Design tips you can count on
I always knew I was going to art school. I did not need math to be an artist. Guess what? Mom and Dad were right. Artists need math. Not algebra, thank the gods, just a grasp of numbers and relationships. At the very least we count our beads, but knowing which numbers go well together will make us better designers, almost the same as knowing which colors go together. This is a formula to use to our advantage! Here’s how:
Easy as 1, 2, 3
Pick a number–let’s say 3. When you string patterns, make each section or accent group from factors of your number. Factors are numbers you multiply to get other numbers. So 3 is a factor of—6, 9, 12, 15, and so on. Sounds dreary but it’s kind of cool. And though by no means is this method something you must do, you won’t believe how much it ties your design together visually and gives you a framework to use to make choices.
Let’s do the math
The 2009 edition of Creative Jewelry really sums up my theory in many of its projects. Check out some of these examples to see what I mean:
|Sum it all up with Creative Jewelry
It doesn’t matter if your use of math is intuitive or intentional, attention to the numbers adds balance, harmony, and a plan to get you started. It may help you break free of beader's block simply by giving you a jumping-off point. Just start grouping your beads on your bead mat, and you'll be surprised how your right brain starts sizzling away with ideas. Even for someone like me who breaks out in a rash at the mention of the word, math makes design choices easier.
And talk about numbers––there’s over 135 doable ideas just a click away in the downloadable version of Creative Jewelry 2009. Add this exciting collection to your project library by clicking here, and you can count on inspiration for a long time to come.
Do you factor in numbers when you create your jewelry? What’s your favorite magic number? Tell us here on Beading Daily.