Studio Musings

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Book Review & Design Thoughts

Kristen reviewed my book, Freeform Peyote Beading this past week for the popular blog Art Jewelry Elements.  I've followed Kristen's personal blog, My Bead Journey, for some time and have gotten to know her online.  While she's a seed beader extraordinaire, she started out firmly in the "no way" camp towards trying freeform herself.  I think I may slowly be tempting her to the wild side, but in the meantime, her review provides a very different look at my book, focusing largely on my discussion of color and design.

Which has had me thinking more about design.

Sketches - translating coral to a design
In my book, I look at a number of the elements of design that I use most often in my work, then briefly touch on the principles of design.  Early on, those two really confused me - what's the difference between elements and principles?  I finally figured it out like this:

Elements of Design are like tools or building blocks you use in constructing your design.  The design element's I use most include:
  • Value
  • Color
  • Line
  • Texture

Principles of Design are more like a set of architectural blueprints or plans.  They help you figure out how exactly everything goes together and include:
  • Unity
  • Rhythm
  • Balance
  • Proportion
  • Opposition
  • Variety
And since I'm thinking about them, I thought I'd launch a weekly series; every Monday for the next several weeks, I'll focus on one of these in turn and whatever I'm doing with them at the time.


  1. What an awesome idea for a series!

    I was really impressed with your discussion of design elements and principles in your book. To be honest, I think you described them better than a lot of art teachers I've had.

    Also, I can't wait to review your book! Will do that sometime after August 11th, when the BSBP and class proposals are finished. :)

  2. Thanks Sarah!

    I've spent a LOT of time trying to wrap my brain around the elements of design and get it into a personal vocabulary that makes sense to me. That personal vocabulary is what I tried to share in my book, and what I'll be looking at in my blog posts. :)