The art of creating beaded jewelry has a long and fascinating history. The earliest jewelry was likely adorned with shells and seeds until the Mesopotamians began firing beads from clay and other natural materials. In the 14th century, Italians changed the world of beadwork by creating beautiful beads from the Murano glass we still see today.
If you're ready to join the long line of jewelry makers in human history, you may have some questions about how to begin. You've got your supplies and you've learned how to use them. The question is, how do you bring your imagination to life?
Choosing the right color combination can make a world of difference when it comes to jewelry making. The good news is that with a little training of your aesthetic eye, you'll find that the combinations are endless!
To help you get started on your jewelry making journey, let's take a look at some great ways to come up with brilliant color combinations!
Crafting Around Your Focal Point
Sometimes, the inspiration for a piece of jewelry comes from a really marvelous bead. Take a look, for example, at our collection of Murano glass beads. Notice how some of them have swirling colors or bold patterns that really draw the eye.
Oftentimes, we use those unique and colorful beads as our focal point. The rest of the beads should complement our focal point without distracting from or clashing with this main bead or set of beads.
Examine your primary bead or beads. What colors jump out to you? Perhaps you want to pick up on the slight traces of orange within the pattern or amplify the deep blue that steals the show.
Once you have a few different colors in mind, look to collections like our Swarovski beads for single or two-toned beads to string along either side of your focal point.
Memory-Inspired Color Palettes
Sometimes we want to create a piece of jewelry that will commemorate a special or important moment in our life. Perhaps you want to gift a bracelet to your daughter after her graduation or put together an anklet that will instantly transport you back to your week at the beach.
What better way to make these commemorative pieces than to pull colors from those memories? Open up your photo album or scroll through the pictures on your phone to find one or two breathtaking snapshots of the memory. What colors stand out to you and what colors create a subtle but significant contrast?
Use these photos to create a color palette to inspire your jewelry. You may incorporate the perfect shade of blue to capture the sky along with a light, dusty yellow to represent the sand. Whatever the colors you choose, they're certain to remind you of this wonderful time!
Jewelry Making with the Help of a Color Wheel
You may remember the good old color wheel from your grade school art classes. Color wheels show us the relationship between colors and whether they are primary, secondary, or tertiary. The color wheel makes for a great tool if we're trying to select a color combination for our beaded jewelry.
There are a few different ways to maximize your use of the color wheel. Let's look at some of these combinations that you can play around with.
One option is monochromatic, which entails using beads that are all in the same color but different tones or tints. Another is complementary, in which you select two colors that are directly opposite one another on the color wheel. Complementary colors create the biggest contrast, making both colors appear even more vibrant without clashing.
The other two possibilities are a bit more complicated but a great deal of fun. You can create a triadic color scheme that incorporates three evenly spaced colors on the color wheel. You can also create an analogous color scheme that incorporates three to five adjacent colors on the color wheel.
If you're struggling to imagine color combinations in your mind's eye, a color wheel is a perfect way to go!
Our final tip is to think in terms of tones or, as we like to say, temperatures. You'll often hear tones or temperatures discussed in the world of interior decorating and visual art, and it's a very useful consideration in jewelry making, as well. When we say temperatures, we mean warm, cool, and neutral.
Warm colors are close to the sun or to a bright, healing light. They include yellows, reds, and oranges as well as pinks.
When we say cool colors, think of water and the plant life that water nourishes. Cool colors include blue, green, and purple.
Neutral colors tend not to be found on a traditional color wheel. They are colors against which brighter colors can pop. Neutral colors include black and white but also tan, grey, and beige.
Many people gravitate towards one of these three color palettes in their own wardrobe. Reexamining your aesthetic choices in terms of temperature can help you decide how to create jewelry to complement your clothing!
Finding the Perfect Beads
Jewelry making is a great way to express yourself through art while creating something useable and practical. All you need are the right supplies, a vision, and the beads to match!
At the Venetian Bead Shop, we provide high-quality beads and other jewelry making staples at reasonable prices. Take a look at our carefully curated selections and find out more about our wholesale program!