For jewelry designers (or any kind of artist) a thorough understanding of color is absolutely crucial. Color- of your beads, of your wire, of your components- is arguably the most important factor to consider when designing a piece of jewelry. There is more to understanding color than simply knowing what colors pair well together, however. Colors elicit feelings in us. Colors can communicate messages without words. It is important to know what a color truly means before you use it in your jewelry design lest you unintentionally conjure up an emotion in others that doesn’t portray how you truly want your piece of jewelry to affect others.
For example, the color red symbolizes romance, passion and love. However, it can also communicate “danger,” “hot,” “stop” and other frightening, warning words. Red can also symbolize anger. No doubt a bold color, you can use red in your jewelry designs when you want to make a strong statement. What about black? Black can mean sadness and solitude, it can even bring the word “evil” to mind, but it is also a timeless, fashionable hue.
The shade of a color is crucial to its meaning as well. Consider the color yellow. Bright yellow makes one think of sunshine, happiness and warmth. It is a joyful hue. However dull, dingy yellow conjures up ideas of cowardice, illness, death and decay. This variance in meaning between shades is also true for the color green, which is part of the reason we decided to dedicate the month of March to the “40 Shades of Green” and all the thoughts and feelings they illicit.
So what is your jewelry design communicating when you use the color green? Green is thought to be a relaxing color that is very easy on the eyes. When an actor is waiting to go on stage, they sit in a “green room” to relax before their performance, for example. For this reason, green is a very appropriate color for prayer beads, rosaries and nursing necklaces which are meant to bring peace to the owner. Green also reminds one of health, vitality and growth. Green is a good choice to use in a jewelry design for someone embarking on a new endeavor of some kind.
Dark green often symbolizes wealth, money and greed. Designing a piece of jewelry for a very wealthy person? Perhaps green is the way to go. Are you designing for a wealthy person who wants to downplay their financial status? Avoid green. Light, yellow-green can symbolize jealousy. You can use this shade of green in your jewelry design when you want others to look upon it and become “green with envy.” Aqua-turquoise shades of green symbolize emotional healing and protection, further strengthening them as a good choice for prayer beads and rosaries. Olive green, which happens to be my favorite shade of green, symbolizes peace. Do you need to bead a gift for a friend going through a very stressful time in their life? Offer them a sense of peace with a jewelry design that incorporates olive green.
Want to read more about colors and what they mean? I really enjoyed reading this article while researching for this blog post. I would like to invite all of you to try and pay more attention to what thoughts and feelings you experience in your everyday life associated with all the colors of the rainbow. The more intimately you can know and understand the color spectrum, the better jewelry designer you will become.