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It’s not too late to VOTE! for the UGLIEST NECKLACE of 2014

Posted by learntobead on December 4, 2014

OnLine Voting Ends 12/15/2015!
10th International 2014 The Ugly Necklace Contest
A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist

Your expert opinion counts!

It ain’t easy doing Ugly!

Five Jewelry Artists from around the world have been selected as Semi-Finalists of The 10th International 2014 The Ugly Necklace Contest –  A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist, by a panel of judges from Be Dazzled Beads, The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts and Land of Odds.

Vote Online for your favorites, and help determine who will win the Grand Prize – a $992.93 shopping spree on the Land of Odds web-site (http://www.landofodds.com).  Runner Up Prize:  $399.07 shopping spree.   Voting Ends December 15, 2014

Help the world determine which necklace is the absolutely ugliest necklace in 2014!

More details and images on-line at:
http://www.landofodds.com/store/ugly10contest.htm

 

2014 Semi-Finalists Announced:

Patricia Parker, Quakertown, Pennsylvania

Joan Veress, Norwood New York

Cecilia Wells, Brentwood, Tennessee

Lynn Davy, Wimborne, Dorset, United Kingdom

Pamela Orians, Zanesville, Ohio

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s not easy to do Ugly!

So the many jewelry designers from across America and around the Globe who entered our 10th International 2014 The Ugly Necklace Contest — A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist, found this contest especially challenging.   After all, your brain is pre-wired to avoid and reject things which are ugly.   Think of snakes and spiders.   And even if you start your necklace with a bunch of ugly pieces, once you organize them into a circle, the very nature of an ordered round form makes it difficult to achieve Ugly.   Yes, “Ugly” is easier said than done.

Who will win?   We need your help to influence our panel of judges.

Our respected judges evaluated these creatively-designed pieces in terms of hideousness, use of materials and clasp, the number of jewelry design principles violated, and the designer’s artistic control.   Extra points were awarded for artists’ use of smaller beads, because it’s much more difficult to do Ugly with these.

Now it’s time for America and the World to help finalize the decision about which of these 8 semi-finalists’ Ugly Necklaces to vote for.   The winner will truly be an exceptional jewelry designer.   The losers….well….this isn’t a contest where you really can “lose”.

Come see these and the other semi-finalists’ pieces at www.landofodds.com, and vote your choice for the Ugliest Necklace,  2014.

And if you are in the Nashville, Tennessee area, please stop by The Open Windows Gallery (fine art jewelry) at Be Dazzled Beads, where the 8 semi-finalists’ Ugly Necklaces are on display through March 15, 2014.

 

LAND OF ODDS-BE DAZZLED BEADS
Attention: Warren Feld
www.landofodds.com
718 Thompson Lane, Ste 123, Nashville, TN 37204
Phone: 615-292-0610; Fax: 615-460-7001
Email: warren@landofodds.com

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The Ugly Necklace Contest – Submission Deadline Approaching

Posted by learntobead on April 28, 2014

 

THE UGLY NECKLACE CONTEST
– A JEWELRY DESIGN COMPETITION WITH A TWIST
Submission Deadline Approaching:  August 31, 2014

uglynecklace1

 

 

QUESTION:  Have you ever designed something truly ugly? Look at some of the previous submitted entries to the Ugly Necklace Contest? In your view, and from a design sense, are there any particularly outstanding  examples of “Ugly”?

Past Contests — View  the Galleries of Entries

2003:  http://www.landofodds.com/store/ugliest2003a.htm
2004:  http://www.landofodds.com/store/ugliest2004a.htm
2005:  http://www.landofodds.com/store/ugliest2005a.htm
2006:  http://www.landofodds.com/store/ugliest2006a.htm
2007:  http://www.landofodds.com/store/ugliest2007a.htm
2008: http://www.landofodds.com/store/ugliest2008a.htm
2010: http://www.landofodds.com/store/ugliest2010a.htm
2012: http://www.landofodds.com/store/ugly9contest.htm

 

 

About The UGLY NECKLACE CONTEST — A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist
Submission Deadline: August 31, 2014
Enter To Win! http://www.landofodds.com/store/uglynecklace.htm

The UGLY NECKLACE CONTEST is a jewelry design contest with a twist. The contest presents a challenge not often tackled — at least intentionally. The contest draws the jewelry designer into an alternative universe where beautiful artists create ugly necklaces. It’s not easy to do.

“Ugly” is more involved than simple surface treatment. It is not just laying out a bunch of ugly parts into a circle. It turns out that “Ugly” is something more than that. “Ugly” is the result of the interplay among Designer, Wearer, and Viewer. “Ugly” is very much a result of how a necklace is designed and constructed. “Ugly” is something the viewer actively tries to avoid and move away from. “Ugly” has deep-rooted psychological, cognitive, perceptual, sociological and anthropological functions and purposes.

