Learn To Bead

At Land of Odds / Be Dazzled Beads – Beads, Jewelry Findings, and More

Archive for April 15th, 2010

Using Beads/Jewelry As Economic Development Tool

Posted by learntobead on April 15, 2010

Using Beads and Jewelry
As Tools For Community and Economic Development

Recently, I read a column by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times entitled Partying to Change the World.

I wanted to share this link with you.

In the article Kristof discusses the work of BeadforLife.

Here two women created an economic support system based on the talents of African women who make beads from trash, and the profit-motive — selling the beads in finished jewelry at home parties in America, and reinvesting this money back in the local enterprises in Africa.  

Moreover, they developed an educational program about Africa for American schools.    The motivation was marketing, but the outcomes far exceed that.

Fascinating story and case study.    I meet many people each year who work with local villagers around the world, to help them find markets for their jewelry, better beading supplies for their craft, and strategies for improving productivity in their efforts.     Here’s a very full and flushed out operation to learn from.

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Posted by learntobead on April 15, 2010

Poor Jewelry Design

Here’s an article about Poor Jewelry Design, with many images of examples of such design.    The author makes the point that jewelry must have some kind of personal or cultural meaning, so its value can be measured.     Much contemporary jewelry has an ephemeral, temporary personal or cultural resonance, and ways to value these pieces is difficult or no longer makes sense.

Click HERE.

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More Ideation – Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on April 15, 2010

More Ideation – Jewelry

Stefano Marchetti is another metal artist who has spent a lot of time thinking about and discussing ways to think through jewelry design.    In his personal process, he likes to take classical pieces and forms, cut them up or break them into different pieces, and reassemble them into something that meets the contemporary sensibility.

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Giovanni Corvaja

Posted by learntobead on April 15, 2010

Giovanni Corvaja

Inspired by looking at fibers and sponges through a microscope, Italian goldsmith Giovanni Corvaja pushes finely spun precious metal to its limits.
The jewelry is intricate.   Seems gossamer floss thin.    Otherworldly.    He uses a variety of techniques, including knitting, micro welding and granulation to form wisps of gold into sculptural jewelry.

I think part of the successes of these pieces is that he creates this chaotic micro-world, but locks in tightly within a very clear, concise, geometric form or series of lines.

I think this piece below is less satisfying because it lacks that juxtaposition of clear and chaotic forms.

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Ideation – Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on April 15, 2010


How do you begin to create the idea of a piece of jewelry in your mind?   What do you start with?   How does the drawing or sketch of the piece begin to emerge?

Noam Elyashiv is a metalsmith and jewelry artist.   Her reputation is based on focusing intently and intellectually on the process of this “jewelry ideation”, and seeing what kinds of pieces of jewelry emerge.   

Her ideation process begins with the exploration of correlations and interactions between line, plane and volume through the composition of her form-related jewelry. 

pair of earrings

She is graduated of the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, Jerusalem, Israel, Elyashiv’s work is regularly exhibited and published internationally. She has won several awards — among them the America Israel Cultural Foundation Award, the Absolute Vodka Emerging Artists Award and a Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Artist Fellowship in Crafts. Most recently her work was honored by the Art Jewelry Forum.


Her current exhibition is  at:

Gallery Loupe for Contemporary Art Jewelry



I’m not sure that if you begin your ideation process with lines and geometric shapes, that your jewelry has to be tightly bound to these ideas.      But here Noam is making a scholarly and academic point.

And I personally think that the good jewelry designer is one who has a personally elaborated and developed ideation process of her or his own.


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