Preparing for FINDERSKEEPERS
This weekend I was back at the acclaimed design market, FINDERSKEEPERS, where my jewellery journey started 4 years ago. I owe special thanks to the people behind for providing amazing conditions to help me and my business evolve and flourish into what we have become.
The market has always appealed to me because you get free rein to create your own universe and brand your business the way you like it. I’m a big fan of installations and I invest time, care and passion into my display every time. This is the second best part of the market where I get to go crazy with ideas and unfold my creativity. I love crafting and I miss it loads now that I don’t handcraft the jewellery myself. I’m grateful to devote days of hard work with my dad to saw, file, chop, paint, cast and built a display from scratch.
My purpose of building a stand is to transform the virtual reality of my brand into a tangible and sensuousness multi-dimensional space where people can interact with me and my jewellery. I aim to create a dramatic display that communicates the ideology and design universe through the concepts, materials and shapes I use. I want the stand to be a spectacular parade of warped angles and facets that all together sum up my mantra: The glorification of edges.
The process is a time consuming task, that takes up a lot of space in my mind. This time I’ve decided to invite you into my universe and unfold the process of ideation, creation and reflection. For the sake of convenience I’ve tried to summarize and categorize it into 3 phases; The early ideation, the final resolution and the challenging construction. Bear in mind that in reality it’s much more chaotic and unsystematic.
1. The early ideation
My process always begins with eagerness and a head bursting with ideas. During the early brainstorming I try to keep my mind as open and unrestricted as possible to welcome all thoughts and focus on possibilities rather than obstacles. I think big and bold in order to create a unique and extraordinary stand that people will notice and hopefully remember.
As with most processes I start out with abstract ideas and slowly narrow them down. I like using sites like Pinterest to find inspiration for concepts, materials and shapes. I spend a lot of time in this process because it’s both fun and interesting to follow sudden, crazy thoughts and refine them into tangible compositions.
The concepts that are a recurring motif in my work are excess, edges, depth and reflection. They are the common thread in my work and the focal point of my early ideation. I always strive to create a dynamic display that is eye-catching, unusual and yet functional in order to both optimize the space and present my jewellery in the best way possible. I like building in different dimensions to create a voluminous three-dimensional effect of both width, height and depth.
As the moodboard reveals, a few elements quickly clicked in my mind, because they had just the right power and dramatic attitude I was looking for. These element were mirrors, concrete, white paint and pyramidal shapes. I like working with different materials that have contradictory expressions such as delicacy vs. roughness. They add a lot of dynamics and personality to the stand. I’ve been obsessed with mirrors for a long time and I’m excited to finally vent my ridiculous desire to buy tons of them. I wanted to keep my stand in white this time to balance out the many puzzling elements.
In the early ideation process I’m inspired by atmospheres, universes and larger artistic installations. I have a holistic approach and focus on the overall impression. In the end of this process I have a rough idea about what direction I want to go in, which concepts to focus on and what materials to use.
2. The final resolution
In the resolution phase I modify my thinking to be realistic and critical. With fresh and sensible eyes I zoom in and focus on how to captivate, imitate and reproduce the pervading tone of my moodboard with the resources available. The challenge here is to go from fantasy to reality. Many ideas are amazing on paper (or with an unlimited budget) – but which ones can be implemented? In this phase I have to consider different practical aspects like: Economy: Which ideas are affordable to create? What is my budget? Am I going to use the display again? Durability: How can I create a display that is transportable, functional and wear-resistant to last a busy weekend? Time: How much time can I afford to spend on building it? Product display: What is the best way to display the jewellery so they look inviting and approachable for my customers? How do I create a safe environment, so the jewellery is not scratched, lost or stolen?
This phase can be a discouraging business because all your wild dreams and creative ambitions are knocked down by economy, rationality and functionality. I often have my first crisis here but I’m normally able to make a u-turn and take up the challenge of balancing aesthetics with practicality.
I started out with the functionality of the space. The stand you buy from FINDERSKEEPERS only contains the actual floor space and nothing else. This time I got a large 2×4 m corner stand. I considered creating an open stand to try something new. I like the idea of interacting with my customers without having a counter in-between. I thought about building back walls behind the stand and arranging a lot of mirrors on them. Unfortunately the project was to expensive and time-consuming, so I settled for a traditional and closed stand for the sake of functionality. I came up with the idea to built a low back wall on my table so the mirrors could be placed directly on the desk.
The next important thing is the product display. First of all it’s crucial to me that my jewellery are arranged in a way that is practical and readily available. I want my customers to feel invited and tempted to fiddle and try them on. My worst nightmare would be if people were afraid to pick them up.
Secondly I wish to attain a certain look. My jewellery is perfectly capable of standing alone, but I prefer the noisy and conspicuous explosion of edges they create when they are arranged in bulks.
I wanted to cast a lot of spikes in concrete to display the rings, drill holes in wooden blocks for the spiky creol earrings, saw plexiglas plates for the rest of the earrings and make wooden necklace stands for the chains.
Besides the jewelry display I also wanted to make a holder for my business cards and a stand for some postcards I designed specially for the occasion.
The last step in this phase is to make a working drawing of the project, so the communication and construction is simple and uncomplicated to set about. Normally I just make a sloppy pencil sketch with estimated measurements which always bites me in the ass, because it involves a high risk of errors and discrepancy during the construction. Luckily my girlfriend is an architect, so she beat me to it and quickly made a professional 3D drawing and blueprints with exact measurements.
3. The challenging construction
With the drawing and blueprints in hand, I’m ready to buy materials and start the (often) problematic execution of the project. Many things change during this phase as some ideas turn out to be too expensive or complicated to do in practice. I have an ambivalent relationship with this phase, because I oscillate like an emotional pendulum forth and back between ecstasy and despondency. I have zero patience and if things don’t go my way or turn out great in the first try, I get frustrated. Luckily I have my dad to help and support me. We are the perfect team and our skills complement each other so well. I enjoy taking a week out of my calendar to move to his place and work close together on the project.
Our work plan:
Counter table + table back wall
Spikes in concrete
Concrete business card holder
Wooden post card holder
Wooden necklace display
Wooden earring display
My budget was very tight so I had to be inventive and creative in this phase as well. All the mirrors are remnants from my local glazier, who sold them at an affordable price. Most of the wood is either recycled or bought at a builders merchant together with the paint and concrete. The spikes are made from branches from my garden.
I can’t even begin to describe how many fights and discussions we normally have during this phase. It’s sheer armageddon sometimes. We buy the wrong things, run out of supplies, talk past each other, and simply make too many mistakes because my drawings are unclear and ambiguous. Not this time though. This time was a pleasure. We had the most uncomplicated and fun days building the elements because of the good footwork my girlfriend had made with the accurate and professional blueprints. I had time and energy to enjoy the process and take loads of pictures.
Below you can follow the construction step by step
The counter table
Spikes in concrete
Wooden post card holder
Wooden necklace display
Plexiglas plates & Wooden earring display
Curious to see the final result? Click below to see all the pictures from the weekend.