As research into color and design has shown, your eye and brain compensate for imbalances in color or in the positioning of pieces and objects – they try to correct and harmonize them. They try to neutralize anything out of place or not quite right. You are pre-wired to subconsciously avoid anything that is disorienting, disturbing or distracting. Your mind and eye won’t let you go here. This is considered part of the fear response, where your brain actively attempts to avoid things like snakes and spiders…. and ugly necklaces.

This means that jewelry designers, if they are to create beautiful, wearable art, have to be more deeply involved with their pieces beyond “surface”. Or their pieces will be less successful, thus less beautiful, thus more disturbing or distracting or disorienting, thus more Ugly.

Luckily, for the jewelry designer, we are pre-wired to avoid these negative things. This makes it easier to end up with pieces that look good. Beauty, in some sense, then, is very intuitive. On the other hand, it makes it more difficult to end up with pieces that look bad. You see, Ugly goes against our nature. It’s hard to do.

To achieve a truly hideous result means making the hard design choices, putting ourselves in situations and forcing us to make the kinds of choices we’re unfamiliar with, and taking us inside ourselves to places that we are somewhat scared about, and where we do not want to go.

– Can I push myself to use more yellow than the purple warrants, and mix in some orange?

– Can I make the piece off-sided or disorienting, or not have a clear beginning, middle or end?

– Can I disrupt my pattern in a way that, rather than “jazz,” results in “discord?”

– Can I work with colors and materials and patterns and textures and placements and proportions I don’t like?

– Can I design something I do not personally like, and perhaps am unwilling, to wear around my neck?

– Can I create a piece of jewelry that represents some awful feeling, emotion or experience I’m uncomfortable with?

– Can I make something I know that others won’t like, and may ridicule me for it?

 

Because answering questions like these is not something people like to do, jewelry designers who attempt to achieve “Ugly,” have to have a lot of control and discipline to override, perhaps overcome, intuitive, internally integrated principles of artistic beauty. The best jewelry designers, therefore, will be those artists who can prove that they can design a truly Ugly Necklace. In our contest, we invite all those jewelry designers out there to give it a try.

The Ugly Necklace Contest is one of the many programs at Be Dazzled Beads and The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, that encourage beadwork and jewelry makers to challenge themselves and to test their design skills, and learn some fundamentals about jewelry design in the process.

 

 

What Is Ugly?

Different participants in The Ugly Necklace Contest have interpreted “Ugly” in different ways.

Some focused on the ugliness of each individual component. Some used materials that they felt conveyed a sense of ugly, such as llama droppings, or felted matted dog hair, or rusty nails, or cigarette butts, or a banana peel. Some focused on mood and consciousness, and how certain configurations of pieces and colors evoked these moods or states of consciousness.

Others focused on combining colors which don’t combine well. Still others focused on how the wearer’s own body would contribute to a sense of ugliness, when wearing the piece, such as the addition of a “Breast Pocket” which would lay just below the woman’s breast, or peacock feathers that covered the wearer’s mouth, or the irritating sounds of rusty cow bells, or the icky feeling of a rotting banana peel on the skin. Still others saw Ugly as a sense of psychological consciousness, such as being homeless, or an uncomfortable transition from adolescence to adulthood. For some Ugly meant politically ugly, like Saddam Hussein of Iraq, or the trans-fats associated with fast foods.

It is not enough just to string a bunch of ugly beads on a wire. Ugly pieces do not necessarily result in an ugly necklace. As one entrant learned, when she strung her ugly beads together, the final project was beautiful, and sold for $225.00, before she could enter it into the contest! Actually, if you look at many of the entries, you see that ugly pieces, once arranged and organized, don’t seem as ugly. Organization and arrangement contribute their own qualities and sense of beauty that transcends the ugly parts.

Adding to the fun, the contestant also has to create a piece of jewelry which is functional and wearable. This is what sets beadwork and jewelry design apart from other design arts. A piece of jewelry as art, (even Ugly art), has to maintain its essence and purpose, even as the wearer moves, bends down, or rubs against things. Jewelry is Art as it is worn. Jewelry is not a subset of painting or a type of sculpture.

Jewelry is something more. Jewelry is art and architecture in motion, often frenetic motion. The pieces that make it up, and the techniques and designs which coherently interrelate these pieces, must also anticipate this dynamic totality. Otherwise, the piece of jewelry becomes a failure not only as a piece of jewelry, but of art, as well.

 

The Ugly Necklace Contest is an arena for budding and established beadwork and jewelry designers to strut their stuff – to show how adept they are at creating ugly-necklace-pieces-of-art. It’s a jewelry design competition with a twist.

