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

Posts Tagged ‘jewelry design’

HOW DO YOU MAKE “ASYMMETRY” WORK FOR YOU?

Posted by learntobead on July 7, 2013

HOW DO YOU MAKE “ASYMMETRY” WORK FOR YOU?

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Another Principle of Jewelry Design Composition is called “PLANAR RELATIONSHIPS”.     This primarily has to do with the placement of lines and planar surfaces within your piece, and how satisfying all this placement is, so that the lines and/or planes interrelate.

 

It turns out it is relatively easy to have lines and planes relate symmetrically.   That is, it is easy to get people to be more satisfied with your pieces, if you makes things line up evenly to the right and to the left of your center point or line.

 

Conversely, it is not so easy when you try to create something asymmetrical.     In fact, based on the art theory and cognitive psychology theory underlying this principle of planar relationships, I would say that, if your piece is asymmetrical, there must be something else on the person wearing the piece to create the illusion of symmetry.   This might be the way the hair is styled, the pattern on a dress, the neckline silhouette of the dress, the shape and positioning of the person’s ears, and the like.

 

So, for those of you who have tried and succeeded, or tried and failed, to create asymmetrical pieces, how would you describe your design process?    And people’s reactions to your piece?   Or how it looked on the wearer?     If successful, what kinds of things did you do in the design process, that worked in your favor?

 

Off-centered piece or someone wearing just one earring, can be disorienting and disturbing.   How do you feel about asymmetrical pieces, or people wearing only one earring?

 

 

— Warren

 

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Excerpts from some of my writings about this principle of planar relationships…
(also read: Principles of Good Jewelry Design Composition online at http://www.landofodds.com/store/goodjewelrydesign.htm

 

 

PLANAR RELATIONSHIPS

 

This is the degree the piece is not disorienting to the viewer, or particularly confusing in terms of what is up and what is down.

 

People always need to orient themselves to their surroundings, so that they know what is up and what is down. They usually do this by recognizing the horizontal planes of the floor and the ceiling of a room (ground and sky outside), and the vertical planes of the walls of a room (buildings, trees and the like outside).

 

Jewelry must assist, or at least not get in the way of, this natural orienting process. It accomplishes this in how its “lines” are arranged and organized. If a piece is very 3-dimensional, then how its “planes” are arranged and organized becomes important, as well.

 

The goal here is to “see” the piece of jewelry, especially when worn, as something that is coherent, organized, controlled, and orienting.

 

Design elements we might use to achieve a satisfactory planar relationship within our piece:

– a strategic use of lines and planes
— shapes

— boundaries

– -silhouettes

— contours
– symmetry

– or, more difficult to achieve, a satisfying asymmetry

– a planar pattern in how each section of the piece relates to the other sections

– how sections of the piece interlock

– how we “draw and interrelate” parallel lines, perpendicular lines and curved lines within the piece

 

 

 

Example:

How can a person truly pull off wearing only one earring? After all, visually, it pulls the person off to one side, thus violating the basic orienting planar relationships. What about the composition of the earring, allows this to work; what about the composition doesn’t?

 

 

Example:

When wearing a necklace, where the clasp is worn on the side, instead of the back, sometimes this works, and sometimes it does not. Again, what about the composition of the necklace, allows this to work; what about the composition doesn’t?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH?

Posted by learntobead on June 30, 2013

 

 

WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH?

Beading and jewelry making can be so much fun, and you have so many choices of so many beautiful pieces to play with, that sometimes, from a design sense, it’s easy to go overboard.

Too many strands. Too many different kinds of beads. Too many colors. Too much embellishment. Too much fringe. Too much repetition of themes and design elements.

There is a tendency too often to over-do.

How do you answer this question for yourself – when is enough enough?

Do you tend to over-do (or under-do) your pieces?

How do you edit? Do you make a piece, and get the judgment of others? Is this based on some kind of intuition?

How do you work with students or friends who have difficulty answering this question?

Let me know what you think.

Warren

Could this be better or worse? or more satisfying or less satisfying? With more strands? If longer? More colors? More involved patterning?

Could this be better or worse? or more satisfying or less satisfying?
With more strands?
If longer?
More colors?
More involved patterning?

From an article I’ve posted online…

I had discussed in an article – 10 Principles of Jewelry Design Composition (http://www.landofodds.com/store/goodjewelrydesign.htm) – what is in effect a type of grammar and vocabulary for good jewelry design. The last principle was called Parsimony. And this one is really difficult to achieve. The jewelry artist who is good at Parsimony has a great deal of control over the design process.

