Monday, August 17, 2009

The Name Game

T-shirt by Xenotees
from the marvelous book of collective lists - An Exaltation of Larks by James Lipton

My friend Ruth is having a "Name That Pic" contest with her FaceBook friends. I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with something clever, but only think of obvious titles for her picture of a field of birds with only one headed in the opposite direction. "Wrong Way Wren". "Headed My Way". "Independent Thinker". I'm sure Ruth wants to convey a feeling of confidence and independence as opposed to doing something wrong headed. She's all about positive statements and reinforcement. None of these are right though. She'll come up with something fabulous I'm sure. And now that I think I know what they're for, I think I'll enter "Looking For Home" or "Homeward Bound" into the contest. That's the way I name my jewelry for Etsy too. Make the piece, then think of a word or phrase to go with it. 

Recently when I decided I want to assemble "lines" of similar pieces that will "tell a story" when I lay them out on my table at the Contemporary Crafts Market in November, I wanted to try coming up with the names first and the designs after (perhaps *I* am the wrong way wren). So I've been writing down words and phrases that I like. That feel good in my mouth. That are evocative of an idea I want to convey. I have the idea that sometimes the words will match something that I've already created and sometimes they'll inspire a design or family of work. Sometimes, they might just make me smile when my designing mind is blank. As I re read the ones I've saved, I realize that some of them actually refer to someone else's work more than mine, but I'm keeping them on the list anyway.

It's an interesting way of working, non? I spend an hour or so in my Mother's 1934 edition of the Thesaurus (so much better than the online version) jotting down synonyms. And looking at them afterwards, pictures *do* appear in my mind's eye. Maybe if I read the book before bed, I'd dream galleries of jewelry. Here are a few of my recent additions to the list: 

Collection Device
Past Perfect

I'd love to read some of your favorites.


Ruth said...

Hi Lora, thanks for mentioning my little competition! Hope you'll enter your ideas.....I so often have a phrase or quotation that is my inspiration. More often than not, the name of the piece comes first for me! I like your words here - especially pastorale.... then I love the words bountiful, boundless and radiance

Paige said...

Love the word ancestral. Good images come to mind for that one. And I like Past Perfect but it sounds like the name of a band to me.

Just me in the MN this week. Mike and the dog are at home, I miss them something terrible.

Laura Crawford said...

What a great way to actively focus your designs... I might have to borrow this idea... different words, of course... :)

~ Lora Hart Jewels ~ said...

Feel free Laura. Although I did think of it myself (as opposed to reading about it) I'm pretty danged sure that there are others who use this method too. Nothing is original. And nothing of mine will ever be patented.

How's the bike ride coming along?