The finalists of The Ugly Necklace Contest are those beadwork and jewelry designers who can best elaborate upon rules of design, whether intuitively or strategically. These rules of design are, in effect, an underlying grammar and vocabulary – the theoretical and professional basis of beadwork and jewelry making as art, not just craft.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be sure to check out this new book by Margie Deeb, in which she includes a discussion about The Ugly Necklace Contest:

The Beader’s Guide to Jewelry Design: A Beautiful Exploration of Unity, Balance, Color & More Paperback
by Margie Deeb  (Author)

Once beaders have mastered the basics and enjoyed bringing others’ patterns to life, they’re ready and eager to take the next step: creating their own original pieces. Here, finally, is their must-have guidebook to the fundamental principles of visual design. Focusing on jewelry, it helps beaders explore concepts such as unity, scale, proportion, balance, rhythm, volume, shape, pattern, texture, movement, drape, and color in their work. Exercises, reader challenges, and lavish photos enhance understanding and assure design success.

This book is available for Pre-Order at Amazon.com.

deeb-jewelrydesign

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Beaders-Guide-Jewelry-Design/dp/1454704063/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391443968&sr=8-1&keywords=the+beaders+guide+to+jewelry+design

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Piece accepted for inclusion 500 BEADED JEWELRY book

Posted by learntobead on February 8, 2012

Just found out that one of my pieces — Little Tapestries/Ghindia — was juried into the book SHOWCASE 500 BEADED JEWELRY, Lark Publications. The book comes out August 2012, but is already listed on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/z6tZH2 .

From Amazon.com:

This book gathers photographs of 500 of the most breathtaking beaded jewelry designs created in recent years. The techniques the beaders employ are as varied as the aesthetic sensibilities they bring to their gorgeous creations and include beadweaving in every stitch imaginable, embroidery, quilling, loom weaving, and kumihimo braiding, as well as basic stringing, simple wirework, and fine metalwork. Sometimes, a bead maker’s focal piece simply is set in a straightforward, unpretentious, and beautiful design.

 

Virtually all of the world’s most famous beaders who make jewelry have pieces included — including Carol Wilcox Wells, Diane Fitzgerald, Marcia DeCoster, Jamie Cloud Eakin, Huib Petersen, Paulette Baron, Sabine Lippert, Sherry Serafini, Margie Deeb, Maggie Meister, Melanie Potter, Ann Tevepaugh Mitchell, Laura McCabe, Suzanne Golden, Jean Campbell, Rachel Nelson-Smith, Eva Dobos, and many more — but we also present work from many artists who have never been published before. All together, this extensive, international, and fabulous survey of 500 pieces includes work from nearly 300 artists from 30 countries and reveals the striking vision and ambition of today’s beading community.

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BEADED TAPESTRY COMPETITION SEMI-FINALISTS SELECTED

Posted by learntobead on October 21, 2011

BEADED TAPESTRY COMPETITION SEMI-FINALISTS SELECTED

Images of our semifinalists entries posted on facebook
The Illustrative Beader: Beaded Tapestry Competition, 2011
Theme: Mystery Genre Book Covers
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Illustrative-Beader-Beaded-Tapestry-Competition/176006269128968?sk=wall

KAY FIELDEN

Auckland, New Zealand

“The Lovely Bones”
by Alice Sebold

JUNE JACKSON and JAMIE BRUNS

Bryan, Texas

“Lizzie Borden”
by Elizabeth Engstrom

DOT LEWALLEN

Westerville, Ohio

“Black Notice”
by Patricia Cornwell


PATTY ROCKHILL

O’Brien, Florida

“When Night Falls”
by Jenna Ryan

Voting online for the winner will begin around 11/7/2011 on the land of odds website —

http://www.landofodds.com/

http://www.landofodds.com/store/tapestry.htm

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Join Warren in On-Line Discussion Seminar

Posted by learntobead on October 9, 2011

JOIN WARREN IN ON-LINE DISCUSSION SEMINAR

Warren will be leading this discussion on Bead Chat/Facebook next Tuesday, 10/11, 10:00am central time (11:00am eastern time). Please join us.

EMPOWERING THE JEWELRY ARTIST:
5 Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For!

Time
Tuesday, October 11 · 10:00am-11:00am Central Timel (11:00am -12:00pm Eastern Time)
Location
Bead Chat Room
http://www.facebook.com/groups/261514230535263/
Created By
Auntie’s Beads
For Bead Chat (hosted by Auntie’s Beads)

Warren Feld discusses these questions in the context of art vs. craft, passion and inspiration, materials and components, techniques vs. skills, and when is enough enough. There is not one best answer. These are the kinds of things each jewelry designer must define for themselves, in a way satisfying to them, but anticipating their audience’s needs, as well. Join us for live chat with Warren!

About Auntie’s Beads Bead Chat on Facebook
Ask to join if you are interested in group chat discussions about beading and jewelry making topics. Chat is ongoing and informal, but we also post event notices and host these online events via chat…

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Huib Petersen Workshops – 5/20-22/2011

Posted by learntobead on April 20, 2011

Be Dazzled Beads,
and The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts
in Nashvile, Tennessee

welcomes

Huib Petersen
May 20th-22nd, 2011

Art Nouveau Sweet Pea Necklace
Friday, 5/20

Playing with Butterflies and Bugs
Saturday/Sunday, 5/21-22

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Click Here 

Huib Petersen is known for his creative translation of nature’s themes, wonders and little inhabitants through beadwork. His necklaces tell little stories about how nature’s elements come together and play.

