Learn To Bead

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

Archive for August, 2010

How Sparkle Enters People’s Lives

Posted by learntobead on August 31, 2010

How Sparkle Enters People’s Lives

New post under How To Bead  A Rogue Elephant.

“… And as in other situations in life, the jewelry designer must be very sensitive to how sparkle enters people’s lives.   


Jewelry may help people feel attached to their surroundings,     Be more aware of themselves.   Their status.  Their situation.  Their power.  Their sexuality.   Jewelry may serve to open up a whole new world for someone.   Jewelry may signify how people may safely interact, and not interact.    It may start conversations.   As well as end them.   


The jewelry artist designs jewelry.   She or he selects materials to use.   An order or arrangement is decided upon.  A hypothesis is formulated about how best to assemble the pieces.   And the hypothesis is put to the test.    And hopefully the finished piece is more than the sum of its parts.    Because it has to add sparkle to people’s lives.” …


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Murf The Surf and the Star of India Theft

Posted by learntobead on August 14, 2010

The Gem Heist of the Century


For those of you who were unable to attend “The Fifth Annual Conference on Jewelry & Related Arts” held in New York in May, ASJRA presents the second in their series of jewelry history videos. The amazing heist by Murf the Surf of the gem hall at The American Museum of Natural History is a fascinating story.

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New Latin American Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on August 10, 2010

Exhibit at Museum of Arts and Design, New York City
Oct 12-Jan 11, 2011

This exhibit will feature the latest trends and movements through works by 50 jewelry artists, representing some 23 Latin American countries.

There is a history of relationships between jewelry worn and the culture within which it is worn.    This is as true in Latin America, as elsewhere.     So it is important to question the artist and his or her pieces, as to what the wearing of their jewelry would signify about their understanding of contemporary Latin America.

You would look at their choices of materials.  Their use of pattern, form, image and theme.    Their choices of colors.    Their techniques.

Some artists use traditional techniques and/or materials with modern references.   Others use modern techniques to express the interconnectedness of traditional and contemporary life.     Some are abstract; some literal.

There is always tremendous pressure on artists and fine craftspersons from traditional and developing societies to work within and preserve traditional images, motifs and techniques.   It is difficult to break out of and from those expectations.    Yet the artist wants to be able to express their artistic selves, their psychological, sociological and cultural beings, as members of contemporary societies that don’t bear as direct a connection with the past as outsiders would have it.

The relationships between contemporary Latin American society and traditions is much more complex today.   Will outsiders, like we in North America, ease up on these expectations, allow a contemporary jewelry artist scene to succeed?   The situation is no different than how we impose expectations upon our own contemporary Native American artists.      We make it so difficult for them to break from the past, and make some kind of living from their art, as they experience their world today.

Here are some of the Latin American artists, and images of things that might be on exhibit.

Mirla Fernandes (Brazil)

Dionea Rocha Watt (Brazil)

Claudia Cucchi (Brazil)

Valentina Rosenthal (Chile)

Elisa Gulminelli (Argentina)

Francisca Kweitel (Argentina)

Silvina Romero (Argentina)

Jorge Manilla (Mexico)

Mariana Shuk (Columbia)


If we are to judge these pieces with the added burden of the label “LATIN AMERICAN JEWELRY”, then I’m not sure how successful most of these pieces are.     If we are to judge them as simply “Contemporary Jewelry”, then most of these are very successful.

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Shoe Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on August 10, 2010


The staff had been joking about shoes yesterday, and this led me to my recent online exploration of shoe jewelry.    I found a lot.

There were shoe clips and shoe lace clips.   There were anklets that were connected to the shoe itself.    There were charms in images of shoes.   And rhinestone decorated shows.    And bead decorated crocs.

Lots of things.    Here are some of what I found:

Eleven Best Shoe Jewelry Sites
(More information here: http://www.bessed.com/jewelryforshoes/)
11 of the best sites for finding jewelry made to be worn on shoes and sneakers, sometimes also known as shoe ornaments, shoe charms, shoe tags, or shoe grillz.

1.  Kickbars

Shoelace clips studded with diamonds, emeralds and other jewels, made to go with your favorite sneakers.

2.  Shoeworthy

Handcrafted Shoe Clips in every imaginable design and material.

3.  Jibbitz


“Charms” to decorate your Crocs, by pushing then into the holes of  your shoes.

4.  Absolutely Audrey


More shoe clips.

5.  Make Your Own Shoe Charms

Here’s your chance to decorate your Crocs with anything you can hot glue!!  These little doodads are similar to Jibbitz or any of the other crocs charms out there.  You can glue buttons, beads, or even fabric appliques to them.  Here’s a great idea:  Hit the scrapbooking store and see what you can find to glue on.

6.  Shoe Jewelry at Advantage Bridal

Shoe clips for wedding shoes.     Want a big fluffy flower, or an intrictate rhinestone pin, to clip to your bridal shoes?   Here’s the place.

7.  Shoe Spinners


Like a mini hub-cap charm to wear on the sides of your sneakers.

8.  Litter SF

Anklets as part of your shoeware.

9.  J.R. Dunn Jewelers

Shoe Charms

10.  M&J Trim

Rhinestone decorated Flip Flops.

11.  SHINE
You can always add fringe to your shoes.

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