by Elaine Luther

I was teaching a class recently at one of my art centers, and looking at their book collection during lunch I came across the book The Elements of Design, by Loan Oei and Cecile DeKegel. It’s unusual and beautiful. They take basic design themes, like repeating dots, and then show you picture after picture of different dots, in textiles, in nature, in real life. It may sound goofy, but you have to see it, it’s really cool.

Especially if you’ve come to jewelry making with no design classes, this book will help you think about design but it’s not a boring text book.

Another book in that vein is The Language of Design, Interpretive Edition by Tim McCreight. It’s also beautiful and an essential part of your do it yourself design education. He gives definitions of design terms and illustrates them with examples in a variety of media. The text only version of this book comes with The Complete Metalsmith Pro Edition with CD, on the CD. But even if you have that, you’ll want the Interpretive Edition too. I have both.


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