What a wonderful opportunity to expore our craft with the artist in person — share special insights, get that master-level perception, understand her craft and artistic strategy!

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Loom Work of Douglas Johnson

Posted by learntobead on July 1, 2010

LOOM WORK
Of Douglas Johnson
http://www.douglaswjohnson.com/index.html

The loom work of artist Douglas Johnson is breathtaking and very large.     If you’ve ever worked on a loom, creating Large pieces can be quite a challenge.   Many people sew panels together, and you can always see the seam.    Others create larger and larger looms and strategies for managing large projects.    This is what Douglas Johnson has done.

“I first came in contact with seed beads in 1970. At first I strung them into necklaces using different patterns of color. I loved the colors and was soon shown how to weave them on a loom.

Being a guitar player at the time I decided to make a guitar strap out of beads. So I built a long loom and started weaving a strip of beads to be sewn onto leather. As I was weaving this long strap, I thought it would be nice to get wilder and make a scene out of beads. Imagine a house and barn or even a little village.

So I built a loom that could hold four strips in a row, each strip was 25 beads wide (like my guitar strap) so I ended up with a piece 100 beads wide. I wove each strip separately and sewed them together when they were done.

It was not until 1990 that I figured out how to connect the rows on the loom ending up with a solid piece when taken off the loom.”

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Summer The Designers Gazette, 2010

Posted by learntobead on June 15, 2010

The Designers Gazette
Summer Issue, 2010

available on-line
CLICK HERE
http://www.warrenfeldjewelry.com/pdf/sg062010/summer2010pdf.pdf

To receive emailed copies of our quarterly newsletter – The Designers Gazette –, as well as occasional First Dibs Sales Announcements, go to this web-page:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/landofodds/join/

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Read our FALL DESIGNERS GAZETTE 2009

Posted by learntobead on November 2, 2009

DESIGNERS GAZETTE, FALL 2009

You can read our DESIGNERS GAZETTE, Fall, 2009 online. 

Go To:

http://www.warrenfeldjewelry.com/pdf/fg102009/fall2009pdf.pdf

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ALL DOLLED UP: Beaded Art Doll Competition

Posted by learntobead on October 2, 2009

ALL DOLLED UP: Beaded Art Doll Competition
6 Semi-Finalists Announced
OnLine Voting begins around 11/07/09
www.landofodds.com/store/alldolledup.htm

Synopsis:
Creating a Beaded Art Doll requires an extraordinary mix of multi-media talents by the successful artist.   It involves the design of a 3-dimensional doll form.   It requires an imaginative application and manipulation of beads resulting in a tactile, visual and emotional representation of the artist’s goals.    This year, these goals are focused on the theme: EARTHEN MOTHER.

The Fourth Bi-Annual 2009 All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition — sponsored by Land of Odds, Be Dazzled Beads, The Open Window Gallery and The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts in Nashville, TN — sought out beaded art doll artists nationwide.     This competition primarily focuses on the design skills of the doll artists; it’s not merely a beauty pageant. 

Each entrant created a beaded art doll, and then wrote a story about it, beginning with this sentence:

“The mirror reflects more than my hands can feel.
Lines, edges, shadings, a weariness under the eyes, an awkward stance.
Yet, not reflected is a certain vibrancy —
a compassion and wisdom and wonder so many people rely on.
Only you, my beaded art doll,
capture the fullness of me as I age in place .
You embody changes I want to make, so I aptly name you…”

Six semi-finalists were chosen by a panel of experts from The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts from 12 wonderful entries.   Images and stories will be displayed online around November 7th on the Land of Odds website (www.landofodds.com ).   Visitors will be asked to vote and evaluate each doll, to help select the Winner and Runner-up.   The winner receives a $1,000 shopping spree on the website; the Runner-up receives a $400 shopping spree).

 These semi-finalists are,

Kathy Ford
Deep Gap, North Carolina
“Jolyma”

adu2009ford

“As a child you spoke to me from mud as I sat at the far end of the garden patting earthen cakes between my palms.   And how luminous that mud like the color of your skin could be.   Chocolate, gold and olive green the fertile soil in which you breathe.  Life survives and thrives in your rich ground….

…In this guise she embodies life as celebration.  My life as celebration.”

 

Vera Fox-Bond
LaVergne, Tennessee
“Ta Dah”

adu2009fox

“I shall tell my story through TA DAH or TA for short.  TA had been to the beauty shop for a new perm and the latest gossip.  Her curls turned out to be a bit much and she stepped on bubble gum on her way to the car.  What a day!   Upon arriving home, TA looked in the bathroom mirror at her new do and the mirror changed her life and mine forever….

…Don’t discard the older things of this world as they contain their own kind of beauty, wisdom and peacefulness….”

