The jewelry design combines the aesthetic and artistic aspects with the functional ones. The success of any designer largely depends on his/her ability to find a right balance between different elements of design and translate it into an item which would be perceived by the viewers as a harmonious combination of beauty and practical functionality. And it is possible to say that the greatest achievement of Terri Logan, a designer of handmade jewelry from Richmond, Indiana, is the ability to create elegant, unique, yet wearable and functional design items.
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Logan’s jewelry is frequently made of very simple materials such as river stones, sterling, and fine silver. As the designer said in one of her interviews, she loved collecting stones since childhood and, in this way, “Logan’s passion communicates in her work” (Clark 42). It is also possible to trace her interest in organics and industrialism in her works which combine the natural elements and silver bezels in minimalistic architectural forms. Many admirers of Logan’s art find its appeal “striking and immediate” (Clark 42).
These qualities can be considered a distinctive feature of her design which continues to attract new customers from day to day. High demand and international interest to Logan’s jewelry, as well as the undeniable artistic qualities of her brooches, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, are the main criteria of the designer’s success because they demonstrate her skills of material manipulation and compliance with the major design principles in the creative process that always produces functional and, at the same time, aesthetic pieces.
Analysis of Design Elements
A piece of jewelry that is being evaluated is the seven-stone bracelet made of sterling silver and stones which are the common materials used by the designer in her works. Most of Logan’s bracelets are comprised of seven or six major elements – semi-precious stones or simple river stones.
Every item in her collections is handmade and unique “due to the individuality of the stones involved” (Iowa Artisans Gallery par. 1). The jewelry piece which was selected for the analysis consists of red jasper, black pebbles, black-and-white quartzite, and other stones. Each design element has its own texture, original color, and shape. The color pallet of the item includes the variations of red, white, and black.
It is possible to say that Terri Logan managed to consider all design principles while creating the bracelet – “balance, rhythm, movement, contrast, harmony, variety, and unity” (Alexander par. 2). The distinct colors are combined in a harmonious pattern which creates the appropriate balance between the focal points and facilitates the aesthetic perception of the item. In this way, the author creates the unity of the item which occurs when the distinct elements of jewelry piece are combined to create “a balanced, harmonious, complete whole” (“Principles of Design” par. 3).
The alterations of textures, the interchanges of smoothness and roughness are kept throughout the length of the bracelet. And the same can be said about the forms – the designer masterfully balances between round, square, and triangular shapes melted into the unified, textured, and sinuous form.
The elaborate arrangement of design elements creates a distinctive rhythm and movement where each stone, color, and texture attracts the viewer’s attention equally. At the same time, the whole aesthetic structure of the bracelet is based on contrasts and their interchange. In this particular case, the contrasting elements do not stand out against the neutral ones but create a harmonious integrity.
Usually, the light colors, such as white and brownish, would create a background for the bright red shades – they can speak and draw maximum attention against the neutral colors, and “stand out from the majority of other elements” (Bradley par. 5). But in Logan’s bracelet, the light colors do not get lost next to the black and the red elements. The created effect indicates a well-developed sense of balance and harmony which may be regarded as the essential strength of the designer’s craftsmanship.
As it was mentioned before, the aesthetic perception of a jewelry piece largely depends on the overall design composition and the principles according to which the piece was created. Logan’s seven-stone bracelet is a good example of an effective design that integrates all the important principles of design composition development. The shapes, textures, lines, and colors are properly balanced, and the created harmonious rhythmic pattern makes the perception of the bracelet an aesthetic experience. Along with the fulfillment of the viewers need for the aesthetic perception, the analyzed item made by Terri Logan has the practical significance for the customers.
The bracelet is wearable and practical yet chic and delicate. The bracelet, as well as other items in Logan’s collection, may be considered the pieces of art, and the uniqueness of every jewelry piece creates a special value for its owner. In this way, the evaluated piece of jewelry may be regarded as an example of the designer’s successful work because it unites the aesthetics and functionality which are two of the most important indicators of the effectiveness of jewelry design. aesthetics and functionality which are two of the most important aspects of the effectiveness of jewelry design.
Alexander, Janet. “Designing Jewelry Using Design Principles.” Corner Stone. 2013. PMC Connection. Web.
Bradley, Steven. “Design Principles: Dominance, Focal Points, and Hierarchy.” Smashing Magazine. 2015. Web.
Clark, Leslie. “The Art of Silver and Stone.” Ornament 29.1 (2005): 42. MasterFILE Premier. Web.
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Iowa Artisans Gallery 2015, Terri Logan – Richmond, Indiana. Web.
Principles of Design n.d. Web.