Disk Arrangements

farraguas skinner disc 430x550 - Disk ArrangementsDisc beads are fantastic for the complexity they can create just by sheer numbers. They also pull the design away from any one bead and put the focus on how they work together. Employing Skinner blends to create the series of well-arranged colors on this necklace, Spain’s Carmen Morente del Monte, develops a rather striking look with the common stacked disk necklace design as the basis for her composition.

It is not that we haven’t seen quite a few Skinner disc arrangements but this one is rather intriguing with its wide array of colors that still somehow conveys a sense of quiet coherence. I believe that is primarily due to the muted, natural tone of the colors. Their thick spacers subtly echo the surrounding color while their variations trail off to long stacks of warm grays. I think the choice of gray rather than black or white or simply more of the colorful blends for the back half of the bead string is actually what makes this piece work so well. The gray creates a kind of neutral background for the colors to contrast with but the contrast is a gentle one which is also echoed at points in the front beads where the blends go to gray.

I was just having a conversation this weekend about how people steer away from anything well used believing their work won’t be appreciated unless it’s wholly original but how far from the truth that is. Doing something really, really well, even when it has elements seen many times before, is a far bigger and more difficult accomplishment than striving for something purely original. I think this necklace is just such an example.

You can find more of Carmen’s well thought out pieces in her Etsy shop and her Pinterest boards.

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Fabulous Feeling

klew disk necklace lgtWe might spend a day or two more on disks since it’s garnered such interest but also because I’ve been sent such beautiful pieces as this necklace by Karen Lewis (aka Klew). Ronna’s piece on the cover of the Fall 2015 issue of The Polymer Arts pushed Klew to reach out to share this. She has such beautiful work, and I just don’t think we see enough of it! So lucky us!

Klew said this about her work as well: “I am inspired by ancient jewelry, specifically semi- precious stone and shell. I love designing with heishi beads, and thought I’d make my own! I pinched them slightly so that they would have a ripple texture rather than simply flat and uninteresting. They are opened up with tiny copper heishi as well to provide movement. It feels wonderful around my neck. I just love it!”

Klew brings up a little pondered point … how jewelry feels when you wear it. A wearer’s experience and connection with your piece also has to do with how it physically feels. I’ve had some stunning pieces that were too uncomfortable to wear for long and other unassuming pieces that I never wanted to take off because they had such a comforting or even massaging texture. What characteristics make adornment feel fabulous on, as well as looked fabulous? It is something that I think bears more study!

In the meantime, you can jump over to Klew’s website and gallery for more gorgeous bits and bobs.

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