personal style centers on a few key elements. Ilike to...
Mix colors in unexpected ways, particularly colors you would
not ordinarily assume would complement one another
Use a lot of what are called "grays", such as black
diamond, montana blue, colorado topaz, alexandrite, and other
Combine both bead weaving, bead stringing, and wire-working
techniques within the same piece.
Modify traditional weaving and stringing techniques
Define and play with forms and themes, and thresholds, frames
and transititions from one form to the next
Have pieces that emphasize the sensual and sexual
Create unusual, unexpected placement of shapes, such as using
curved tubes where you might expect a straight tube instead,
or using a cube where you would expect a flat rondelle
Add dimensionality, curvature, and interlocking forms, where
I can, to make my pieces both fashionable and contemporary
Add a sense of movement and move-ability, wherever possible,
and likewise, anticipate the aesthetic and functional impacts
and effects which come from movement when worn
Push the limits of, and experiment with, the materials and
techniques I am using
Organize my pieces into Series I call "Collections."
For each Collection, I study a particular culture or technique
or design theory, and play with what I've learned. How can
I adopt what I've learned to my individual style and approach?
Each Collection, then, is a personal challenge of expression
On Beading and Jewelry Making
The DESIGN PERSPECTIVE is very focused on teaching beaders and jewelry
makers how to make choices. Choices about what materials to include,
and not to include. Choices about strategies and techniques of construction.
Choices about mechanics. Choices about aesthetics. Choices about
how best to evoke emotions.
choices must also reflect an understanding of the bead and its related
components. How do all these pieces, in conjunction with stringing
materials, assert their needs? Their needs for color, light and
shadow. Their needs for durability, flexibility, drape, movement
and wearability. Their needs for social or psychological or cultural
or contextual appropriateness -- an appropriateness that has to
do with satisfaction, beauty, fashion and style, as well as power
This DESIGN PERSPECTIVE contrasts with the more predominant Craft
Approach, where the beader or jewelry maker merely follows a set
of steps and ends up with something. Here, in this step-by-step
approach, all the choices have been made for them.
DESIGN PERSPECTIVE also contrasts with another widespread approach
to beading and jewelry making – the Art Tradition –
which focuses on achieving ideals of beauty, whether the jewelry
is worn or not. Here the beader or jewelry maker learns to apply
art theories learned by painters and sculptors, and assumed to apply
equally to beads and jewelry, as well.
Approach and the Art Tradition ignore too much of the functional
essence of jewelry. Because of this, they often steer the beader
and jewelry maker in the wrong directions. Making the wrong choices.
Exercising the wrong judgments. Applying the wrong tradeoffs between
aesthetics and functionality.
The focus of the DESIGN PERSPECTIVE is strategic thinking. At the
core of this thinking are a series of design principles and their
skillful applications. These principles go beyond a set of techniques.
These principles and the strategies for applying them provide the
beader and jewelry maker with some clarity in a muddled world.
here is that there are many different kinds of information that
must come together and be applied. It is impossible to clearly learn
and integrate this information all at once. When learned haphazardly
or randomly, as most people do, it becomes problematic. It becomes
more difficult or too confusing to successfully bring to bear all
these kinds of things the beader or jewelry maker needs to know
when designing and constructing a piece of jewelry in the moment.
Thus, the beader and jewelry maker best learn all this related yet
disparate information in a developmental order, based on some coherent
grammer or set of rules of design. By learning within this organized
structure and informational hierarchy, the jewelry artist best sees
how everything interrelates and comes together. This is the DESIGN
begin with a Core set of skills and concepts, and how these are
interrelated and applied. Then we move on to a Second Set of skills
and concepts, their interrelationships and applications, and identifying
how they are related to the Core. And onward again to a Third Set
of skills and concepts, their interrelationships and applications
and relationship to the Second Set and the Core, and so forth.
In the DESIGN PERSPECTIVE, “Jewelry” is understood as
Art, but is only Art as it is worn. It is not considered Art when
sitting on a mannequin or easel. Because of this, the principles
learned through Craft or Art are important, but not sufficient for
learning good jewelry design and fashioning good jewelry.
good jewelry design creates its own challenges. All jewelry functions
in a 3-dimensional space, particularly sensitive to position, volume
and scale. Jewelry must stand on its own as an object of art. But
it must also exist as an object of art which interacts with people
(and a person’s body), movement, personality, and quirks of
the wearer, and of the viewer, as well as the environment and context.
Jewelry serves many purposes, some aesthetic, some functional, some
social and cultural, some psychological.
The focus of the DESIGN PERSPECTIVE is on the parts. How do you
choose them? How should they be used, and not be used? How do you
assemble them and combine them in such a way that the whole is greater
than the sum of the parts? How do you create and build in support
systems within your jewelry to enable that greater movement, more
flexibility, better draping, longer durability? How do you best
use all these parts, making them resonate and evoking that emotional
response from your audience to your style, vision and creative hand
that you so desire?
