The following is an excerpt from my May 2012 Margie’s Muse column. Download and read it in full.

Fifty colors of complex patterns and harmonies rotate around “Genevieve’s Hat” by Anne Hawley. Your eye is drawn in and around, led by the colorful rhythms. An assemblage of sead and semi-precious beads, and Swarovski crystal in flat round peyote stitch on suede lining.

What makes a well designed piece of beadwork? How do you create a unified, harmonious piece so completely balanced and whole that nothing added or taken away would improve it? Pattern is one way.

Because they transmit visual rhythm, patterns can invigorate your jewelry design with movement. That movement can make a design hum, sing, or belt out loud.

Surface pattern is inherent in seed bead weaving. The locking together of the beads and the minute spaces between them sets up predictable geometric patterns.

Pattern is created by repetition. Like a tour guide, it invites you in, and shows you around.

In a well-planned pattern, the eye travels, following points of interest. These points may be the brightest (or darkest) colors, or the largest expanses of color. They may be directional shapes and elements, like lines or arrows. In fact, any element that stands out from its surroundings becomes a point of interest, or focal point….

Download and read it in full.