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The Beader's Guide to Jewelry Design: A Beautiful Exploration of Unity, Balance, Color & More (Lark Jewelry & Beading) Paperback – June 3, 2014
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I was delighted to find the suggestions for accommodating body, neck and face differences as well as color choices (especially the metallics) for various skin types. I've had the pleasure of using previous books by Margie Deeb and of taking some of her classes but what The Beader's Guide to Jewelry Design offers is a comprehensive course in Design tailored to jewelry. I have never had an art class to study these concepts but now I find it all in one volume. Thanks, Margie!
This summer I'm teaching novice jewelry makers at church camp. I hope each student will buy this book which will be stocked in our mini-bookstore on campus. And I hope if you are new to jewelry making or an old hand at it you will get this book. Happy Beading!
For example, I have a heart-shaped face and a short neck, and I have never thought that dangling earrings were flattering to me. Not that that ever stopped me from buying them, but at least it slowed me down a little. Page 125 shows me the types of longer earrings I should be looking for. NOW I understand why I own a couple of pair of dangles that I actually wear and a bunch more that have to keep each other company in the back of the drawer.
In short, Margie Deeb has done it again!
The chapters are unity, focal point & emphasis, balance, movement, shape, color, jewelry and the body, and the creative journey. In the unity chapter she explains the big picture and how we are wired to see things. She talks about variety, contrast, proximity, continuation, randomness and the unity in sets.
In the second chapter Margie shows how to guide a viewer around your jewelry pieces and let them explore your work. She says contrast is the great attractor. It can be with color value, shape, pattern texture and density, or size. She discusses whether to center or make your emphasis asymmetrical. The concept of whole over the parts, all over pattern, and space are discussed. I never though about jewelry having mystery but Margie does. Her suggestion in this chapter 's challenge is to cultivate a passion for mystery. Her idea is to keep a notebook about what makes you feel more alive and draws your interest and using this when you design your next piece.
Chapter three is all about balance. Proportion is the first item discussed. There is a section on vertical and horizontal balance, radial balance, asymmetrical balance, value and color, position, texture and pattern, shape and movement. The three pictures at the end are of the same focal with three different straps and she explains why and why not each works or doesn't.
Movement is more than physical movement of a piece, it is about making the viewer see movement within your jewelry. She explains how diagonals, angles and curves affect what we see. There are sections on repetition, rhythm, space and silence, light, the movement pattern creates. Texture and color can create movement. Before reading this book I did not realize how much went into designing a piece of jewelry.
Shape is the focus of the next chapter. Margie explains the language of line and shape. There is information on geometric and organic shapes. There is a section on shapes and the human form. I found the shape study helpful.
Color is Margie's forte'.In chapter six she delves into the mechanics of color. There is a section on becoming color conscious. Color value, contrast and similarity, hue, intensity, temperature, and the color wheel are discussed in a very informative manner. She asks “What do I want this jewelry to convey?” There is a concise explanation of monochromatic, analogous, complementary, and triadic color combinations and what they each convey. Next comes proportion and tone. The section on skin tone and color was very helpful.
How our different bodies affect how jewelry looks is the focus of chapter seven. Margie suggests solutions to common fit problems. Clothing shape affects the look of our designs too. She shows no don't do this, this is better and what looks best with different necklines and why. The only neckline I did not see was a shirt with a collar, which is something I wear often. The pictures of different body shapes with styles of jewelry really bring home the point. Because of this chapter I will be able to design for other people much better. She talks about neck shapes, glasses, and face shapes affecting the look of our jewelry. Common sizes of necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and rings are given.
The last chapter is about our creative journey. The first section is daily practice and routine. The second section is about the gap between what we envision and how a piece of jewelry turns out. I was shocked to read that Margie faces fear and doubt about her work. I saw her jewelry as spectacular and falsely assumed that it was easy for her. All of us face doubt and fear about our designs at some time and reading the last chapter helped me be more real about my work. Eight well-known jewelry artists talk about their inspirations and processes. Margie includes a find your voice questionnaire and an extensive list of styles. The challenge at the end is about unleashing your creativity and strengthening your productivity.
I cannot express how helpful this book was. I have already referenced it several times and I have only owned it a short time. It will be a go to book in my library. I am sure reading this book has made me a better designer and I feel that there is volumes to be learned from it.