Parsimony means that there should be no nonessential elements.

The designer should achieve the maximal effect with the least effort or excess.

Many jewelry designers, when they like a particular bead, or a particular design, often over-do their pieces. The thinking here is that, if they have a beautiful part, adding many of these parts will make the whole even more beautiful. Often, it results in the finished product that is boring or uninteresting. The finished product loses a type of tension, power and energy.

The artist has made a good point with their choices, but then beats a dead horse to death by trying to make the point over and over again, too many times.

Good Parsimony shows that the designer has a good sense of the relationship of the parts to the whole.

There should be no nonessential elements.

The designer should achieve the maximal effect with the least effort or excess.

There is a tendency of beaders and jewelry makers to over-do:
– over-embellish the surface
– add too much fringe
– repeat themes and design elements too often
– use too many colors

More often than not, people over-do, rather than under-do.

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ANATOMY OF A NECKLACE: THE YOKE

Posted by learntobead on June 16, 2013

 

Anatomy of a Necklace: The Yoke

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A necklace, or any type of jewelry, has a structure and anatomy.   Each part has its own set of purposes, functions and aesthetics.   Understanding each type of structure or physical part is important to the designer.

 

 

Let’s focus on one part today – The Yoke.    The Yoke is one section of the Strap which is the part around the back of the neck, including the Clasp Assembly.

 

To what extent, during your design process, do you divide your necklace into its anatomical parts, in order to have more strategic control over its design?

 

In an average necklace, how long should the Yoke be?    What proportional length relative to the rest of the strap should this be?

 

How do you determine the design and placement of beads or connectors along the Yoke, given that most of it would either not be particularly visible, or not often-visible when worn?

 

The Yoke continues into the section of the Strap called the Frame.    There are always transitional issues here?   Do you have any strategies for managing these transitions?   When your piece moves from Yoke to Frame, do you find yourself doing anything special at this point?

Maldives Necklace at www.stelladot.com

Maldives Necklace
at
http://www.stelladot.com

 

Do you prefer your Yoke to be visually distinct from the Frame?  Or more organically connected, perhaps not distinguished at all?

 

Do you use any special visual cues to signal to the viewer that the piece is moving from Yoke to Frame – placement of special connector?  Or change in bead size?  Or change in Color?  Or Pattern?   How do you know where to place these visual cues?

 

To what extent should the Yoke be integral to the design of the whole piece, or, on the other hand, be supplemental to the whole piece?

 

Too often, when the designer does not recognize the Yoke as distinct from the Frame – even if the transition is to be very subtle – less-than-satisfying things happen.   Proportions may be off.   The piece may not lay or sit as envisioned.    The strap may have too much embellishment going to high up the strap.    Sometimes the balance between Yoke and Frame is off – too much Yoke and not enough Frame.

 

So, what do you think?  What do you do?    What things can be done?

 

 

 

 

To summarize the anatomy of a necklace:

 

We can envision the Anatomy of the Necklace to include these parts:

 

Yoke:  Part around the neck.   Typically 6-7”, including the clasp assembly

 

Clasp Assembly:  Part of the Yoke.   This includes all the pieces it takes, including a clasp, in order to attach your beadwork to your clasp.

 

Break:  Transition from Yoke to Frame, usually at the collar bone on either side of the neck.

 

Frame:  The “line” seen on the front of the wearer, demarcating a “silhouette,” and connecting to the Yoke on each side, at the Break.   On a 16” necklace, this would typically be around 9-10” long.

 

Bi-Furcated Frame:   A Frame visually split in half, usually at the center and in two equal parts, with a centerpiece focal bead or pendant drop in the center.

 

Focal Point:  While not every necklace has a focal point, most do.  The Focal Point gives the viewer’s eye a place to rest or focus.   Sometimes this is done with a centerpiece pendant.   Can also be created by graduating the sizes of beads or playing with color or playing with fringe.

 

Centerpiece:   A part that extends beyond the line of the Frame, usually below it.    Forces transitional concerns between it and the Frame.

 

Centerpiece with Bail:    A part that drops the Centerpiece below the Frame, forcing additional transitional concerns among Centerpiece, Bail and Frame.

 

Strap:  A word summarizing the full connectivity of the Clasp Assembly, Yoke and Frame.

 

Canvas:  Typically refers to the stringing materials.  However, in a layered piece, may refer to any created “background” off of which or around which the main composition is built.

 

Embellishment:    Things like fringe, edging, surface decoration.

