Five Elements of Design: Mastering the Basics in Jewelry Design

I've been thinking a lot about jewelry design lately, about the difference between designing jewelry and creating jewelry . . . that is, designing jewelry (drawing that vision on paper or using some sort of design software to create a rendering of the envisioned piece), which a dear friend of mine does very successfully for a living, and creating jewelry (using real, raw materials and jewelry-making techniques to create jewelry, by hand), which is what I do.

I've made all kinds of things–jewelry, home decor, furniture, clothes, every craft imaginable, art, etc.–but I feel that I can't design/draw to save myself, in spite of considerable art classes and experience in school. My jewelry-designer friend thinks that's insignificant and is quick to share tales of accomplished designers he knows who can't draw either, but I still feel that something is lacking in the jewelry-design corner of my world and strive to draw more, in an effort to improve my ability to take a piece from mind's eye to sketchbook.

The holes show repetition but also an assumed line that moves the eye around the piece.

In doing so, I remembered some great posts from Jewelry Making Daily about principles and mechanics of design and jewelry design in particular. Get back to the basics with me in this jewelry-design post by Lexi Erickson, master jeweler and jewelry instructor to the stars (well okay, not to stars–but to me and decades of other lucky students).

To learn more about jewelry design, get your copy of our newest DVD, Successful Jewelry: Design Idea to Wearable Art. In it you'll meet three successful jewelry designers–including Layne Freedline of Layne Designs, Steven Ford of FordForlano, and our own Helen Driggs–and learn along with them as they create a resin containment box portion of a design, make a bail/setting for another design, and master some basic polymer clay jewelry-making techniques.

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