Americana Part 2: Inspiration

Coming up with design ideas for Scarlet Robin  jewelry is never a problem. Many of our designs were created because I wanted to see what I could do with the shears/saw/torch/stamps. Love My Kids was literally my first experiment with the shears. Swirly Locket was to see how much detail I could cut without making a mistake.

Inspiration is found in photography, fashion, doodles, quotes, textiles and, quite often, in suggestions made by customers. “You should make…” has preceded quite a few of our best-  selling pieces (including one that’s part of the       new collection!)

And then there are times when I just have a bee in my bonnet to design around a particular theme: i.e. Heath Ledger Americana.

I’ve always loved the symbolic imagery of patriotism from the original tri- cornered hat to the Capitol building.    I get choked up reading the Constitution and visiting living history museums.  Yep.  And there is so much beyond the patriotic that visually means America.

So for the better part of a year I’ve been gathering ideas on stickies, 4 or 5 legal pads, a couple of journals and an iPhone app. Images collect via Pinterest, Google and our cell phone cameras.  Follow our Americana board on Pinterest.*

The “intake” period is oh-so-fun, and really never stops.  It’s what feeds my creativity.  But eventually these scattered notes must be corralled.  We use Mindmeister maps to make sense of the craziness and watch patterns begin to emerge.  What images do you think are vital to an Americana collection?

*(Need an invitation to join Pinterest? Let us know via email ( and we will shoot you an invite) 

Coming soon: Americana Part Three: Winnowing the ideas.

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