Thursday, 6 April 2017

In the Eye of the Beholder



It is not the well ordered design of this pearl cluster brooch that excites me. It is the way that one pearl seems as if about to roll off, rakishly unexpected and immediate. It is this aspect of design that drives me wild!


We all know the saying. But do we know why? What is it that defines Beauty? More than the sum of it's parts, beauty is many things to many people. Whether it is the bold, linear and organized lines of the Art Deco design style, the naturalistic, bountiful and curvaceous lines of the Art Nouveau design style or the mathematical, sculptural lines of the Modernist design style - one thing is clear; beauty is.

The human brain is pre programmed to find patterns. Facial recognition is likewise, an inborn talent. But as much as we are drawn to patterns, to organized lines - whether natural, man made or virtual - there is also a less definable aspect to what we find beautiful, generally speaking. There must be more to a design than simple math. When it comes to design, it is as much about what is not there, as what is. The eye is drawn to patterns, yes. But what is safe is not what excites us. Think about your favorite faces. I bet there are distinguishing characteristics within that pattern, that safe and beloved face, that stand out from the rest of what you are seeing. The way an eye tilts, a crooked smile. The deep laugh lines that draw the eye. The same is true for design.

As much as I adore the carefully considered lines in a traditional piece of jewelry, what really gets my engine purring are the ones that have that...je ne sais quoi. The way a pearl hangs apart from the edge of a cluster, the overdrawn, heavily weighted wired ends of an atomic asteristic design brooch that seem to be weightless - the ordered chaos of a modernist design. The sculptural aspects of a great piece of jewelry design - almost as if you can hear the indrawn breath of the maker. And that is it too - the idea that you can see the hand of the maker within each piece. That there is something extraordinary about it. Because when it comes down to it, isn't this what we all love about Art? That it moves us in some way. Touches us and yes, adorns us. A good design has more than a nice pattern. It has a story behind it. It speaks to us, of a time and place, sometimes it is an ideal or a movement. Sometimes, we might even say, it has a soul.

This sweet little Damascene design clam or oyster just tickles me pink every time I see it. The designer chose to add that little pearl, sat it just inside the lip of the clam. How sweet it is to my eye. Playful and filled with whimsy, I love it.


With it's many spires, each end set with a glittering colored rhinestone, this Astro Burst, Atomic Mod design jewelry set seems to defy gravity - by design!



One of My Favorite Pieces - An Unusual Modernist Design by Coro - Organized Chaos!

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