you pick up your tools to begin making the bangle, I suggest you lay out a white cloth/towel
on your work surface and play with possible bead combinations. A little planning will go a
long way to achieving a beautiful design. Wire techniques
are only half the picture of a visually pleasing result. So. please
resist the temptation to dive into the wire.
design principles are covered in this lesson:
Balance and Color Balance
3) Color Saturation
4) Dominant vs.
of you have experience making jewelry and are already using, consciously
or unconsciously, the design principle listed
above. The object of this lesson is to see if you can actualize these principles with deliberation
as you design your bangle. With
increasing practice you will be able to use these principles at your
command, and be able to look at a piece of jewelry and
assess why it works or why it doesn't.
Every piece of jewelry you create has a feature that
draws the eye to it. Sometimes it is a single bead that stands out by
virtue of its size, color, or pattern. Other times an element has been
repeated and thus draws attention. Or a particular feature because of
its placement in the piece commands the eye to focus on it. Utilizing
the design strategy of emphasis allows you to communicate the message of
your piece to the viewer. The Garden Bangle's emphasis is clearly the
floral disk shaped bead in the center. It achieves emphasis due to its
central placement, its intricate pattern, and because of its larger
Balance involves creating visual stimulation through the use of asymmetry
or symmetry. When your design is balanced you will achieve unity. In the
bangle pictured above I have used symmetrical balance, that is one side
is a mirror image of the other. Symmetry creates a more classical and
almost serene appearance. Balance is also created by distributing color
evenly throughout the piece. Notice in the bangle how the color
yellow-green is the center of attention and flows right around the
Saturation refers to the purity or brilliance of a color.
Desaturation refers to the "grayness" of a color. Chartreuse
is more saturated (purer) than pea green. The most desaturated color is
gray. In the Garden Bangle, the dominant yellow-green and and the subordinate
red-violent have similar desaturated attributes. That is, they
both have about the same "grayish" tone. This makes for
a relatively restful, "easy to get along with" color theme.
Versus Subordinate Color
When using contrasting colors it is generally more pleasing to the eye
to have one color that stands out creating the overall mood of your
piece. In the case of the Garden Bangle yellow-green is the dominate
color. To increase interest, a subordinate color appears on the scene
and often you will see more than one subordinate color. In the bangle
red-violet is the subordinate color; we might call this the primary subordinate
color and a secondary subordinate color is blue-violet. A secondary subordinate
color is used even less than the primary subordinate color.
there is too little distinction between dominate and subordinate colors
the result can be an overall gray effect. Or, kind of a confused mix
that your eye wants to turn away from.
palate of dominate and subordinate colors can be used in different
saturations (some pure, some more grayed) and varying values (the
darkness or lightness of a color).
What other design principles are at work in this bangle? Click here if
you want to find out what they are.
your white cloth/towel in place, begin by playing with your beads.
Select a bead that is will be your emphasis, in other words, the focal
bead. To achieve balance, select smaller beads that will repeat this
theme or color and urge the eye to travel around the circle of your
bangle. I suggest you start with a symmetrical arrangement whereby
the right side will be a mirror image of the left. While you are playing
with your; design consider if you are choosing beads that are saturated
or desaturated colors. Now choose beads that will be subordinate colors.
Be deliberate in your selection and know that all these choices will
communicate, just like words, a message to the viewer. Hint:
I often place the smallest beads next to the clasp which creates a