My husband suggested today that I go back to one of my favorite design books, The Art of Jewelry Design, and do one of the design exercises from that book. I chose to focus on the sea shell for design inspiration. As the authors Galli, Rivière and Li point out, some of the earliest body adornments were artistically varied shells strung together.
To do my rendering, I first searched for seashell images in Google Images, then sketched a nautilus shell in the top left of my paper. From there I played around in my sketch book with motifs inspired by the shell. I chose to focus primarily on the interesting coil. Surprisingly, this motif does present design challenges since the coil alone can look very uni-directional and unfinished. I found a balance for this by mirroring the coil and giving the ends an artistic, yet organic flare in keeping with the natural feel of the coil. Binding the two coils together with a diamond tie helps to create a third balancing element. Here is a close up of the finished brooch: