© 2013

A balancing act

Some people follow a sequence of two or three colours of glass from one end to another, adding silvers in a second pattern, to create a harmonious bracelet. Although the logic behind this makes sense to me, on my wrist it looks like anything but the orderly arrangement that it is intended to be.

Others seem to be able to take a random assortment of beads and in short order put together something that is eye pleasing. I am definitely not one of those people. I’ve tried using a more abstract approach to bracelet design and occasionally I think I’ve got it nailed, but by the next day I realize that there’s something about it that doesn’t work for me and I’m back at square one. I’m in awe of people who have mastered the art of arranging beads without it looking like they have arranged them, since I can’t figure out why these combinations work, they just work.

Perhaps the problem is that I can’t help but look at bracelet design with an analytical eye.  I think it’s just the way that my brain is wired. I often go through many iterations of a design, analyzing and fine-tuning the placement of each bead, before I’m happy with the results. Logically I know that you never really see more than 2/3 of a bracelet at a time when you have it on, but I need to design with the complete bracelet in mind.

For full bracelets, I’ve found that I need to build bracelets from the middle out, with some symmetry (but without duplication). Since I wear no glass beads on my Pandora bracelet, for that one I only have to concern myself with making sure the shape of the beads is similar. Since I wear mostly glass on my Trollbeads bracelets, those usually take me much longer to arrange to my satisfaction since a small deviation in colour makes it seem unbalanced in my eyes. Which is also probably why I have few full Trollbeads bracelets.

Instead, I often lean towards smaller combinations of 3 glass beads and 2 silver beads, using stoppers on each end to keep the beads from floating around the bracelet. Unlike the symmetry of my full bracelets, I’m happiest with my mini bracelets when I use combinations where the glass beads don’t match too closely, although each shares a colour or pattern with another bead.

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