 

Cathy Helmers
Dayton, Ohio
“Aikatrine”

adu2009helmers

“You embody changes I want to make, so I aptly name you Aikaterine, meaning each of the two….

Life-giver, life-taker.
powerful, fragile
serene, chaotic
forgiving, harsh
Compassionate, rageful

…But Aikatrine has no time for self-reflection.
She is busy with self-regeneration.”

 

Ralonda Patterson
Decatur, Texas
“Willow”

adu2009patterson

 

You were not always as you appear this day.  You were fearful and lonely.   You turned to learning for a safe haven, a place for you to be acknowledged in a positive light.  Then sprang the hunger to be taught, a desire that was placed within the seed from which you sprang.   Your roots began to thrive in the fertile soil that had been plowed by your ancestors’ faith.   They grew deeper and had tapped into the eternal spring of the Spirit and from it came an understanding….

Now with such poise, you stand in the garden while showers of blessing rain down.  You are forgiven and redeemed, a most beloved creation of the Heavenly Father.   He gives you rest from your enemies and an eternity in the most beautiful garden of all.”

 

Dot Lewallen
Westerville, Ohio
“Rachel’s Dream”

adu2009lewallen

 

I close my eyes and am transported to a dream world.  My fingers tingle with a sound permeating the forest as my ears hear the sharp crackling of the pine leaves I step upon.   My nose is being teased with a plethora of smells dancing and embracing with a promise of more if I would follow deeper into the woods….Mother Earth takes time to heal one small flower…

Then I am awake lying in my own bed….I touch the place where the dream woman had kissed me, and can still feel the moisture from her breath.  I know this woman.  I’ve seen her before….The woman was Rachel Carson the author of Silent Sprint, and I had followed her into her dream….

We should all take the mirror we see ourselves in, wipe away the fog, and view our beautiful World with a childlike thrill….”

 

Joan M. Cromley
Sedro Woolley, Washington
“Yamka Wuti Kachina (Flowering Woman Spirit)”

adu2009cromley

 

“As I sit here and prepare you for your future, you represent not just me, but also my mother, my daughter, all the women of the past, present and future….As the sacred Bead Keeper for the women of our village, my job is to perform the ceremonies and rituals in creating our precious beaded treasures. …

Just as my mother made my kachina for my puberty rite, so I am making you for my daughter.  When she comes of age and goes through the Beadway Blessing, you will remind her of all the things she has within her, and all the things she can call on as a woman….”

 

About Beaded Art Dolls

A Beaded Art Doll is a physical representation in three dimensions, using human figural and expressive characteristics, through the creative use and manipulation of beads. Beads are a unique art medium, allowing multidimensional surface treatment, and phenomenal opportunities for interplay among colors, light, shadow, texture and pattern.   Beaded Art Dolls submitted as entries for this Competition should be immediately recognizable as a “Doll” as defined above.

That said, Beaded Art Dolls submitted as entries for this competition may be realistic, surrealistic, whimsical or imaginary. They may be humanistic, animalistic, caricatures, cartoons, impressions or abstractions. The doll may take many forms, including a figure, purse, box, vessel, puppet, marionette, or pop-up figure.

Beaded Art Dolls should be between 8” and 36” in size. The surface area of the doll must be at least 80% composed of beads.

The doll’s internal form and structure may result from many techniques, materials and strategies. The bead stitches themselves might be used to create the skeletal structure. Various forms of cloth dolls might be stitched or embellished with beads. The underlying structure might be made of polymer clay, wood, ceramic, porcelain, Styrofoam, wire, corn husk, basket weaving, yarns, cardboard, paper, cotton, or some combination of materials. It might be a found form or object.

The Artist is given wide leeway in techniques for how the doll is to be beaded, and may use one particular technique or several. Techniques, for example, may include bead weaving stitches, bead embellishment, bead appliqué, bead knitting, bead crochet, bead embroidery, lampworking. For the 80% of the surface area that must be beaded, these would NOT include the application of rhinestones, sequins, nailheads or studs. The beads may be of any size, shape, color and material.

The Artist may include a doll stand or display support with the Art Doll, though this is not a requirement. This stand or support may be an off-the-shelf piece, or created from scratch by the Artist. It may be a base, a created setting, a decorative box, or frame. The stand or display support need not be beaded.

The Artist may interpret and apply the theme any way she or he chooses. The Beaded Art Doll might be thought of as a plaything; or as a visual representation of a person, feeling, spirit or thing; or as a tool for teaching; or as a method for stimulating emotional development or healing.

As an object of art, the goal of the Doll should be to make a statement, evoking an emotional, cultural or social response, either by the Artist her/himself or by others.

The Doll must be an original work, and may be the work of one Artist or a Collaboration.

Dolls have been a part of human existence for many thousands of years. Whether part of a ritual or part of child’s play, dolls function as symbols for meaning. Sometimes these meanings are broad social and cultural references; other times, these meanings focus on an individual’s relationship with oneself.