 

 

 

Each part of the body of a necklace poses its own special design challenges for the jewelry artist.   These involved strategies for resolving such issues as:

 

– making connections
– determining angularity, curvature, and roundedness
– transitioning color, pattern and texture
– placing objects
– extending lengths
– adding extensions
– creating balance and coherency
– keeping things organic, so nothing looks like an afterthought, or an outlier, or something designed by a committee
– determining which parts or critical to understanding the piece of jewelry as art, and which parts are merely supplemental to the piece.

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BAILS POSE MANAGEMENT ISSUES

Posted by learntobead on June 4, 2013

BAILS POSE MANAGEMENT ISSUES

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In our Jewelry Design Camp (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com/jewelrydesigncamp/), one of the topics we cover is the Bail. From a Design standpoint, it is not necessarily a simple jewelry finding to incorporate into our pieces.

There are many types of bails, some off-the-shelf and some hand-made, and there are different ways of attaching them.

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A bail changes the visual and artistic relationship between the strap and the center piece. How might this be helpful, and how not? The bail poses similar design challenges as the strap — size, proportion, placement and attachment. However, it has to succeed at one additional task — it has to control the visual, aesthetic and functional transitioning between the center piece and the strap. It is the management of this transitioning which poses the most difficult design design dilemmas for the jewelry artist.

Too often, I see people use a bail because it adds another pretty component to the piece. But it doesn’t necessarily fit. Sometimes it competes with the center piece or strap. Sometimes it creates a series of functioning or wearing or movement issues.

tibetandreamsfull1

So the questions for this discussion include:
(1) Do you use bails, and if so, do you have any favorite — either machine-made or hand-made?
(2) Do you have good or bad design-experiences with bails that you would like to share with the group?

Warren

 

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Suzanne Belperron — Influential Jeweler, 1930’s thru 1970’s

Posted by learntobead on February 10, 2013

Suzanne Belperron — Influential Jeweler, 1930’s thru 1970’s

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Suzanne Belperron was a successful jeweler, widely influential.   She was one of the few female jewelry designers of her time.   Her daring creations remain today of extraordinary modernity and aesthetics.  She began her career in 1919 at age 19.  She died in 1983. Her life and career spanned the modern movement in the arts, feminism and the emergence of fashion as a big business.   Her style reflected the movement in the jewelry design field away from very ornamental pieces, to those which emphasize bold forms.

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Her creations appeared in the most influential fashion magazines of the time, including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.  Her clients included royalty, celebrities and aristocrats.

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She never signed her pieces.     She claimed, “My style is my signature.”

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She introduced unprecedented combinations of stones and minerals in her designs.

 

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Mary Lee Hu – Wire Artist

Posted by learntobead on September 26, 2012

Mary Lee Hu — Wire Artist

Have you ever wondered how far you could push your wire so that it sings?    Mary Lee Hu shows you just how far.

She frames, knits, braids, weaves, shapes wire into wonderful jewelry compositions.

Her textile approach to wire working is captivating.    We can learn alot about how to use wire by studing techniques in fiber, textiles, tablet weaving and basketry.

 

There is also a beautiful book  Knitted, Knotted, Twisted, and Twined: The Jewelry of Mary Lee Hu which celebrates 100 of her designs over the years.

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Guzel Bakeeva Design – One Artist Take On Bead Embroidered Cabochons

Posted by learntobead on September 13, 2012

Guzel Bakeeva Design – One Artist Take On Bead Embroidered Cabochons

I love to explore beautiful jewelry as art.   Guzel Bakeeva uses bead embroidery techniques, and very smart and beautiful stones and found objects in her jewelry.   She often couples this with unexpected arrangements of components.    She seems determined to create pieces which have a combined sexiness and sophistication.

Take a look.

The challenges with bead embroidery are many:
– wearability (often the use of large forms, clustered together, which much take the shape of the body)
– artistic integrity (pieces of art when made, must maintain artistic integrity as worn)
– art vs. craft (avoidance of the reduction of art to craft, because of the materials — particularly the bead as a medium)

 

 

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Doris Betz – All About The Line

Posted by learntobead on September 13, 2012

Doris Betz – All About The Line

 

DORIS:  “My work is above all about the line: how it spreads and the possibilities of its arrangement. The line or the wire describes, through its movement, a space. There are overlaps, knots and different layers. At the same time arise apparently accidental, bizarre, three dimensional images. Plastic stands equally judged beside gold and silver. The pieces live through their lightness and transparency. Glamour and oppositions seek a beauty of their own.”

