Wednesday, 19 October 2016


What's in a name?

Do you name your work? I always name my pieces. Even if it is something as small as a ring I feel compelled to name my work. To me this is a reflection of the care I've put in to creating the piece. But its not always easy. On the rare (joyful) occasion I'll already have a name in mind before I even pull out the first beads. Sometimes I'll finish a piece and still not know who or what it is. Typically this happens with smaller pieces and I'll leave them sitting on a bust in my studio until a name comes to me or until I want to list the item in my Etsy shop. When things get desperate I'll look at the piece and try to assess what kind of mood or vibe it is projecting and then pick a girl's name that reflects that. So an angular, masculine looking piece might get a unisex sounding name like Terry and a floral inspired ring with a violet Charoite cabochon becomes Viola.

Usually though, the name will come to me whilst I'm working on a piece even if I'm not sure at the start what its going to be. Like with Pangaea. All I knew was that I was making a collar using a technique I'd already tried several times before combining lots of rivolis with a beadwoven leaf shape I'd developed. This time I wanted to incorporate some focal cabochons amongst the rivolis.

I played around with a couple of options and the grey and copper really spoke to me. I realised that the three focal stones I'd chosen were all fossils - a beautiful fossilised palmwood cabochon from Gary Wilson and two Orthoceras fossil cabs from Cabochons Galore. I liked that! There was a theme developing...I added some oval Crinoid fossil beads I'd had for years that worked in perfectly. Then I got really excited because I remembered I still had some adorable little copper toned metal leaf shaped findings - an assortment of fossils and leaves!

Here is a collage of my progress. By the time I got to the last shot I still had no idea what I was going to call it.

Then the universe provided...leafing through an interior design magazine I saw an article about a flooring company that was called Pangaea. The name was really familiar but I couldn't remember why, so I googled (as you do) and discovered that Pangaea was the last supercontinent that formed around 299 million years ago. It incorporated nearly all the landmasses on earth that became today's continents. Immediately I thought of the piece I was working on, of the fossilised flora and fauna in my cabochons - orthoceras are prehistoric squid, crinoid are ancient see lilies...fossilised palmwood... What sort of plant life would have inhabited Pangaea? Even the rivolis nestled tight one against the other made me think of the continents all pressed in together to form this supercontinent - a 'supercollar'! And there was the name of my piece, handed to me by a company that made concrete floors. 

 Originally I was going to call it The Fauna and Flora of Pangaea but decided that that sounded a bit pompous so it became just Pangaea.

And you? How do you name your creations?


  1. Like yourself I used to get names for my work as I made them. But lately I struggle to name my pieces and often refer to friends for ideas.
    Thanks for sharing your method of naming your designs. Maybe I need to sit with my work a bit more and see what comes forth instead of wanting the name immediately.
    Nice design too by the way.

    1. Thank you Patrick! I used to ask my family for suggestions but they were no help whatsoever. I recommend leaving it out where you can see the work, one day you'll look at it and the right name will come to you - as long as you're in no hurry!

  2. Extraordinary work!!! And for me, the name is perfection, although I would not have found the Flora and Fauna reference pompous in the least. It is so completely glorious, it asks for a healthy name, IMHO. Beautiful balance, wonderful organic symmetry, I am actually jealous. I love naming my work, especially the bigger pieces. I usually start with a name in mind, and often it develops and changes as I spend time with it. And often the name suggests additions to it, like your little leaves. I just recently looked back through my year and find I am sad not to have created a bigger work this year. That will have to change. Congratulations! You birthed a beauty.

  3. Thank you Marsha, if only you knew how apropo your last comment was! It took so long, sometimes it felt like 'labour'. And I am positive that your hiatus in working on a large piece only means that you're building up to something bigger and better - I, for one, can't wait to see 😉

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