Principles of Design

In design MOVEMENT expresses life and energy in a piece. It directs the viewer's eye throughout the composition and controls the speed of the eye's movement.

Movement adds excitement to your work by showing action. There are two types of movement used in designing jewelry: visual and tactile.

Visual movement may be classified as static: that is, movement of the eye that flows smoothly from one area of the composition to another, guided by continuations of line or form, and by gradations of color or form. static movement is characterized by similar shapes or shapes that closely relate to adjacent shapes.

Visual movement may also be classified as dynamic. Dynamic movement implies action and energy and is characterized by movement of the eye that jumps and hops between separate components of the piece. Compositions exhibiting dynamic movement are characterized by repetition of various and contrasting shapes, color and/or value.

Tactile movement makes use of moving parts such as dangles or charms. The enjoyment of wearing jewelry can be heightened by having little elements to play with or feeling the movement as they tickle your wrist or neck line. Connie Fox says "Not only do you derive tactile enjoyment from moving components, the ears enjoy the tinkling of the parts as they touch each other."

Adding visual and tactile movement to your work not only adds interest and playfulness but also helps to catch and retain the viewer's attention.

For a closer view of any of the following designs just click on the designer's name and you will be taken to their site where you can also check out some of their other creative designs for inspiration.

Visual movement, as illustrated in this cuff designed by Connie Fox, calls the viewer to travel along the dips and curves of the design. Here the movement is created by asking the eye to move.

"Ocean of Storms Cuff" by Sarah Kelley. In this fabulous beaded cuff, encrusted with freshwater pearls and Hill Tribe silver, the oblique diagonal movement implies dynamic action and energy, like crashing waves, reminiscent of a storm lashed sea.

The seed bead vines in this bead floral necklace by designsbymadalynne adds visual movement guiding your eyes in and around the glass leaves and flowers.

The angle of the bead branches in this "Thoughts of Fall Necklace" by Erin Klein guides your eyes around the piece in a wreath of warm autumn colors.

This beautiful piece designed by Carmen Bermel from her 'Frizzle' Necklace collection. The soft pallets of amethyst, garnet, freshwater pearls, and aventurine gives this necklace a soft and airy feel. The beadalon wire curls and dances around and through the beads giving the illusion of grapes hanging on silver vines in the morning mist.

The line of seed beads in this beautiful "Chocolate Dangle Bracelet" by Cassie Donlen helps guide your eyes moving in and around the various and contrasting shapes.

"Silver Splendor Necklace" designed by Katie Hacker (Free Project from Beadalon.) Visual movement is created giving the feeling of bubbles floating around the center of this neckpiece.

In this unique necklace, Sarah Brueck Stallings created movement for the eye that jumps and hops between separate components. The contrasting shapes, colors and texture add interest and grabs your attention.

The woven spiral base in this lovely "Tea Rose Necklace" by Ann Benson creates visual movement guiding your eyes as they gracefully spiral to the embellished center section of Czech flowers and leaves, pearls, crystals and seed beads.

The strand of small beads and shells wrapped around the waxed cotton cord base along with the v-shape design helps to move your eyes guiding them to the focal feature in the center of this stunning necklace. Tactile movement is added with the use of dangles hanging from the top center of the large shell.

Tactile movement is created in this wonderful dangle and charm bracelet.

For more Principles of Design see: Balance, Emphasis, Rhythm, Contrast, Harmony, Variety.

For more Elements of Design see: Line, Shape, Space, Texture, Color.


NEW! If you have any questions, comments or tips on designing jewelry join our Making Jewelry Design Forum or show us YOUR unique designs in Handcrafted Jewelry Photo Gallery. Everyone is invited to join in, it's free, it's easy and it's fun!


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