Design and Proportion

When creating a design proportion is an important factor to consider. Many jewelry designers create pieces that feel “right” without giving much thought to composition, raises hand. You sit with your beads and your bead board and move things around, adding a color or removing a color, adding more beads or fewer beads, until the design “feels” right.

There is system that you can use to help. Are you ready for some math? Ok, don’t go running for the door just yet!

The system I’m talking about is the Golden Section or Divine Proportion. The Golden Section is a visual representation of the number Phi (Fi). When you bisect a line at a certain point you get Phi. Phi is 1.618033988749895.

Why is Phi important? Well, it’s important because it’s all around us. You can find Phi in the proportions of the human body and many animals, plants, the solar system, art and architecture, music, even in DNA.

So how do you use it?

For those who are so mathematically inclined. The Golden Section can be understood as a line segment divided in such a way that the smallest part is proportional to the biggest part and the biggest part is proportional to the whole. Huh?

Golden Section

Say you have beads B and C making up A, your design. Take 21 of your B beads and multiply that by 1.62.

So you’d need about 14 of your C beads to make a proportionate design.

For those, like me, who are mathematically challenged try to think of thing in 3rds. 2/3 of your design should be compromised of a certain element and the other 1/3 consists of another element. Add in about 10% for your accents and your good to go.

Of course these are all just guidelines not hard and fast set in stone rules. Design what you like and keep these guidelines in the back of your mind and reference them when you need to.

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