Monday, February 17, 2014

boot camp - asymmetry in earring design

mary jane dodd

creating asymmetry in earrings can add great interest. 

there are different ways to achieve this effect - 
you can use the same beads/elements and arrange them differently on each one - 
or you can strike your balance with beads of similar size, 'weight' and color. 

when i am working this way in necklaces or earrings, i tend to view my work as if there is an 'x' present - checking to see if there is balance across the work and from top to bottom, side to side. 

in the first pair of earrings i merely switched the arrangement of the turquoise and amber. subtle asymmetry.

here, the ever inventive fanci shows how to create balance across the set. 

she keeps the structure and size of the earrings similar but switches up her beads in terms of color and/or shape.

in this pair by our own staci, she kept her color scheme and scale consistent, but created interest with different shapes of beads and switching the arrangement of the discs from top to bottom. when viewed side by side, you can see how there is balance across the set when you are looking at it as an 'x'.


all of the same components were used in this example - i just changed the orientation of the accent beads from horizontal to vertical. the scale, color and shape are consistent. 

i love how the eye moves in this pair - kate has balanced them across the set, keeping scale and color consistent, she plays beautifully with shapes. 


here i have played with the negative space on the left by filling it with chain and beads. on the right, a bead from the same set is used, but i have left the negative space open. 

this is a gorgeous example of asymmetry in earring design - color, overall shape and size are consistent. here the balance is more in the form of triangles - top and bottom of left related to center of right and vice versa. 


i wanted to add some thoughts re: designing necklaces. i agree completely with the other women in the group about how weight is crucial. a necklace that stuns flat on your work table but slides all around your neck is not a successful design. 

developing an asymmetrical way of thinking isn't always easy. some people take right to it, others find it to be more challenging. if you are finding it hard to do, remember, even throwing in one bead of a different color or shape (with a similar relative scale) on one side of the design creates asymmetry. it does not have to be complex. it can be, but doesn't have to be. 


in my fiber necklaces, if you look closely, you can see that the neck piece has 4 different sections - all in the same color scheme. closest to the pouch, i have used threads with strung beads on one side and linen with accent beads of the same sort stitched to it on the right. 


so have fun - whether your version of asymmetry is bold or subtle, it adds much interest to designs and helps you to define your own look. 


naza fendy said...

unique design and antiques

naza fendy said...

unique design and antiques

Erika said...

I love assymetrical earrings! And I drive some people nuts when I wear them (they can't handle the assymetry.) But I always get compliments when I wear the pair I got from Staci Louise featured above. Still one of my fav pairs, Staci!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your thoughts on designing asymmetric earrings. For me, these would be the most difficult, because these is less space in which to achieve a pleasing balance. But I'm up to the challenge!

lakesuperiorwaves said...

great article! love all of the examples as it is more concrete that way. ~laura

sandi m said...

Thank you for the earring analysis Mary Jane. I love working with asymmetry in my necklaces and bracelets, but funny, never think of it when making earrings. Guess that will be my next challenge!

Patty said...

Love love LOVE this post, and I love asymmetry in my work too. All of your tips are spot on and the work you showed is beautiful. In earrings I like to call them "fraternal", like twins. A silversmith friend of mine (Fran Harr)is a master at this and her earrings are incredible. Here's an example:

Anonymous said...

I love asymmetrical earrings yet I find myself wondering just how to get them to look right. This post has simplified the process and I thank you

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