Friday, October 4, 2013

How To Begin Designing

Blog theme for October~
"One Of A Kind"
Good morning, dear readers!
Our blog theme for October is:  "One Of A Kind"
This is my favorite type of work to do!  I love creating original, one-of-a-kind tatted pieces and plan to focus the majority of my tatting time on this sort of project.  I hope you will enjoy seeing the featured pieces over the next few posts.  Oh- I also have a special treat planned for y'all on Halloween!  Be on the lookout in future posts for "hints".
(Here is a lovely vintage Whiting and Davis topaz colored intaglio pendant dressed up with turquoise beads and Swarovski crystals that is ready to be enhanced with tatting then added to my Olde West Collection as a OOAK piece.  If I don't decide to keep her for myself!)
Recently, I have received several inquiries regarding how to begin designing.  While I have done a previous post about my personal creative method, I decided that I would write a post with general, common sense advise on this topic.  It seems to be especially appropriate given the blog theme this month.
1.  Perfect the basic skills and execution of your chosen method of tatting, then move on to learn more advanced techniques.  Play with patterns, threads and such.  Keep a journal/notebook to record what does and does not work for you.  It is a good idea to figure out a consistent count and pattern annotation that you are most comfortable with.  Some prefer to use schematics but this is not something I enjoy.  Anything that takes away from my tatting time is frustrating.  The computer does not always co-operate with me; therefore, I use a shorthand method and rough sketches in my design journals.
2. Identify what inspires you to create and helps said creativity flow.  For me, this is a complicated mixture of various elements.  Environment is very important.  I am most fortunate to have several dedicated workspaces and an Atelier to create my art.  Each is special in its own way.  Obviously, the woods around my home are a key inspiration.  I love nature- walking in the woods, off-roading in my Jeep, camping, etc. Having my Rosie Fey near is required for maximum flow of tatting mojo! I also love certain scents, tastes and sounds.  Gourmet hot cocoa, a nice sangria, dark chocolate bonbons, candles from the Chartreuse Pear, and my favorite tunes on the iPod all contribute to an atmosphere that allows the tatting to flow off the needles. But this is what works for me.  You may prefer a quiet environment, or a coffeehouse full of activity.  Simply find what stimulates and inspires you to create.  Bring this into your workspace and have at it. 
3.  Experiment- A LOT!!!  Find your own unique style.  This takes time, patience and oodles of practice. 
4.  Be sure to keep notes.  I know this was mentioned in step one, but it is so very important.  Notes are invaluable to your design process.  I keep copious notes and images of my pieces.  While I freely share patterns on this blog, I vigorously and aggressively protect the integrity and copyright of my OOAK artworks.  Protect yourself and your work.  Document your work for your own personal benefits and to protect your designs.  Consult a copyright attorney if you need help or clarification on your rights and what can be done if an infringement occurs.
5.  Above all- have fun!  Enjoy what you do.
I hope this is helpful to those who had questions about dipping their toes into designing.  An abundance of threads and accents are out there waiting for someone with a brilliant idea to incorporate them into something fabulous.  Have fun and play!  I do- every day.
(This is a OOAK Eternity pendant in progress.)
(And here are a couple of Eternity foundations awaiting their turn for embellishment, along with the current work-in-progress.)
The above images are what I am playing with today and this weekend.  What are you working on dear readers?  Any interesting projects being tatted out there?  I'd love to hear about your current works!
Well, Rosie Fey is really ready for our morning run in the woods.  She has brought me her leash and keeps nudging me with it.  Guess I'd better take the hint.  May you all have a wonderfully creative weekend!  Until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!


  1. Thanks for the excellent advise!! I have so many ideas in my head but no time to experiment with.Working on other projects like UFOs!!

  2. Thanks for the interesting post, I have lots of ideas some just dont get off the ground that quick. I look forward to seeing what you do with the rounds of beads.