Ouch. Part 1 of 2
One thing's for sure. There is plenty of time to send in your entry to the 8th Annual Ugly Necklace Contest sponsored by Land of Odds.You're going to need until March 3, 2010 to come up with a design that goes against every grain of pretty jewelry creativity you've got. As they say, "It ain't easy doing ugly." The prizes, $992 and $399 are for shopping sprees on the online store.  Pictured here are some of the past winners.

Many artisans instinctively design but have you ever thought what constitutes a good or bad design? The competition actually provides invaluable lessons in the basics of jewelry design.  Indeed, the contest, the brainchild of the Center for Beadwork and Jewelry Arts (Nashville, Tennessee), was initially conceived "as a fun way to break students out of the traditional craft mold, and to get them to think, ponder, and translate their feelings and perceptions of what is "ugly" into an organized and functional necklace design."

Here are some of those lessons and tips from the judges' criteria page :
  • The necklaces have to be wearable - and that is true whether you make gorgeous or ugly jewelry
  • The materials you use matters less than HOW you use them in terms of balance and arrangement. One example they cited was the woman who strung ugly beads together only to find a pleasing result which she sold for $225! 
  • Clasps not only have to function as such but the choice of clasp design must compliment the necklace
  • Rhythm and focus - repeating patterns and something to draw the eye
  • Color mixes and relative proportion of each color
  • Disorientation or orientation - what we expect to see. For example pendants are expected to lie straight down in the middle of a necklace due to gravity. You can see an example of disorientation in the second design below.
  • Parsimony - just the right amount of say, focal elements
Definitely a "jewelry design competition with a twist!" Via

For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips

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