimes, however, the answer is "Yes" - I do sketch and I do it with more and more details. The designs that are first created on paper tend to be more elaborate in the very specific and unique Art Nouveau style which requires certain shapes of curves, certain proportions and balance. Sometimes I follow the drawing to a single line, like in the French Baroque pendant.
Sometimes, though, even the sketch won't work when the stones don't agree. That was the case when I started working on The Dream Comes True, having already chosen one of my favourite Crystal Quartz focals: a big, clear and pure freeform Quartz... which didn't cooperate with the wires and with the design at all!
Eventually I gave up and soon found a perfect replacement: the square Silver Rutile Quartz cabochon. And I love the outcome!
I try not to fight with the stones. Maybe they are my true Muse?