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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Variation on Owls in Autumn

sowasowa6You may recall a certain blog post at the beginning of the year with a clever necklace much like the one you see here but white and with a barn owl. Well, that wasn’t the only owl necklace of that kind she created. She took that and created a very lively variation on the design.

Now, I usually wouldn’t post the same type of design twice in a year, but there is something to be said about seeing how an artist stretches a great design. And it goes with our Fall color palette theme. And it’s really beautiful. So …

If you didn’t see or don’t recall the first post on the owl necklace design by Dorota Kaszczyszyn of VaniLlamaArt, you can jump back to it by clicking here before we go any farther. See how the structure is the same but she’s opened things up and moved from a minimal neutral palette to something wonderfully rich. The use of Skinner blends throughout gives a liveliness to the creature, with the illusion of light hitting what would be its shoulder wings and that blue on the body echoed on the end feathers. It’s a beautiful departure from the tight, stylized design of the first, which is equally stunning but with a different feel.

She has also recently created a metallic owl to add to her family which goes in the very opposite direction being very stylized and all silver. You can jump to this page on her blog to see all of them but do dive into the posts as well, especially the one on the piece we are looking at today as she reveals how she designed and created the smooth transition in Skinner blend beads. Click on the image to go directly there. 


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