Learn To Bead

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

Posts Tagged ‘metalwork’


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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Legacy of Atelier Janiye

Posted by learntobead on January 27, 2011

Fuller Craft Museum Presents The Legacy of Atelier Janiye and the Legacy of Master Jeweler Miye Matsukata

The Fuller Craft Museum in Boston presents The Legacy of Atelier Janiye and the Legacy of Master Jeweler Miyé Matsukata celebrating the work and legacy of Boston-based jewelry artist Miyé Matsukata (1922–1981).

This exhibition open January 22, 2011 – July 24, 2011, presents together for the first time a retrospective selection of Matsukata’s work, alongside the work of her colleagues Nancy Wills Michel, Alexandra Solowij Watkins, and Yoshiko Yamamoto.

Atelier Janiye is a jewelry design house, representing goldsmiths who excel in manipulating the metal into very naturalistic and organic forms.     Their pieces are associated with fine craftsmanship.    Each artist has a very strong sense of style.

Miye Matukata (1922-1991)

Born in Japan, lived in Boston.   In 1968, Miyé Matsukata said, “I would like to maintain a spirit of design that is quiet and free. I feel metal can have a life if it has motion and less rigid confines.” With the layering of fluid shapes, this bracelet assumes the lightness she hoped to achieve.

Nancy Willis Michel

Alexander Solowij Watkins

Yoshiko Yamamoto

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