ALL DOLLED UP: BEADED ART DOLL COMPETITION is more than a beauty pageant. It is a design competition. The Competition will take into account the Artist’s intentions and how well these are incorporated into the design.

 

ALL DOLLED UP: Beaded Art Doll Competition
www.landofodds.com/store/alldolledup.htm

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Vintage Interpretations

Posted by learntobead on September 15, 2009

Vintage Interpretations

Our bead study group is about to embark on a new series of studies involving bead weaving interpretations of vintage costume jewelry of the 1920’s thru 1950’s.

Walid is a contemporary jewelry designer I came across while researching materials for our new study unit.   He’s very into the interpreting of vintage approach, using bead embroidery, beaded fringe, lace applique.

Walid for CoutureLab

Walid for CoutureLab

 

When interpreting vintage pieces, it is important to understand the materials, and their contribution to the success of the piece.    You would probably want to use Czech seed beads, rather than Japanese, because the Czech seed beads are more irregular.   They would convey a more hand-done, rather than machine-done, sensibility to your piece.   You might rely on hand-cut beads rather than pressed glass, and older color palettes, rather than new ones, for similar reasons.

Walid for CoutureLab

Walid for CoutureLab

 

Historically, people wore jewelry for many reasons.    This included mourning, commemoration, fun, and imitating fine jewelry.

What were the goals of vintage styles?
– appreciation of hand craft
– to be “wealthy” was to be “elegant”
– decadence
– class distinctions
– eccentricy

Walid for CoutureLab

Walid for CoutureLab

People today are attracted to vintage pieces, because these pieces demonstrated great “hand” skill.    Working in vintage styles feels a lot like recapturing lost treasures.    These proven vintage styles seem to transcend fashion.   Wearing vintage jewelry always makes the wearer feel very special because these are always conversation pieces.

So, here were are trying to restore life to forgotten styles.    We want to try to be unique in a cookie cutter era.  

Walid for CoutureLab

Walid for CoutureLab

 

Walid for CoutureLab

Walid for CoutureLab

Some links of interest:

http://www.couturelab.com/editorial/story-walid.heml#1

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/an-interview-with-vintage-costume-jewelry-collector-carole-tanenbaum/

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/costume-jewelry/overview

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/an-interview-with-fine-jewelry-and-costume-jewelry-collector-christie-romero/

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The Donut Dilemma

Posted by learntobead on June 17, 2009

The Donut Dilemma

By Kathleen Lynam

 

Perhaps you can help our bead study group solve our donut dilemma.

Here’s what happened—our bead study group is currently exploring bead woven shapes and dimensionality. How did we decide on this particular segment of bead weaving? Well, we were inspired by Diane Fitzgerald’s new book, Shaped Beadwork. This book has become a springboard for our discussions—both technically and aesthetically. As we work on the shapes in the book, the group talks about the degree of difficulty, clarity of directions, etc.

 donut1

Last week, “donuts” were brought up in our conversation. No, not the delicious confections filled with jelly or covered with sprinkles. The “donuts” I’m referring to are usually made out of gemstones, have a small hole in the center and are rather flattish.

donut2

They fit into our discussion because they are a shape and have dimension. I immediately tensed. Then I shouted out, “I hate donuts!” Why should a particular shape — donuts —  spark such strong feelings? 

donut3

Then I looked around the table and other heads were shaking in agreement. Other than one dissenting opinion, it seemed we all had a dislike for this shape.   But why, what is it about the donut that leaves us wanting and dissatisfied?

donut4

We talked about the usual way they are worn—knotted with a cord strung through it, maybe embellished with some seed beads or fringe. We were stymied to think of an example that showed creativity and yet still kept the integrity of the donut.

donut5

I decided to look through old magazines to see what I could find. I found quite a few examples for it seems donuts are very popular.

 donut6

As a bead weaver, I love to bezel cabochons, I’ve used gemstone chips in crocheted ropes, but I’m still looking for a creative way to use a “donut”.

donut7

Maybe you have the answer.

donut8

 

donut9

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Beading Needles – What Do You Prefer?

Posted by learntobead on April 29, 2009

4/29/09

 

Connie posted the following on ALL ABOUT BEADS group, and got some of these responses.   What do you think?

 

 

 

 

Warren I posted on All About Beads about the needles, and so far these are the answer
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

At my bead group – we have been discussing beading needles. I know that is a subject with as many opinions as thread. So could you please tell what kind of a needle you use and why you like them.

I will go first – for general beading such as peyote, etc. I use Pony needles, or John James – which ever I grab first. I use long needles 99% of the time, but when I do bead embroidery I use short beading sharp size 12.

CONNIE

I use long size 12 loom needles when I loom (which I haven’t done for a while and should think about), and John James long size 12 or 13 needles for everything else. (What I really need is sewing needles because I keep using beading needles for mending.)