The “line” can be a frightening thing for a designer.   Once the designer commits to a certain line and its linear or curvalinear passageway, the line has to be managed towards some wearable aesthetic.    Not easy to do.

The line creates a boundary.   It separates one direction from another.   It forces, or at least implores, value judgements.  That is, which side of the line is better, more satisfying, more pleasing, more correct.

The line can also frame.   This sets up an inclusive vs exclusive quality, and recessive vs. forwarding seeking motion, a dimensionality, an encouragement vs. a restriction for movement and direction.

Doris Betz is not afraid of the line.

 

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Hanging Around – Jewelry From Recent Exhibit At MAD in NY

Posted by learntobead on September 13, 2012

Hanging Around – Jewelry From Recent Exhibit At MAD in NY

“The unique works on display in Hanging Around are from the Museum of Arts and Design’s jewelry collection. Dating from the 1960s to the present, these artistic creations encompass conceptual approaches ranging from the decorative to the provocatively political. Some of the necklaces on view feature precious metals and rare gemstones, but others derive their impact from materials as unconventional as pig intestines, gun triggers, mustard seeds, LED lighting, black coral, butterfly wings, phone directories, mirrors and lenses. The fabrication techniques employed by the artists are as different as traditional goldsmithing and cutting-edge digital prototyping.”

What do you think?

Liv Blåvarp, Untitled, 2002

 

 

Nancy Worden, The Seven Deadly Sins, 1994

 

Verena Sieber-Fuchs, Apart-heid, 1988

 

Marjorie Schick

 

Tory Hughes, Armillary,1992
polymer, steel, glass, brass, silver, mustard seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Contemporary Pieces Using Gemstones From Margaret De Patta Collection

Posted by learntobead on September 13, 2012

Contemporary Pieces Using Gemstones From Margaret De Patta Collection

The Velvet Davinci Gallery in San Francisco held an exhibit of contemporary jewelry artists creating new jewelry with old stones.

“The De Patta Project was born when Velvet da Vinci purchased many of these unset stones from the estate of Margaret De Patta. There are some beautiful cut stones by Francis J. Sperisen, cabochon stones and beach pebbles found by De Patta. De Patta’s nontradtional use of gemstones and non-precious pebbles are key to the understanding the importance of her influence on the field of contemporary jewelry. ”

Jewelers represented in this exhibit:

Deborah Boskin

Petra Class

Sandra Enterline

Geoffrey Giles

 

Joanna Gollberg

April Higashi

Tom Hill

Mike Homes

Dave Jones

Terri Logan

Deb Lozier

Maja

Dawn Nakanishi

Brigid O’hanrahan

Julia Turner

Andrea Williams

 

It is difficult, when creating jewelry for an exhibit celebrating the work of an historical figure, to decide the best balance among:

– referent and reference to the past, both in terms of De Patta’s jewelry style, as well as the overall modernist aesthetic.
– showcasing your own personal style
– demonstrating a sense of what contemporary style means today
– showcasing the gemstones used

It’s useful to explore these artists’ other work you can see images online, to get a better sense of the artist, as well as a better sense of De Patta.

 

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Margaret De Patta

Posted by learntobead on September 13, 2012

Margaret De Patta Jewelry
(1903 – 1964)


From about 1939, Margaret De Patta was a major designer in American Contemporary Jewelry history, perhaps one of the major influential forces during her time. She was a founding member of the San Francisco Metal Arts Guild.  She is often credited as starting the modern jewelry studio movement.

Her pieces epitomize her use of simple lines and structure. There is a strong architectural sense.   You can see clear connections to the cubist and modern art and bauhaus and modernist architecturer prominent at the time.

She characterized her pieces as miniature wearable sculptures, and in reaction to the prevailing view of  jewelry merely as body ornament.   Her use of line demarcates boundaries, creates a sense of dimensional space, frames elements within her pieces.

 

De Patta envisioned a piece of jewelry as a dynamic object capable of changing perceptions of space and movement by creating reflections, optical illusions, and unexpected alterations of light.

 

It is interesting to look at her jewelry designs, and think about contemporary design today, the similarities and differences.

 

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Posted by learntobead on July 3, 2012

PRESS RELEASE:  7/3/12
Winner and Runner-Up Announced
2012 The Ugly Necklace Contest!
A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist

 

 

And the Winner is…..

 

 

Land of Odds, Be Dazzled Beads, The Open Window Gallery, and The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts are proud to announce the Winner and Runner-Up in this year’s The Ugly Necklace Contest, 2012!

