I often wonder how many times I've repeated the words used for the Elements & Principles of Design back when I was teaching. What seems like a lifetime or two ago, I taught art to students from kindergarten through 12th grade. In all those years of saying "line, shape, form, space, color, value, texture, .... etc....." over and over again: it had always been in reference to a painting, sculpture, or some other "typical art form". I had never used jewelry as an example to teach these concepts. I suppose because at the time I was not one to frequent jewelry stores or much of a "jewelry person".
After 20+ years in the classroom, I have now embarked on my "second career" - in retail jewelry. Now I realize how befitting those terms really are to describe jewelry. After all jewelry IS art. It may actually be what I would consider art in the purest form. The sparkle of the cut gemstones, the light refraction, the beautiful colors and placement in their settings contains every element and principle of design. Every piece from rings to pendants, even watches have a type of design. Each display a type of balance, whether symmetrical or asymmetrical. Each contains texture whether smooth or rough, as well as repeating elements to create rhythm, pattern, and unity - just to name a few. The principles that make up the elements in a piece are undeniable.
Jewelry is one of the best ways to demonstrate these concepts in all ways. The elements work as the ingredients for an aesthetic piece. The principles are like the recipe for putting it all together. See the video below by GIA as students take on the challenge of designing pieces using the elements and principles of design to create unique works of art.
I hope you enjoyed my first post. I will be creating one a month to discuss pieces of art from the jewelry world. Let me know what you think!
Our staff of GIA trained and accredited professional with over 40 years of personal experience.