In reprioritizing the process, Robyn infuses playfulness and intuition into her craft
The revelation occurred as most of the best ones do: by accident. While dealing with the frustrations of being a student of the arts and a perfectionist, Robyn Cornelius reluctantly attended a jewellery and bead show. Having signed up for a series of classes at random, she stumbled upon precisely what she needed…a place where she could create for the sake of creating, with no planning and no grades. Just exploration and the freedom to make mistakes and see where they lead you.
“From then on, I looked at how I made jewellery completely differently. I went back to school and learned the traditional German method of silversmithing, but incorporated the sense of play I had learned at that show. Now my work is more about the process; I stop a piece halfway done because I like what happened. I jump into projects with no design in mind, see what the materials want to do and go with it,” explained Robyn.
From this epiphany, her process was born. It may not be for everyone, but if someone has fallen in love with her style, the best thing they can do is step back from the reins of the commission and let Robyn create.
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“The really fun ones are when people send me things, give me a vague idea and tell me to just play with it. This design process isn’t for everyone, but I find that if I like the design and it feels intuitive to my style, they will like it too. If I’m trying to force a design that has been 100% pre-designed, I usually don’t like it and the customer doesn’t end up liking it either.”
Robyn doesn’t just create, she teaches all over North America as well. From conventions and tradeshows, to private homes and studios, she shares her love of the process with as many people as possible.
“Sometimes I am working out a design in my head, but it’s not fast enough, so I make a class out of it and see what happens. I think I learn as much from my students as they do from me.”
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