Learn To Bead

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

Archive for September, 2010

Combining The Wearable With The Theatrical

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010

Michael Zobel
Combining the wearable with the theatrical


Can you the artist ever be appropriately flamboyant, sensitively flaming, “out-there” yet still “in-here”?

Michael Zobel is an artist known for his dramatic works.    How successful do you think he has been, walking that line between wearable and costume?

What does it mean to walk that line?

Something showy?

Something evocative?

Something which shows the materials (metals and stones) off in unusual ways?

Something that has your friends running towards you, rather than away from you?

I find it interesting that the many pieces he has on display seem much more dramatic than the pieces he has on his website for sale.      What does this observation mean, when thinking how dramatic to get with your own pieces?

Posted in jewelry design | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Artisan Eco Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010

Lionel Aubert
Artisan Eco Jewelry

It is truly amazing what kinds of jewelry can be made from wood and other similar natural materials, encrusted with gemstones held in place by the force and shape of the wood.    No glue or prongs here.

Posted in jewelry design | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Another Collectible Vintage Jewelry Artist

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010

Theodor Fahrner
Another Collectible Vintage Jewelry Artist

Fahrner created sterling with gemstone, crystal, or rhinestones, pieces of jewelry in the 1910’s and 1920’s in Germany.    His style varied a bit from avante garde-art nouveau-art deco to more traditional styles.

Fahrner is an example of a big enterprise jeweler.    He patented several processes for mechanically or partially-mechanically reproducing jewelry.    While he designed jewelry himself, he also worked with jewelry artists all over Germany, and reproduced their designs under the Fahrner label.

His jewelry is associated with high quality workmanship.   He tended to avoid flowery and lacey forms within his pieces, because these would be difficult to mass produce.

Fahrner died in 1919, but his “label” continued until 1945.

Posted in jewelry collecting | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jelly Bellies

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010

Jelly Bellies – Vintage Jewelry

Lots of people collect vintage jewelry today.    One of the most collectible vintage piece is known as a Jelly Belly.

Jelly Bellies are an animal made out of sterling or vermeil, with a carved piece of lucite for its belly.    It is rumoured that the lucite came from old airplane windshields.

A lucite belly is more valuable than a glass belly.   A clear lucite is better than a colored belly.

You can usually find these at next to nothing.   They resell for hundreds of dollars.

The first jelly bellies made have been made as early as 1938.  Most were made between 1943 and 1945, and set in sterling or vermeil.  Sterling was rationed and very expensive during these war years, so adding a piece of Lucite to the design made it possible to produce large, eye-catching designs. After the war and into the 1950’s they were made in base metals, but all of them are delightful!

Many costume jewelry manufacturers used the Jelly Bellies which means some are marked and some are not, but most famous are the Trifari and Corocraft sterling designs, which incorporated fantastic design with breathtaking quality of materials and craftsmanship.

Posted in jewelry collecting | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Your Personal Style

Posted by learntobead on September 21, 2010

Your Personal Style

It’s always important to develop a personal style within your jewelry creations.   Something that helps people recognize that the jewelry was made by you, and not someone else.   A signature, or signifying element.

This can be a certain choice of colors.   It can be the addition of a special bead to each piece, or special dangle, or special tag.    It can be the use of a custom made clasp.    Or a certain style of construction.  Or the use of certain images, forms or motifs.

Carolyn Morris Bach is a jewelry artist from southern New England.     She has a very strong signature motif she uses:   tiny creatures with solemn or half-smiling, ovoid or moon-shaped faces carved from ivory or gemstones and the like.   Her pieces are mythical and allegorical, yet very contemporary.

She makes it very easy to associate her pieces with her.     This, in marketing terms, is a kind of branding.    When people see these motifs and styles, they automatically begin to associate the jewelry with Carolyn Morris Bach — even if someone else had created the piece.

Here are some of her pieces:

The piece above would be beautiful without the owl.    Or the “owl” element did not have to be a bird motif per se, but could have been anything.     By making that element an owl, and styling the owl as she did, her jewelry comes with her signature.   That’s important for all jewelry designers to do.

You can visit her website:

Posted in jewelry design | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

LOOT! 2010

Posted by learntobead on September 21, 2010

For The
Museum of Art and Design

In New York City 

Oct 20-26, 2010

Cutting edge jewelry designs, ranging in price between $300. and $30,000, with an average of $2700.

LOOT is MAD’s biennial juried exhibition and sale of one-of-a-kind contemporary art jewelry, created by acclaimed American and international artists. This year’s event – the first LOOT in the new 2 Columbus Circle Galleries — will be held October 20th- 26th. It will open with a Gala evening preview on Wednesday, October 20th to benefit the Museum’s exhibition and education programs.

A full weekend of programs will accompany the exhibition and sale in the second floor design galleries including curatorial lectures, panel discussions with experts and designers, artists’ talks and workshop demonstrations in the MAD artists’ studios. Special family focused hands-on workshops will be held on the weekend.

For further information please contact Rebekka Grossman at 212.299.7712 or rebekka.grossman@madmuseum.org.

The exhibition and sale continue from Thursday, October 21 to Tuesday, October 26 during regular museum hours.  LOOT will also be open on Monday, October 25 from 11am – 6pm.

Whether you can attend this fund raiser, here are some of the types of pieces you might see.

Emerging Dutch artists


Beppe Kessler


Iris Nieuwenburg






Truike Verdegaal



Native American Artists

Gail Bird and Yazzie Johnson



Richard Chavez



Verma Nequatewa


Charles Loloma

Other Emerging Contemporary Jewelry Artists

Pat Flynn

Jennifer Trask

Anastasia Azure

Jocelyn Kolb


Giorgio Vigna


Kiwon Wang



Posted in jewelry design, Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »