I find a lot of inspiration and design ideas from historic pieces and ancient jewelry. Sometimes it’s the jewelry pieces themselves, it might be interesting color or stone combinations, and often it’s shapes. I’m also interested in history of jewelry in general, particularly how it was made in the past with the technology of the time.
I recently ran across this really good book on ancient Egyptian jewelry (available pretty cheap used on amazon). Well, it has the best of everything–lots of pictures with citations (hate when they don’t say where it’s from if you want research it further), and tons of good detail about all the various aspects of how they think they did things back then. Has details about metal work, making beads, niello, faïence, granulation, and more. Also has neat ideas on alternate constructions (love those giant collar necklaces with the counter-poise weights in the back).
So, on one page, they have an awesome line drawing from a wall that is of goldsmiths at work, then below that are men making and doing beadwork.
However, if you look really close, way down at the bottom, the men lying on the floor…
But no, if you’ve ever done beading, you KNOW what they’re doing.
They’re down on the floor looking for that blasted bead that they’ve dropped AGAIN.