Let Lampwork Glass Beads Brighten Your Wire Jewelry Designs
I just told a friend of mine, who was lamenting his inability to vacuum up the last remnants of his family’s Christmas décor, that there’s no such thing as “the last of the glitter.” I was half joking, but isn’t it a wonderful idea? Every year about this time, while putting away all those glittery, sparkling Christmas ornaments, I find myself wishing I could enjoy them all year. They are like jewelry for my house, especially during the dull days of winter, and their colorful beauty has inspired some of my favorite jewelry designs.
Speaking of colorful beauty, I’ve been a fan of lampwork glass beads for years. Each one is as unique as a snowflake but with a limitless spectrum of color. Wire and lampwork artist Kerry Bogert’s Totally Twisted: Innovative Wirework and Art Glass Jewelry has inspired me to put my lampwork glass bead collection to use. Her vibrant glass bead and wire jewelry designs are a great way to mimic the colorful beauty of my beloved ornaments through winter and the rest of the year.
Wire Jewelry Style Plus Bonus Color
If you’re a fan of wire jewelry but crave a bit of color, too, Totally Twisted is your answer. Kerry combines sterling silver wire with lampwork glass beads to create colorful bead-and-wire jewelry designs in elegant to whimsical styles—she even shows how to incorporate less-expensive colored wire in high-end designs. With over 140 pages of wire jewelry techniques, lampwork glass bead resources, and two dozen projects to get you started, Totally Twisted will help you keep a little bit of that pretty and colorful Christmas-ornament feel in your life all year long.
With Kerry’s help in Totally Twisted, you can also:
- make your own wire clasps and other wire-jewelry components and findings;
- learn wirework tips and tricks for improving your wire-jewelry skills and handmade jewelry designs;
- see project variations that will help you realize how changing the colors of a design can completely transform its look; and
- understand techniques such as wire coiling and wire wrapping through step-by-step photos and instructions.
Tips for Using Color in Wire Jewelry Designs
In her Conquering the Color Wheel feature, Kerry shares invaluable tips for most effectively utilizing color in your lampwork glass bead and wire jewelry designs, including these seven approaches to creating your own color schemes:
- Monochromatic: According to Kerry, mono-color schemes (mostly one color plus shades of that one hue) are nearly foolproof options for your jewelry designs, as long as you keep the one monochromatic jewelry-making rule in mind: Choose a subtle tone if you want people to actually wear the jewelry piece, and add different shades (lighter, darker) of the base tone for interest.
- Accenting the Opposition: Remember the primary colors (red, blue, yellow) from elementary school art classes? Adding small touches of their opposites on the color wheel—secondary colors green, orange, and purple, respectively—to your lampwork glass bead jewelry designs are excellent ways to make them pop.
- Rule of Thirds: Edit your color palette to colors no more than three spaces away from each other on the color wheel. For example, if you’re working with orange, use red and dark purple or yellow and light green with it.
- Temperature-Telling Colors: “Warm” colors such as red, orange, and yellow take your handmade jewelry designs to tropical, passionate places, while “cool” colors such as green, blue, and purple give off a cool, calm feeling or thoughts of being on water.
- Neutrals: Described by Kerry as the “colorless colors,” neutrals such as brown, taupe, cream, and beige are earthy and rustic.
- Classic Coordinators: You’ve seen these in fashionable pairs such as gray and buttery yellow, chocolate brown and baby pink, turquoise and orange, or hot pink with black and white.
- Ready-Made Palettes: Kerry recommends borrowing an idea from experts who work with color, such as clothing and furnishings designers, who keep inspiration boards. Use magazine clippings, fabric swatches, paper scraps, cards, labels and packaging, ribbons—anything that attracts your eye. It will speak to you when you sit down to create your own lampworked-glass bead and wire jewelry designs.
You can purchase and instantly download our Totally Twisted eBook (for Macs, PCs, or iPads) in full color, full size, and full fun! You can zoom in on each page for a close-up view and flip through the pages just like you would in a printed book. You’ll have fun making bead and wire necklace, bracelet, and earring projects with names like BANG Gals (bangles, get it?), Scrolliriffic, Flying Trapeze, and Twirl-a-Gig. Best of all, it’s instant inspiration, instant information, and instant gratification—plus there are no shipping costs! (If you prefer good ol’ printed paper books like I do, Totally Twisted is available that way, too!)
So take a look at Totally Twisted and let me know about your glass-bead-and-wire-jewelry creations in our comments below.