Developing an idea. I have a desk full of scraps, odd drawings, test pieces, heroic failures and things I pick up just because I like the way the light catches them. I might not look at them for months, but then something might occur to me, or a 'call for artists' goes out and I begin to think.
I start by simply placing objects together in a group, moving them around and seeing what happens. At this stage there is no plan, no finished piece in mind, just the beginning.
This group has a sketch on tracing paper for a commission, gilded shells I made as gifts, a huge cast block which has been engraved but needs 'something' and some khadi paper with ink.
The next stage is to begin building up an image. Layering the pieces in multiple combinations, shuffling them around and seeing if anything works or has potential. Nothing is wasted. Sometimes odd bits of engraving that have been lying around for months come into their own and move the process forward. On and on it goes, eventually it will come together and a complete piece will emerge!