Jewelry Design: The Play Of Pattern With Margie Deeb

Margie Deeb is a master of color. We have previously looked at how colors can highlight or contrast each other in jewelry and loom work. Margie teaches that concordance is the harmony of like colors. Contrast is the clash of dissimilar colors. Both can be used to create stunning designs.

This week, we are looking at patterns. Patterns can be simple or complex. A great pattern is one where there is not a single missing or superfluous color. Nothing can be added or removed without the effect failing. A pattern establishes a place where the eyes can wander and enjoy the canvas. Patterns are delicious and fun. Adding a color pattern can amplify the beauty of your next jewelry design.

If you love color and want to expand your color collection, make sure you take a look at our medium diameter Soft Flex Beading Wire. This is a great time to stock your jewelry supply kit with the lush spectrum of our wire. Don't design with a boring beading wire, color will make your jewelry sing!

We updated our website last year. We had a lot of literature and articles we felt we needed to retain. We love Margie Deeb's intimate knowledge of colors and we wanted to share some of our archive. Margie is an incredibly talented artist, designer, and author. Follow along on her color journey. Check out her article below. Let's all become students of color! 

Parts of this are excerpted from The Beader's Guide to Color by Margie Deeb (Watson-Guptill, 2004, now Penguin Random House).


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.

Through repetition of value, color and shape, Anne Hawley's patterns guide you in and around the mandala that is "Genevieve's Hat". Your eye dances back and forth from the center to the outer rim chasing the bright yellow and orange shapes.

When creating patterns, consider the relationship between positive and negative space: the shapes created by foreground and background are equally important.

Play with pattern. Repeat motifs. Alter the directions in which you stitch. Contrast design elements. Create patterns by alternating large and small, light and dark, shiny and matte. All the while seeking to create visually intriguing pattern and texture filled with movement.

Play with pattern. Repeat motifs. Alter the directions in which you stitch. Contrast design elements. Create patterns by alternating large and small, light and dark, shiny and matte. All the while seeking to create visually intriguing pattern and texture filled with movement.

Expertly juxtaposing tints and shade of only three colors, Madelyn C. Ricks weaves a rhythmic pattern that guides your eye through "Celtic Band Neckpiece."


Join our Facebook group – VIB. Stay in the know. Stay up to date. From our bead shows to our video shows and sales, you can stay in touch with us. The community is full of artistic and helpful beaders and crafty people. Inspire and be inspired. Share your pictures and get the beading bug from others!

Visit the Soft Flex Company YouTube Channel!

Artist and color expert Margie Deeb is the author of The Beader's Color Palette, The Beader's Guide to Color, The Beader's Guide to Jewelry Design and numerous beading and color publications. She teaches color and beading across the country and her free monthly color column, Margie's Muse, is available on her website. She writes regularly for Beadwork, Bead & Button, and Step-by-Step Beads magazines.

Visit Margie's website for her books, kits, patterns, jewelry, inspiration, and more: www.MargieDeeb.com