Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Top Tip Tuesday ~~ Design Tips Part 2 -- Interpretation




In this second part of my Design Tips I will cover Interpretation and how to use your ideas for a design.  

When you get ideas for designs I find it best to keep them together for ease of access to the information you need.  I have found a ‘Diary’ to be valuable for writing down ideas for colour combinations, designs and even how I could execute designs onto a bead or in a piece of jewellery.  It is simply a notebook or sketchbook where all your ideas go when you have that ‘light bulb’ moment! 

They can strike at the most inconvenient time when you’re going to bed, on the loo (hee hee!) and of course when you are out of the house ~ at the office, in the park with the kids, now I was going to say ‘up a mountain’ but that is much more difficult to get onto paper and you could just plain lose that one I’m afraid, especially if you are hanging from a rope!!!!

But, then again, you may remember it when you come down off the mountain or you could, of course, have seen something which you may be able to take a picture of to remind you again later! 

A camera is another invaluable tool for a designer!!  Oh Yes! We don’t just need it for taking pictures of our work, that’s for sure, so remember to carry it with you at all times!  Don’t forget your Diary too!  Choose one that is not difficult to carry around with you, size wise that is, an A5 or even A6 would be very adequate.  I have to say I have a number of different types of Diary of varying sizes, some are notebooks and others are sketchbooks depending on what I need it for.

When I want to make some jewellery for myself or maybe even a commission, for instance, I would start by working out what colours I need for the particular outfit I need to compliment.  I need to determine what style I want for it ie. long, short, pendant, chain linked, simply strung, etc.  I then need to decide on the right amount of beads I will need to produce it, along with the colour combinations, patterns including what type of metals especially if I want chain included in the design and what would best suit the colours I have chosen as well as the shapes and sizes of the beads, what they are made from and then how they will be laid out!

Oh Yay, we are DESIGNING!!!

I know I make my own beads which means I can produce what I need for my item of jewellery, I realise not everyone can do this but it is then a matter of finding what beads you want to produce your piece of jewellery and purchase them from either a supplier or even a lampworker (like myself) whose style of beads you love and maybe even commission a set in your required colours.

Here is a commission I made for a friend, she wanted something simple and ended up picking out the focal bead I had previously made and so after making a few more beads in the same glass and some metal spacer beads, VOILA!

Star Bracelet

In my ‘Camouflage Mayhem’ range of beads, I made a set in an orange and brown colourway which were called ‘Tortoiseshell Flies’ maybe a bit of an odd name for a set of beads, I hear you say!! Well maybe your not saying that but I will explain a little of why I gave this range such an unusual title!

My Camouflage Mayhem range came about when I was trying out a new glass from CIM (Creation is Messy) ~ what a great name for a glass range/company, eh!!  and it is one of my favourite types of glass to use.  It was a green glass named ‘Commando’, dark green resembling an army camouflage colour.  Well this colour has some qualities that can come with some greens in the many glass ranges, it can be reactive with certain colour combinations, ~~ ivory being a great example.  So I did, I used ivory with the Commando and ‘Hey Presto’ I ended up with a dark webbed ring around the dots I placed with the ivory, onto the green. I then stacked more irregular dots and some of them reminded me of the actual uniforms that the military wear ~~ hence my new range was born!!!

GI Jane

My first set of beads In the Camouflage Mayhem range

I started to jot down other ideas in my Diary notebook, of colours that I could use to replicate different camouflage colours. Then a ‘light bulb’ moment struck me, Animals!  I could use their colours to inspire me in this range, as they use Camouflage to disguise themselves in the wild, birds, insects even marine life were all possible inspiration and open to interpretation in many different ways.

Now, have you worked out where the ‘Tortoiseshell’ comes from for my Tortoiseshell Flies set.

I think you may have guessed it!  ~ Ha ha!! 


The Giant Tortoiseshell Butterfly to be precise. On visiting the local Whipsnade Zoo, where I had taken along my camera (don’t leave home without it!!)  they have a butterfly and insect garden and as I wandered around I captured some pictures of butterflies feeding on the flowers!  Unfortunately I have not got those photos anymore as my disc is corrupted sadly!  I have found a few on the net for you though!!

Gt. Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Tortoiseshell Flies Set

Peacock Butterfly
Look at those gorgeous colours, very similar to the Gt. Tortoiseshell
On my return I got out a book from my extensive “library” called The British Country Companion which has many species of butterflies, inspects, birds, etc. it has given me many ideas for colours for my Camouflage Mayhem range, what better way to interpret an idea than using wildlife or even nature to help guide you to endless possible design ideas.

Little Robin Red Breast


Here are some other colours I have used for the range and I will name them and leave the rest up to you to decide where they have come from!!

Funky Uniform

Blue Tweet Tweet

Pink Leopard 
Daffodils and Periwinkles
My Glass Diary is filling slowly with other ideas I have come up with along the way.
Dotty Socks & Ducky

Socky Dots Beads

Ducky Dots

I now want to show you a few things to get you started, to help you with your own ideas! And run with it!
Monet's Garden


Nature, Marine & Animal pictures

Sweets and Desserts

I hope this has helped a little with your interpretation of things around us in nature, animals and even some more unusual things too!


E x


Next Time I will cover:

Design Sources ~ what and where to find ideas and how to interpret them.

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