Before I design a new piece, I’ll sometimes have a clear reference or idea of what I’d like to make. These can be based on inspirations from things you mentioned like art, architecture, etc. However, as soon as I start prototyping, most ideas go out the window. Or they’ll go out the window and fly back in later when the timing is right. Many designs end up forming via trial and error, as well as from the constraints of hand-bending Lucite. It can be very difficult to control the material and make it do what you want.
Due to the processes involved, there isn’t much time to sculpt the material, so I have to be strategic. Sometimes, I’ll get so frustrated with trying to achieve a particular shape that I’ll end up bending a piece in a random way just to do something fun and take me out of the moment, and this weird shape will somehow spark a new idea. The design process for me is a lot of winding back and forth to explore new ideas that appeared without reference, whilst also trying to perfect the ones I started with.