Monday, September 16, 2013

Boot Camp: Hoops and Negative Space

by Staci L. Smith

I was going to do a little tutorial on soldering hoops, but MaryAnne posted this great video that did all the work for me!  Thanks MaryAnne!
 
So it allows me to talk today about why I love using hoops / loops in my designs and some ideas of how to use them. 
 
 
 
 
 
I have always been drawn to hoops, whether in the form of wire or a donut bead.  They offer endless possibilities in design.  They can be a focal piece or an accent.  The can be connectors, or made into chain.  The form of the hoop, can give you an array designs and styles to chose from.
 
I personally like the negative space it creates.
Negative space is a space that is not occupied, or taken up by a focal piece.  It is used in great paintings, to push your eye to the main focal point of the picture, or to keep your eye moving around the piece. 
 
I find that water color artists often are the masters of negative space in paintings.  Below is a good example.  See how the negative space between the trees allows you to focus on the trees themselves? 
 
 
Painting by Pat Howard of the Painted Prism
 
In jewelry, not only does a hoop provide negative space, but it can also lighten up a large piece of jewelry by occupying more area, using less material.  Using heavy stones, ceramic and glass can weigh a piece of jewelry down.  Especially if you like your jewelry large like I do.  Hoops allow me to make the pieces more wearable.
 
Creating a large focal using hoops, like this piece, allows you have a large piece that is very light, both in actuality and to the visually.
 
 
 
Adding negative space can also break up a flow of solid chunkiness, to give the eye a break from the heaviness, and since its a hoop, it carries the eye through the piece, without creating a break that is unappealing.
 
 
 
In fact, I am so drawn to negative space, I even started adding it to my beads, as in these skeleton hearts I created in polymer clay.
 
 
 
I have used hoops this year, to allow me to make some simpler pieces, that can still be funky.  In this piece, I used a simple loop to hang a bead I loved from.  That way, the focus is the paisley bead (by Diana of Suburban Girl Studio).  A very simple design, that is light and chunky at the same time.
 
 


Here I soldered some loops together and gave them a verdigris patina, and they have become the focal point.  I made it asymmetrical, so it could still be funky, yet it is light and simple at the same time.
 
 

Hoops don't have to be empty though, and I have also used them to frame beads that I want to accent, like in this piece with a fancy Joan Miller Bead
 
 
I hope you enjoyed a little trip through my mind, and how and why I love the shape of the hoop.  I also hope its inspired you to use them in jewelry creations.  Hoops span all styles of jewelry.  It is the most basic form.  It can be simple or complex.
 
Please share you hoop /loop creations in our Flickr group this month for the current Boot Camp.  I also hope you will join us on
 
October  14th for the blog hop, and show off what you have been making with hoops!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


7 comments:

AntiquityTravelers said...

great post, and wonderful food for thought on negative space!

Karen McGovern said...

Love your loops, Staci. Beautiful work. Next Monday I'll be at liking about filling the void in hoops...perfect lead-in! Bravo!

Alice said...

Never thought about negative space in jewelry, but it does make a differnce. I just love all your pieces!

Emakaye said...

Beautiful pieces. They are very inspiring!!!
~Ema

Maplegirl said...

Great blog post. We may use negative space at times and not think about why it worked, or even think about adding it at times. What a great reminder for design. Andrea

Rising Designs said...

Thanks Staci!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Now, I am lovin' hoops even more! Thanks for sharing that. I never thought about negative space in jewelry either! I had hoop designs popping in my head while I was reading this! lol! True story :o)

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