 

The Winner of The Ugly Necklace Contest – the Jewelry Designer who demonstrated exceptional jewelry design skills by creating The Ugliest Necklace in the America and the rest of the World in the year 2012, and the winner of a $992.93 shopping spree on the Land of Odds web-site  (www.landofodds.com) is :

 

Joan Veres
Norwood, NY
“From My Garden Of The Sea Rim”

 

The Runner-Up in The Ugly Necklace Contest — the Jewelry Designer who also displayed obvious design talents by creating the 2nd Ugliest Necklace in America and the rest of the World in the year 2012, and the winner of a $399.07 shopping spree on the Land of Odds web-site  is:

 

Pamela Orians
Zanesville, OH
“From My Garden Of Fun”
 

 

 

 

 

It’s not easy doing Ugly!

 

So our hats are off, and we offer loud applause to Joan Veres and Pamela Orians.   These beadwork and jewelry artists have demonstrated their commendable design skills. They have been judged, from among 17 entrants from across America, Dubai, Great Britain, and South Korea, by a distinguished panel of four judges from The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, and voted on by visitors to the Land of Odds web-site.

 

It’s difficult to design an ugly piece of jewelry because your mind and your eye won’t let you go there.    As research into color and design has shown, your eye compensates for imbalances in color or design component relationships – it tries to correct and harmonize them.   You are pre-wired to subconsciously avoid anything that is disorienting, disturbing or distracting.   

 

To view additional images of the necklaces submitted by the winner, runner up and the other semi-finalists of The Ugly Necklace Contest, please visit us here on-line.

 

And if you are in the Nashville area, please stop by Be Dazzled Beads, where the 8 selected Ugly Necklaces are on display through September 15th.

 

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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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Was Freedom Enough?

Posted by learntobead on November 14, 2011

Excerpt from column 
HOW TO BEAD A ROGUE ELEPHANT

WAS FREEDOM ENOUGH? 

I emancipated myself from my upwardly mobile position, after 18 years of progressively more responsible positions, having attained an annual salary the income taxes from which supported one whole government worker.

And what did that do for me?   Emancipation.  Over the next 20 plus years of starting all over again.  At the bottom.  Learning another trade.  Having no accumulated reputation or power or wherewithal to get ahead.  I had freed myself to make my own choices.  I  had painted myself into a picture of my own dreams.   To be an artist.  To make jewelry.  To play with beads.  And to make a living at it.

But what did I achieve, except for the very freedom itself to be free to make my own choices?  …

 Continue reading….

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Read THE DESIGNERS GAZETTE, Fall 2011

Posted by learntobead on November 8, 2011

LAND OF ODDS – JEWELRY DESIGN CENTER

Take a Moment To Read….

THE DESIGNERS GAZETTE
Fall 2011
The Design Perspective On Beading and Jewelry Making

http://www.warrenfeldjewelry.com/pdf/fu111011/fall2011pdf.pdf
Chilled Morns and Eves Warmed by Fall’s Soulful Colors, Stylish Clothes, Sophisticated Thinking, and Layered Looks. Nostalgia – for changing leaves, apple cider, turkey and dressing, family gatherings, office parties, warmth by the fire. Fall is all about presenting a more elaborated side of you to the outside world. Work and play. Online and off. Jewelry to tell the world to open up, you’re coming in from the playful summer heat.

The Illustrative Beader: Beaded Tapestry Competition – SemiFinalists Announced
Jade Carving Event
Three Artists at SOFA: New York
Bracelets in 3-D Print
Erotic Watches Auctioned Off
Australian Jewelry Topos
Tiffany Video
Ara Kuo
Robert Ebendorf – Mixed-media
Asagi Maeda – Art Jewelry
Daniel Porter Stevens – Metalsmith
Creative Mentoring – Andrea Rosenfeld
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
Snakes – Claire Kahn
Cristobal Balenciaga
LOOT 2011
SODAmore 2011: Contemporary Art Jewelry
Empowering the Jewelry Designer
Existence for the Jewelry Designer is Befuddling
The Ugly Necklace Contest – Enter to Win
Getting Started in Beading and Jewelry Making
Jewelry Design Camp
Sherry Serafini Workshops

The Design Perspective on Beading and Jewelry Making
Land of Odds
Be Dazzled Beads, &
The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts

718 Thompson Lane, #123, Nashville, TN 37204
http://www.landofodds.com
615/292-0610

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