Jewelry Design Meets Pattern
Though it’s hard to imagine what life was like before I started editing Beadwork magazine and writing books about beading, I remember what drew me to pursue a career in art and design in the first place: pattern. Patterned wallpaper, patterned bedspreads, patterned Trapper Keepers (remember those?), you name it! While all of the other art students on a college trip to Italy filled their notebooks and wrote reports on statues, paintings, and textiles, I focused my study on patterned tiles, gates, and tapestries.
A desire to combine a love of pattern with beading lead me to challenge four other designers in the June/July issue of Beadwork to make projects inspired by patterned swatches of paper—and now we’re calling on you to play along.
3 Inspiring Approaches to Interpreting Your Pattern
If you’re looking for ways to get started, see what inspired designers in the Pattern Play Challenge feature in the latest issue of Beadwork.
Design around a motif as Danielle Fox did for her Moroccan Gate necklace. Danielle actually walked around a bead show with her pattern swatch in hand, combing booths until she found pendants with similar shapes and colors—a fun bead-show scavenger hut!
The dotted circles of the pattern I chose were offset from one another like bricks in a wall. This layout gave me the idea to connect my peyote-stitched circles in the same manner. The result is a whimsical cuff I call Pixilated Peyote.
Play with color
Though you may find the color of your pattern swatch beautiful, don’t be afraid to mix it up as MaryLou Holvenstot did in her Limelight Leopard peyote bracelet. By stitching a leopard-skin pattern but using bright, spring colors, MaryLou creating something that resembles a striking flowerbed.
More Ideas for How to Incorporate Pattern into Jewelry Designs
For more pattern-inspired projects that explore 13 beading techniques (right-angle weave, peyote stitch, herringbone stitch, and more), be sure to check out the June/July issue of Beadwork or for year-round inspiration, subscribe to Beadwork today. From a flower motif repeated to create the look of lace to an embroidered cuff with circles repeated to look like ripples of water, you’ll be sure to find a project that fits your style.
Ready for a Challenge?
To enter, simply pick a pattern (be it from nature, your favorite shirt, or as we did, a piece of scrapbooking paper), make a project inspired by it, and e-mail us a JPEG (about 1MB) that includes your creation and pattern swatch to email@example.com by August 3, 2009. The first entry received, the editors’ choice, the most off-the-wall design, and the project that contains the most seed beads will all be featured on Beading Daily in late August. Editors’ choice will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Beadwork. View the complete rules here.