Marilee

  8867.3 in reply to 8867.1 
 
I too prefer John James and size 12.  Carol Perrenoud from BEADCATS in Wilsonville, OR just gave a presentation to our bead society (Bead Society of Northern California) on the History of Beading Needles and it was amazing.  The one thing that she told us that I had NEVER heard before is to match the shape of your needle’s eye to the “thread” you are using.  Most beading needles have skinny oval eyes which is best for NYMO-type threads that compress. BUT if you use FIRELINE which is more rounded and has a coating, to pick a needle that has a more oval eye.  The needle that she had, I had never seen before ~ they are called STRAW NEEDLES. The issue is that the skinny oval eye will squish/remove the coating on the fireline which can cause it to twist, kink, and eventually even break with the coating gone.  I wish I had picked up more packets. marilyn

  8867.5 in reply to 8867.1 
 
When I am doing a pin, or a doll or something “odd” shaped, I use my curved needles.   I do use more thread with them, but the curve allows me to get in to spaces I could not before.katieB

  8867.7 in reply to 8867.1 
 
For embroidery I use my curved needles and for regular beading like peyote I use my Big Eye needles because it is so hard for me to see to thread the dang things :)Dot

Size 12 John James are my standard needle of choice.  If I must stray I’ll use a Size 12 Pony, but I hate how brittle they can be.  And I am super near-sighted so will take my glasses off and bring my work right up to my face to get a “magnified” look.  When those puppies break it is a scary moment for sure!

I also like the Mary Arden needles…they are apparently made in the same factory as the John James, just in a prettier package.

When the project calls for it, I’ll move down to a size 13 John James.

I don’t like Sharps…I can’t seem to get a good grip on them.  But I have noticed over the years that customers with small, thin fingers enjoy working with them better than a standard length.

We were introduced to Straw Needles last fall.
I’m still looking for them.

I am sold out again….much to Thom’s disappointment.  =o/

  8867.13 in reply to 8867.1 
 
I use Pony 11’s most of the time. If I need something smaller, I go to a 12. The only John James I use with any regularity is the curved needles.Arline

  8867.14 in reply to 8867.9 
 
I don’t like Sharps…I can’t seem to get a good grip on them.  But I have noticed over the years that customers with small, thin fingers enjoy working with them better than a standard length.”Hmm, maybe that explains why I like them! :)Maia

Hi, Connie!

Usually I go for Pony or John James, which are the two brands I can find easily in Chicago. I also buy the Coats & Clark ones when I can find them, but I wish they came in bigger sets than just 4 needles as they last a long time – even when they are really bent, the Pony and Coats and Clark ones are still strong, my latest batch of John James ones were rather brittle this time .

I use the long beading needles for bead weaving, and also sharps and tapestry needles for bead embroidery.Most of the beads I use are smaller than size 8/0 so I tend to use 12s or 13 needles and I keep size 15 needles for beads with small holes.I also have twisted wire ones for stringing beads for pearl knotting.

I hope this helps a bit,

Love, Jan

 

 

 

For beadweaving, I prefer the John James 12’s, for dolls I like the John James 12 sharps.  For most other work, I think the John James 13’s are what I use.  I may try some of the straw needles, if I can figure out the sizing.  May have to buy a packet of each of two sizes to see which direction they go… are the large numbers smaller needles, or vice versa?

  8867.17 in reply to 8867.4 
 
I love straw needles. They don’t bend and break easily and they have an easy to thread eye.They are also known as milliner’s needles and I like the size 11.Both Richard Hemmings and John James make these and they are easily available on the internet for about $1.95 to $3.00 a pack.

Highly recommended.

Sylvia
  8867.18 in reply to 8867.1 
 
I prefer short needles unless I am doing fringe.  I don’t like Pony brand, so I stick with John James.  I’ll use the thickest needle that I can get away with for as long as I can, unless I’m beading into leather when I’ll grab the thinnest needle that I have available. 

Some people like the Japanese beading needles because they are stiffer.   Some people think that the John James needles went downhill in quality when they started making them in China, instead of England.   I prefer the John James regular English Beading Needles, and try to use size 10 and size 12.    I like that they are not super stiff.   The sharps needs are too small for my hand — my hand cramps when I use them.  — Warren

 

 

 

8867.19 in reply to 8867.1

 

 

 

 

  

I’m like Sandi, in that I like to use the thickest needle I can get away with. I do prefer long needles, though, it seems easier to pick up my beads with a long needle. Most of my things are done using a John James size 10 needle. I keep some JJ 13’s around as well as a couple big eye needles, but I only like the big eye for loom work and sometimes fringe. I’ve never tried a size 12 long or short, but I don’t care for the 13’s as they seem very fragile and never last very long for me.

I tend to muscle up on my needles, so they get very bendy. I can usually straighten them out by rolling them between my big anvil and a slab of steel I keep around. It does make them brittle, but I get a little more life out of them.

