Kristen Fagan

Asymmetrical Necklace by Kristen Fagan

9:00 AM

I love asymmetrical designs however, my confidence isn't as high with beading as it is in other mediums so, I tend to stay in the comfort of symmetry.  For me, symmetry makes sense and is easier.  Asymmetry is hard. Although it looks effortless, it takes a lot more time and thought. I decided to stretch myself and design a necklace with asymmetry in mind. For this design I used beads from my stash strung on Soft Flex .019 Antique Brass Metallics Beading Wire finished with Soft Flex 2mm Gold Filled Crimp Tubes and Gold Filled Crimp Covers.

Here is my work in progress:

This was my starting point.  The 3 brown beads on the right side were bugging me and once I snapped this photo I knew why.  It wasn't asymmetrical enough, I needed to push a little further.

This second design nailed the asymmetrical look I was going for. I liked it but, after taking the photo I saw that the star pendant was getting lost. The beads and design were too strong, I needed something bolder.

Now this I was sure, would be it! It's a gorgeous ceramic pendant and the colors matched really well with the turquoise beads however, once again when I snapped the picture it didn't feel right. The turquoise took a larger stage in the overall design and made that side of the necklace seem heavier. It was unbalanced.

Finally, I tried this brass tree pendant. It didn't compete with the beads, the circle shape flows nicely with the rings giving the brass more weight and the design felt balanced even though it is not symmetrical. I really liked this one and could have stopped here and been happy with the design.  But ...

I ended up removing the pendant all together to see if I liked it and you know what, I did! I was so stuck on having a pendant that I didn't realize how nice the design was without one.  Removing the pendant gave the necklace a modern edgy vibe and the focal becomes the colors and composition instead of the pendant, which in fact, was just want I wanted to begin with.

Whew!  That was challenging. But feels oh so good to create outside of my comfort zone. I admire asymmetrical designs because of their complexity and now I created one of my very own!  Because I wanted to share the process with you, lovely blog readers,  I took all these pictures and they really helped me "see" the design clearly.  Sometimes taking a step back and looking at a project differently, like through the lens of a camera, helps you make decisions that you may otherwise overlook.

What do you think?  Do you like my final design or do you think one of my earlier versions is better?  Have you created something outside of your comfort zone recently?  If so, I'd love to hear about it! 

Guest blogger Kristen Fagan is the Website Graphic Designer for Soft Flex Company. She also has her own blog and etsy shop.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at

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5 fabulous thoughts ...

  1. i have a hard time stopping myself sometimes. i think the pendants were "too much" and i love the final design. asymmetrical designs are so hard. way to go.

  2. That's a lovely design. Asymmetrical designs can be tricky, it's nice to see something like this work out as well as it does.

    And yes, it is better without the pendant.

  3. Kristen, I love when you post on the SoftFlexGirl blog. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for all your kind words. I used to get frustrated that I didn't get it right the first time but, I'm learning to enjoy the design process and see where it takes me. And when you end up in a better place then where you started, its gratifying!

  5. I love it Kristen! It is a challenge to make asymmetry work, but I think that you knocked this one out. I particularly appreciate that you showed all the different attemtps. I just wrote a post on my blog on Monday about my use of asymmetry on two custom pieces and some tips and tricks that I use to make it work for me. Balance is key, and I think that you showed that here! And also that it is okay to revise...after all, no great writer churns out a novel in one sitting! You have to be willing to work it from all angles in order to have a masterpiece. Well done!
    Enjoy the day!


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