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Posted by learntobead on September 3, 2013


It’s my belief that you cannot combine two different media to make a piece of jewelry without letting one of them predominate over the other.


Agree or disagree?





Whether combining fiber with beads or metal with beads or paint and sculpture with beads, it is difficult to have a successful, satisfying outcome, without letting one of the media be dominant over the other.

Each media has its own set of structural rules and requirements.    Each interacts with light and shadow very differently; that is, the materials and techniques associated with a particular media reflect, absorb and refract light differently.

These kinds of things make the viewer’s experience and interaction with the media and its resulting products different, from media to media.



So, you can have a “knitting” project that incorporates some beads, or a “beading” project that uses a knitting stitch.   In the former, knitting would predominate, with more focus on the fibers; in the latter, beading would predominate, with more focus on the beads.    You can have a wire project that incorporates some beads, or a beading project that incorporates some wire elements.

But it is rare that you can look at a project, and say it concurrently meets the criteria for success of both media – so, both a successful, satisfying knitting AND beading project, and both a successful wire AND beading project.   It is difficult to preserve the integrity of either media if you force them to be co-equals.


beaded art doll

beaded art doll

And you can draw parallels across media to situations crossing materials, as well.    It is difficult to mix materials within the same project.    For example, it is difficult to mix glass and acrylic beads, or glass and gemstone beads….Unless, you let one material become predominant over the other.

But all of this is very challenging, almost off-putting, to the jewelry designer who wants to combine media techniques and materials.

How can techniques and materials in other craft and art disciplines be combined with beads to make jewelry?    And, how can other art and craft disciplines incorporate beads or traditional beading techniques to make jewelry?


beaded art doll

beaded art doll

If you have created mixed media projects, or enjoy viewing them,

  1. What lessons can we learn from attempting to mix media and have two or more media, techniques and materials co-exist in the same piece?
  2. How easily can you combine beads with fibers, without  diminishing the integrity of either medium as an art form?
  3. What are the pros and cons?
  4. What kinds of compromises do we have to make?
  5. Does Mixed Media affect our vision of the piece as art?   Or craft?
  6. Can you “bead” the same way you “work wire” and in the same way you “manipulate fibers” or “sculpt clay”, and so forth? – all to impact the viewer, their experience and satisfaction with your piece?    Or do you have to develop new strategies for coordinating media?


What do you think?

Share them by posting them to our group.




Land of Odds (www.landofodds.com )
Warren Feld Jewelry
Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts



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Posted by learntobead on August 9, 2012


Sponsors: Land of Odds, Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts, Be Dazzled Beads
Deadline: 8/31/13
Warren Feld

Beaded Art Doll Competition
This Year’s Theme:  Transformations

Call for Entries.

Land of Odds (http://www.landofodds.com/store/alldolledup.htm) announces its fifth 2013 All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition.   Entries accepted between September 1, 2012 and August 31st, 2013.

Create a Beaded Art Doll by manipulating beads and forms into an imaginative tactile and visual 3-dimensional representation of this year’s theme:   TRANSFORMATIONS.

And then write a Short Story (between 1000-2000 words) about your Beaded Art Doll, what it represents, and how it was created, starting with the sentence:

“As she turns towards me, her hands no longer seem familiar;
her face, once recognizable, now unexpected;
her aura, a palette of changed colors,
I want to share, but can’t all at once.
She is transforming, before my eyes, as if I wished it to happen,
for whatever reason — fun, mundane or sinister — I’m not sure.
But as she moves and evolves, a special insight occurs to me,
so I name her… “


The 2013 ALL DOLLED UP:  BEADED ART DOLL COMPETITION is offering a first prize of a $1000.00 shopping spree on the Land of Odds web-site (http://www.landofodds.com), and a Runner-Up prize of a $400.00 shopping spree on the web-site.

Entries will be judged by a panel from The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts.

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.    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.   They 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.  These should 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 “Transformations” any way she or he chooses.    The Beaded Art Doll might be thought of as a plaything; or a visual representation of a person, feeling, spirit or thing; or a tool for teaching; or 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.

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.

Enter to Win!



Land of Odds, home of the annual ALL DOLLED UP:  BEADED ART DOLL COMPETITION.  Visit www.landofodds.com/store/alldolledup.htm to review the Official Rules.   Land of Odds provides doll, bead and jewelry making artists with virtually all their beads, supplies, books and jewelry findings needs, with over 30,000 products.  Retail/Discounts/Wholesale.


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