Jen

 
I prefer sharps (10?12?) for bead embroidery, unless I’m using charlottes and then I have to use a beading needle. As several people have said, I use the largest needle I can get away with – 10 or 12. For awhile I was using size 15 seed beads a lot and used the 15 needles – crispy critters! I’ve had a bad batch of larger John James needles also. That’s when I tried Pony needles, which I liked. And about the same time a friend who sells historical reproduction items for re-enactors gave me some beading needles – I think they are English, but I don’t know if they are JJ. They might be Japanese. They were great though. I really should get some more from her. The most of JJ needles I bought seem to be fine. I have more problems with losing needles than I do breaking them!Cathy

Fortunately, I don’t often lose needles.  Stepping on a few has made me very careful.  I tend to use JJ 12s and 13s most of the time and the 15s when necessary (for some charlottes and gemstones).  I will occasionally use the cheap Indian needles.  For me, they work as well and last as long as the JJ.  I have some sharps but I don’t care for them.  I’ve tried the big eye needles, but the ones I’ve tried have been too large for the beads I use (mostly 15s and charlottes).  I just accept that the 13s and 15s won’t last that long.  Needles aren’t that pricey, so that’s just the way it is.

8867.23 in reply to 8867.1 
 
I use size 10 Pony needles almost all the time. I can’t stand a bent needle and these stay straight most of the time!

 

SUZANNE COOPER
8867.23 in reply to 8867.1 
 
I use size 10 Pony needles almost all the time. I can’t stand a bent needle and these stay straight most of the time!

 

SUZANNE COOPER

 

8867.23 in reply to 8867.1 
 
  8867.27 in reply to 8867.19 
 
I like my needles getting a gentle curve; I can pick up beads easier that way. My first JJ 12 packet lasted for more than 10 years, and I bought some more from Sandi recently so I may never have to buy more of my regular needles.Marilee

 
I think it interesting that your first packet of needles lasted so long. I’m having a hard time with the finish flaking off the packet of needles I am using right now. It flakes off then gradually the thread snags on the uneven coating. I hope it is only this pack as I’m having to change needles several times for each project.

 
Karen, are they Delica needles?  I have a friend who used them once, and they wore off so quickly she would go through two or three in one small project.  We were thinking it might be something in her skin that caused it.
 
 
I loved my first package of 25 John James size 12 needles. They rarely broke, just got nice and bendy. And if I worked slowly and carefully, I could even gently straighten most of the bends with two pairs of pliers. That package lasted almost two years, and I’ve only used two from a package of 10 JJ size 13 purchased at the same time.About two months ago, I purchased another package of 25 JJ size 12. They are twisted, rough, and break easily, especially near the eye; 12 are already broken. After grumbling and muttering, I read the fine print on the package and see that JJ are now made in China. And JJ is now owned by Entaco Ltd.
 
 

from John James Company:

 

The John James factory was sold to new owners who are Chinese.  They did have a couple of batches of needles that were incorrectly annealed and snapped very easily.  They seem to have gotten that back under control again and are producing quality needles again.  We accepted bad needles back and exchanged them.  We also went through our stock and threw out any bad packages.  We lost a bit of money, but it’s nothing short of frustrating to work with bad tools and we were happy to make sure that the products functioned the way they were supposed to.

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HOT LINKS – From Connie Welch

Posted by learntobead on April 8, 2009

 

Well we have an interesting winner with the beadstudies – we now have Jean Power giving us her comments along with Diane – So anyone else who would like to chime in – please do so
…Bead StudyII       By the way last time at Bead Studies – Lily was there and barked at Warren until he got up and got her a chair – she then sat at attention  and became a member of the discussion. We need a picture of our own Ewok pup at BEADS
 
Today is so cold here in Nashville – 42degrees at my house I am going to give you something to do
 
 
 
Paper Puppet Palooza  for Kathleen
 
 
 
That should keep everyone busy for a while.
  C

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2009 The Ugly Necklace Contest SemiFinalists

Posted by learntobead on April 7, 2009

2009 The Ugly Necklace Contest SemiFinalists
have been announced

The Ugly Necklace Contest

In early May, images of their necklaces will be posted online at Land of Odds.   Along with these images, each contestant also had to submit a list of materials and write a poem.    These too will be posted.   Voting will begin at the end of May.  Stay tuned for announcements.

 

The 6 SemiFinalists Are:

 

Lynn Margaret Davy
Dorset, England
The Story of My Beading Life…

ugly7davywear

 

Jolynn Casto
Logan, Ohio
Four Seasons Necklace

ugly7castowear

Sarah Allison
Gresham, Oregon
Walk In My Garden

ugly7allisonwear1

Lori-Ann Scott
Spokane, Washington
Sweet

ugly7scottwear

Juli Brown
Wells, Minnesota
Coffin Nail Necklace!

ugly7brownwear

Deborah Eve Rubin
Rockville, Maryland
Ode To An Ugly Necklace

ugly7rubinwear

 

 

Entries for the 8th Annual The Ugly Necklace Contest 2010- A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist – will be accepted beginning September 1, 2009.  Deadline: March 15th, 2010.

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