Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Color! How to Wear Colorful Handmade Jewelry

by Patty Lakinsmith, via the time machine.

Since I'm already up to my eyeballs in alligators this year (that didn't take long, huh?), I thought I'd share a post from my files on how to wear colorful lampwork beads. The same advice works for colorful handmade beads in any medium. Hope you find it useful and interesting, and see you next week!

"Outback Series" bracelet (SOLD).

Many women seem to be unsure how to incorporate colorful lampwork beads into their wardrobe. "This blue isn't the same shade as my blouse!" "But there's green in this bracelet and I'm not wearing any green". I used to feel the same restrictive pressure when trying to coordinate jewelry with my clothing, but I don't any more.

One book I found very useful is Leatrice Eiseman's Pantone Guide to Communicating With Color (North Light Books, Cincinnati, OH, 2000). Whether you're creating a glass bead, a website, or designing a new guest room, this book helps you choose colors that convey specific emotions and messages to your viewer.

Once I started melting glass and experimenting, I became much more relaxed about mixing color. One approach that works well for me when making and wearing glass beads is to choose a uniform, harmonious color scheme, and just make sure that most of the colors are in the same family. A bracelet could incorporate light blue, dark blue, and teal, and look pulled together. Pinks are fine with lavenders and purples, olive greens are fine with grass greens. This is known as an analogous color scheme, or when viewed more exclusively, a monochromatic scheme (varying shades of one color).

The other approach that works well for me is neutrals. The Outback bracelet above was done with various complementary neutral tones. I find that I can wear this bracelet with almost any of my clothes and it looks great.

"Happy Spring" necklace. (SOLD)

And then there's the more colorful choices. Pantone would put these in the "Playful", "Energetic", or "Fanciful" group. Beads like this make it very easy to decide what to wear. Just pick one of these great colors to go with, lean toward a solid color top near the jewelry, and any kind of print below that plays up some of the themes in the jewelry. Let your playful side out! Have fun!

One final note, since I started watching TLC's "What Not To Wear", I learned that rules were made to be broken. A red purse can look spectacular with a grey suit, and your new blue bracelet can be just the pop that your fuschia dress was waiting for.


Artisan Beads Plus said...

This is a great post!!! I love to wear colorful jewelry and also think that it looks great with a pair of jeans and a solid shirt!!!

Barbara Lewis said...

I really enjoyed this post! Thanks, Patty.

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