Design Idea AB0L Necklace

by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Jewelry imitates nature in both color and form as earth tones and natural themes abound. Designers are taking cues from Mother Nature and incorporating earth colors and neutral tones into jewelry. Nature is also leaving its mark in this earthy-chic trend through leaf, flower, bird, coral and feather motifs. Finding inspiration for this trend is simple; it's sitting in your own backyard, a local park or nature trail. Simply step outside, take in the world around you and get beading!

Design Idea 0065 Necklace What comes to mind when you think of earth tones? Most likely you think of the color brown. While brown remains a key color in the earth tone palette, it also includes tans, greys, oranges, whites, blues and unexpected shades of copper, garnet red, olive and gold, bright highlights of azure, imperial purple and turquoise. The colors in an earth-tone scheme are typically muted and flat, inspired by the natural colors found in dirt, moss, trees and rocks. Many earth tones are derived from clay earth pigments, such as umber, ochre and sienna.

The popularity of earth tones isn't new however, and crosses over into make-up, fashion, paint, home décor and more. Commonly associated with the 1900-1920s Arts and Crafts home style, earth tones emphasize the handcrafted, artisan and natural aspects of design. Think about the colors found in the natural grains of wood as well as the textures and variegated shades that exist in stone, tile, leather and metal materials.

Earth tones allow you to incorporate complementary colors into designs without having to worry about overwhelming the eye. It's a warm, comfortable and flattering palette that continues to outlive evolving color trends and plays well with others.

This adds up to great news for jewelry artists because using earth tones and naturally-inspired motifs in designs gives customers a timeless piece that works well for seasons to come. There are so many options and products available to take advantage of this trend as consumers seek a close-to-earth feeling. Here are some design ideas and product suggestions for creating this timely style.

Shop by earth tone colors, such as sandy grey, charcoal brown, olive green and mustard gold in all types of jewelry components from Swarovski crystal to Celestial Crystal®, to Czech glass beads, seeds beads and more. Combine and layer different shades of earth tones together, modeling the layers found in soil, such as mocca, smoky quartz and smoked topaz Swarovski crystal for a rich, earthy effect.

Design Tip: Download the Spring/Summer 2012 Color Forecast, featuring the current earth tone color trends, and use as a shopping guide for easy color selection.

Gemstones with earthy-inspired natural variations such as magnesite, jasper, marble, goldstone, tigereye, obsidian, landscape stone and feldspar fit right in. Designers are blending earth tone gemstones with metallics, soft pastels and bright pops of colors. Gold is prominent this season, giving an "old gold" feel to designs, inspired by warm ochre and dark mustard tones.
Design Idea 5836 Bracelet

Design Idea C60A Necklace and Earrings Take this trend one step further with the addition of nature-inspired elements in jewelry. Artists are bringing in nature by adding leaves, flowers, birds, twigs, feathers and more. Nature-themed charms and pendants, carved leaf components and flower beads and components bring jewelry pieces to life with charm and dimension. Brass, copper and antiqued metal chains are also commonly found this season as a backdrop to earth-tone stones and earthy embellishments.

Get on the same page as Mother Nature with wood, nut and shell beads and components. These materials bring a casually cool look to any style and work well with braided leather, hemp cord and macramé. These design elements are right in line with the tribal style influences making a large impact this season.
Earth tones are flattering and pleasing to the eye and help ground us in style and spirit. Celebrate the natural world this season by designing earthy-chic jewelry.

Design with ... Design Idea C304 Necklace and Earrings
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