Learn More About Design at Bead Fest

Leslie Rogalski Are you ready for asymmetry?
Is your life frenzied like mine? If so, are you making symmetrical jewelry? I do. It makes me feel balanced—or at least look balanced. But balance does not have to mean symmetry. Asymmetry is fun, even cathartic for those of us with “control” bubbling up from deep in our gene pools. PLUS, it is a very cool trend in Spring fashion jewelry this season.

Tips for asymmetrical bracelets
Bracelets are a good place to play with asymmetry. Since bracelets wrap around in a circle, there’s less compulsion to make the halves look the same. But since we need some control, here are a few tips about design to keep your designs on a leash without taming the fun.


There’s a wonderful diversity of items in Joy of Drama by Melanie Brooks, but her evenly spaced components keeps things visually tidy. She chooses where to place the sizes of her components as well, dispersed attractively for a balanced look even though they’re all different.

Limit your palette
These free-form peyote watchbands by Tina Koyama work so well in part because Tina limited them to specific color families. Her stitching is created as she goes (you know, free form) but the colors were planned.


Just add beads
Viking knit bracelets such as this one by Denise Peck are prime for an asymmetrical smorgasbord of complementary accent beads. Half the bracelet can be a simple woven rope, and the other half can be almost anything. So mix it up!


Well-placed accents
In Precious Picots by Daeng Weaver, tubular herringbone sections are connected with a few carefully chosen accent beads, then embellished with picots of seed beads and semiprecious stones. The result is a visually fascinating asymmetry.


Cluster your components
The Candy Charm bracelet by Jennifer Heynen is yummy! Here, clusters of colorful resin, Lucite, and clay beads are massed together between larger single beads. The dottie theme, the similar look of the shiny beads, plus the repetition of massed charms pull it all together.

  Build on a strong structure
Party on Your Wrist by Terry Stumpf takes a structured, linear ladder of wire and then dances all over it with loads of different beads. The inner architecture supports the outer playfulness and gives the active design solidity and unity.

Color inside the line
In Kerry Bogert’s Playground bracelet, a bright blue cord underlies everything. It’s strung with exuberant lampworked discs whose similarly bright colors play off that strong linear element. Being fearless with color doesn’t make her choices random. Each and every bead “matches” the blue cord.

Free Project

FREE bracelet project!
I love the asymmetry in Connie Fox’s Bangle Bracelet. It’s so cool, calm, and collected. She kept her palette limited to earthy tones and black and “connected the dots” with spotted beads throughout. Fun but thoughtful—and I think you’ll have fun making it!

LEARN MORE design tips at Bead Fest Philadelphia
Connie Fox, Denise Peck and Kerry Bogert are just a few of the teachers eager to share their expertise with you at Bead Fest Philadelphia. Don’t miss your chance to meet them–and me, too! 

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