In this digital age it seems many creative processes start and end with pixels being pushed around a computer monitor. A drag here. A drop there. A resize, redo button, and quick 3D print later out pops a new design.
Not in our studio!
Call it old school. Call it Old World craftmanship. Or just call it plain old fashioned. But our product development process is quite different here at Beyond Jordan Studio.
Often our design concept will start with a sketch. Usually with a #2 pencil on paper (although we're not Luddites and occasionally use a stylus on our iPad using FiftyThree's Paper app for some concept sketches :-). In both cases, the creative process begins with a very tactile 'hands-on' approach.
Other times, our product development process begins with an even more tactile 'hands-on' approach! That's when we get our hands in some clay and start sculpting, pinching, manipulating and pushing clay around our physical "palette" instead of pixels on a piece of electronic paper.
A Seahorse Wedding
And that's how our Seahorse Napkin Ring (aka Chopsticks Rest) design was created. We had previously cast our seahorse from an original specimen and then "improved upon Mother Nature" with a few sculpted and refined details so that the Seahorse could be used for the teacup handle on our Seahorse and Sea Urchin Teacup design. (Our 2 minute video called "The Making of a Teacup" at this link)
One day while producing the teacups, I had two seahorses on the table waiting to be married to their respective sea urchins. At the last minute one of the seahorses stood in at the alter for one of the sea urchins and a new marriage was made in heaven . . . two seahorses joined cheek-to-cheek dancing down the aisle . . . and we called this new design our Seahorse Napkin Rings! With a subtle twist of their tails and a slight bend in their necks, we were able to extend the application beyond "just napkin rings" and let them also become a Placecard Holder if so desired.
Jan and I were pleasantly surprised how the new Napkin Ring design came out, but we still had some production challenges to overcome with glazing and making sure they stood stable and flat during the firing process (when the trains come by and rattle the walls).
We were surprised when we first stumbled upon the Seahorse Napkin Ring & Placecard Holder design, and then we were surprised once again earlier this summer when we ordered sushi for a photo shoot. We had just completed the design of our Scallop Shell 3 Section Serving Platter and needed a place to rest the free wooden chopsticks that came with our sushi order.
Surprise! Our "napkin rings" and "placecard holders" now became "chopstick rests" in one more accidental surprise that happened because of a very tactile 'hands on' process.
Improving our Photography - Perception is Reality in a Digital World
Pixels didn't help us one bit in this new product development process, but they sure did help us when we saw this blog posting's header image leap out of our Digital SLR camera's new 50mm lens into our Photoshop software last night after our 2nd day of training with the Tasty Food Photography class that we're taking (see purple ad link in right column). All we could think was "wow" . . . that's beautiful when used as a chopstick rest!
Make Your Table Dance!
We're not sure if there's a more versatile item in our line of porcelain serveware than these beautiful Seahorses, but we do know there's not an item in our line that provides more FUN and more value in more ways on more of our customer's tables all around the world (see our worldwide customer reviews on Etsy) than these Seahorse Napkin Ring Placecard Holder (Chopstick Rests)! They truly do "Make Your Table Dance"!
We carry these items in stock on a year-around basis, and by following the link we invite you to acquire your own set of Seahorse Napkin Rings and make your table dance for your next gathering of friends or family!