The beader and jewelry maker are seen as multi-functional professionals,
similar to an architect who builds houses and an engineer who builds
bridges. In all these cases, the professional must bring a lot of
very different kinds of skills and abilities to bear, when constructing,
whether house or bridge or jewelry. The professional has to be able
to manage artistic design, functionality, and the interaction of
the object with the person and that person’s environment.
GOOD JEWELRY DESIGN: Principles of Composition
for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts and www.LearnToBead.net
Warren Feld, Jewelry
Designer, beading and jewelry making endeavors have been wonderful
adventures. These adventures, over the past 25 years, have taken
Warren from the basics of bead stringing and bead weaving, to
wire working and silver smithing, and onward to more complex
jewelry designs which build on the strengths of a full range
of technical skills and experiences.
He, along with his partner James Alfard Jones, opened a small
bead shop in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, about 20 years ago,
and called it Land of Odds. Over time, Land of Odds evolved
from a bricks and mortar store into a successful internet business
. In the late 1990s, James and Warren opened up another bricks
and mortar bead store – Be
Dazzled Beads – in a trendy neighborhood of Nashville
called Berry Hill. Together both businesses supply beaders and
jewelry artists with all the supplies and parts they need to
make beautiful pieces of wearable art.
In 2000, Warren founded The Center For Beadwork & Jewelry
Arts (CBJA) – www.landofodds.com/beadschool
. CBJA is an educational program, associated with Be Dazzled
Beads in Nashville, for beaders and jewelry makers. The program
approaches education from a Design Perspective. There is a strong
focus here on skills development. There are requirements for
sequencing the student's classes; that is, taking classes in
a developmental order. There is a major emphasis on teaching
how to make better choices when selecting beads, other parts
and stringing materials, and how to bring these altogether into
a beautiful, yet functional piece of jewelry.
Theory is tightly wedded to applications throughout the program, from beginner to advanced classes. Since jewelry, unlike painting and sculpture, must interrelate aesthetics, function and context, much attention is paid to how such relationships should influence the designer. The program is envisioned as preparing the student towards gaining a disciplinary literacy in design -- one that begins with how to decode the expressive attributes associated with Design Elements to a fluency in the management of Principles of Composition, Construction and Manipulation, as well as the systems management of the design process itself.
Warren’s direction, CBJA in conjunction with Land of Odds,
sponsors three international contests:
The Ugly Necklace Contest – A Jewelry Design Competition
with a Twist!
All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition
The Illustrative Beader: Beaded Tapestry Competition
Upcoming programs of CBJA: www.LearnToBead.net, a work now in
progress, is our recent effort to extend our CBJA philosphy
and successes to a broader audience on-line Jewelry Design Camp
is another planned program, offering intensive 1-week long thematic
sessions on some aspect of jewelry design theory and application.
Warren’s commitment and concern for the "teaching
of beadwork" resulted from watching and talking, over the
years, with customers in the shop, who had taken classes elsewhere,
or tried to teach themselves from books. These beaders were
not buying parts or using parts to their best advantage. It
was obvious that many people had taken classes, but that they
weren't necessarily learning something -- at least not learning
something that would stick with them, and that they could comfortably
apply in other situations. They were memorizing steps, rather
than integrating organized processes of thinking, thus designing.
Most classes and books about beading or jewelry making typically
come out of the Craft Perspective, where you learn a set of
steps and end up with a particular project. But when you leave
that class, you haven’t learned how to apply those steps
to any other situation, and you probably forget how to do the
project. At the shop, Warren and his staff do a lot of re-teaching
-- putting things learned into a broader context, showing alternative
ways of achieving the same ends, explaining how the choice of
materials used in a project will affect how it’s done,
and how durable it will be over time.
Warren leads a group of 12 instructors at CBJA. He teaches many
of the bead-stringing, jewelry design as well as business-oriented
courses in the CBJA curriculum. He works with people just getting
started with beading and jewelry making, as well as with the
program’s advanced bead study groups. These groups meet
bi-weekly to learn, try out and experiment with beading techniques,
sometimes exploring issues cross-culturally, and othertimes,
examining the works of particular bead- or jewelry artists over
the course of their design careers.
JEWELRY DESIGN SPECIALTIES:
Business of Craft
Contemporizing Traditional Jewelry
Vintage Revival Styles
Art vs. Craft Jewelry Design Applications
SELECTED AS FINALIST , 4th place, for "Canyon Sunrise",
SWAROVSKI’s Be Naturally Inspired Design Contest 2008
Tapestries/Ghindia" — was juried into
the book SHOWCASE 500 BEADED JEWELRY, Lark
Publications. August 2012, listed on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/z6tZH2
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TUXEDO PARK BRACELET
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"The Ugly Necklace Contest," in The Beader's Guide To Jewelry Design, Margie Deeb, 2014
"Gwynian Ropes Bracelet", Perlen Posie, No. 21, 2014.
jewelry, artworks, images, designs, copy, Copyright 2008 Warren Feld.
All rights reserved. Warren Feld Studio