Some art is made to be worn. An example of this art used in everyday life appears in Figure 13-12. We call this art, and the craft of making it, jewelry.

Some people wear jewelry made of colorful shells and feathers. Other jewelry is created with metal and stones, such as the bracelet shown in Figure 13-12. Can you name any of the stones and metals in this artwork?

You will make a piece of paper jewelry with a particular person in mind. You will paint your jewelry with watercolors. You will apply design skills to effectively communicate ideas and thoughts in everyday life. You will choose either geometric or freeform shapes for your design. You will make a pendant, a pin, or a pair of earrings. The item must harmonize with the clothing style of the person for whom it is intended.

Figure 13-12 Notice the different materials the artist used to create this unique piece of jewelry.

Iris Sandkühler, Blue Moon Beaded Cuff Bracelet. 1998. Silver, glass, turquoise, pearls. Width: 3.81 cm (1 ½”). Courtesy of the artist
  • Pencil and sheets of sketch paper
  • Sheet of heavy watercolor paper, 9 x 12 inches
  • Sheets of scrap paper, scissors
  • Watercolor paints and brushes
  • White glue, straight pin
  • Pin or earring backs
  • Polyurethane spray

  1. Identify the person for whom the piece is intended. Decide whether you will make a pin, a pendant, or a pair of earrings. Make pencil sketches experimenting with different shapes for your jewelry.
  2. You may use either geometric or free-form shapes. Transfer your best sketches to the sheet of heavy watercolor paper. Set the paper aside.
  3. On scrap paper, experiment with different colors and techniques for applying watercolor paints. (To review the different techniques, see Technique Tip 14, Handbook page 286.) If you are making the jewelry for yourself, think of your favorite colors. If the jewelry is to be a gift, think about the tastes of the person you have in mind.
  4. Tear or cut out the paper shapes and paint them. Choose colors that work together to create a feeling of harmony.
  5. When the paint is dry, attach the pieces to a pin or earring backs with glue. For a pendant, poke a hole at the top.
  6. To waterproof the jewelry, use polyurethane (pahl-ee-yuhr-uh-thane) spray.
  7. Display your finished jewelry. How did you apply design skills to communicate ideas and thoughts in everyday life?

Gene Mittler and Rosalind Ragans

Published by Glencoe McGraw-Hill

©2005–. The artist reserves copyright on all material used throughout this site.