Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I've been thinking about designing lately.  Probably because there is so much chatter out on the web what with the 2013 Battle of the Beadsmiths on Facebook.  It has been a pretty heated challenge with voting going fast and furious.  As of today, the judging is on the fourth round.  Fantastic pieces of jewelry from all over the globe.  Some of the pieces made me gasp with the beauty of the colorways and the designs.  Others just left me perplexed at how did the bead artist get all those small wee beads to cooperate into intricate designs.  I have my favorites which are still in the running, and I've seen so many disappointed people admitting defeat.  One blog post recently from Linda Roberts talked about her surprise at being pushed into the fourth round.  She was excited and a little surprised that her piece moved onto the next round of judging.  Could it be that her piece was better than all her opponents with color palette so pleasing?  Could it be that her piece had superior supplies?  Could it be that her piece was more intricately designed?  Or could it just be luck?  Makes you wonder about competitions and how one outstanding piece can be overlooked for another piece equally outstanding.  What makes one piece the winner?  I don't think we can really answer that one with some simple statement.  There is so much to consider when judging competition pieces that the mind is boggled.  But all this competition talking and viewing stunning pieces of jewelry has made me think about design.  I have to confess that I have never been a planner when making anything.  I've seen from other blog and Facebook postings that this is something that I'm going to have to learn to accept into my character if I wish to push my own art where it be jewelry making or doll making to the next level.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road redesigned with a more functional yoke that goes around the neck.  Also the yoke and clasp with this design is far more comfortable to wear for more than an hour.  It actually distributes the weight more evenly causing less irritation on the back of the neck.  Removing the fringe from the gives the piece a cleaner design and wears better around my own neck.

Original design with metal links as the yoke and clasp.  There was so much irritation around the back of the neck when worn for more than an hour and the weight of the main focal component with the piece being snug around the neck made the piece swing from side to side.  The fringe would then kink up and not lay flat. 

Warren Fields from Land of Odds has a Facebook discussion group about jewelry designing with has really opened my mind up with ideas on how just simple steps of preparation and understanding the concept of form and design can make a piece of jewelry a success or a big flop.  Then there was Jamie Cloud Eakin's blog post about designing which discusses again the concept of planning out design and function of a piece before actually sitting down and sew away.  All of these have really given me some things to think about.  I look at some of my earlier pieces which are nice, but now with a little understanding of design and form, I see how it could be made better.  Pieces that look good laying flat on a table don't necessarily look good on the torso form I use.  And pieces that look great hanging from the neck of my torso form doesn't necessarily mean it looks great hanging around my neck.  All this has made me think more about functional wear, and how planning how each component will fit together while looking attractive.  Plus, adding more is not necessarily better.  If the piece is designed poorly, adding a bunch of crystals won't necessarily make it look better. 

Looking at designs in Nature helps an artist look at form and function along with color pathways as a tool for jewelry.

Elaborate designs and color in Nature is a perfect tool for the budding designer.  Take a sketchbook and colored pencils out in your own back yard.  Looks at what has already been created to help you learn form and color in its perfection

No comments: