Monday, May 26, 2008

Do you want to design for yourself? Materials

Materials: Building a palette

I usually like to build my working palette and choose my materials after I’ve decided upon focal point, theme, and color, but it can be fun to try it the other way around. Some designers like to use this method most of the time, sorting through their beads and treasures, and letting the raw materials "tell" them what to choose. I’ve personally never had the stones speak to me. My more practical method to building a palette works well for me, whether it is my first step or somewhere further down the designing road. I’ll share it with you in case you want to give it a try.


I usually take my focal piece (or the first item to catch my fancy if I haven’t chosen a focal piece yet) and place it on a white towel. After gathering up all the possible beads, stones, buttons, and other treasures that might look good, I "audition" them by laying out small piles of each candidate near the focal pieces. Keeping my theme in mind as well - if I’ve already picked one - I look at how the colors, sizes, shapes, and textures interact. There is no right or wrong answer to this part of the process, but it often takes a lot of time. Do not let yourself be rushed! If any beads seem too prominent, you may want to remove them, or at least place them judiciously in the mix. keep in mind also whether your idea calls for a variety of shapes and textures or for a more uniform selection. Each choice you make will narrow down future choices, so sometimes you might have to start all over again if it isn’t going the way you want.

Sometimes you will find that you just don’t have everything you need to proceed with beading. Don’t look at this as a problem! Instead, this is the perfect justification for buying more beads!

Next Monday: Structure!
Copyright 2008 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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