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Posts Tagged ‘sculpture’

Three Artists at SOFA NY April 2011

Posted by learntobead on April 13, 2011

Three Jewelry Artists at SOFA NY

SOFA stands for Sculpture Objects and Functional Art.     Their exhibits at various locales in the US and throughout the year, showcase outstanding contemporary “sculptural” objects, including jewelry.     I always like to check in on the artists they elect to showcase.   There is so much you can learn from each artist’s ideas and approaches.

Their current NY exhibition runs through 5/1/2011.

Jennifer Trask

From her artist statement:

What do we carry with us in our bones? Literally, and metaphorically?

Used to express definitive physical sensation and emotional sentiment (e.g. ‘bone weary’), bone is considered the absolute reductive essence of our physical selves.  Bones linger,  incorporating evidence of what we ate, how we worked, injuries, illnesses, and environmental conditions during a given lifetime.  Lead, copper and iron, among other metals, bind to our bones as obscure mementos of our experiences.


What if those amalgams were to flourish and grow?

What would we see if we could view concepts and ideals, not just the verifiable physicality?


My process is a strange dance between the factual, or scientifically based research and the associative, or intuitive and non-verbal.  As I move between the two places, factual and intuitive, internal and external, the results are cross-species hybrids that embody a peculiar romanticized vision of the natural world that betray a very human concept of separateness, of dominion over nature.

Looking deeper still, we see a measure of the unanticipated, in traces of internalized abstract experiences and ideals.

Implicit and explicit.
Internal and external.


Jiro Kamata

Jiro Kamata’s enthusiasm for the lenses of old reflex cameras developed into a long-lasting design concept.  Kamata believes that the lenses capture and keep special moments like secrets and thinks that this could spark the jewelry wearers’ imagination.


Sergey Jivetin

Jiventin takes an engineering eye, an intuitive understanding of mechanical physics, and the properties of unusual materials, like watch hands, human hair, fishing hooks, eggs, porcelain handles and syringe needles, to create very alive pieces of jewelry.

He sees his jewelry as helping the wearer make the connection between a person’s sense of self and humanity, and that person’s relationship to the work or industrial setting around her.


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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

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


“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”


“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


“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



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”



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)”



“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

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All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition

Posted by learntobead on August 6, 2009

All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition

St. Fedupia by Kathleen Lynam

St. Fedupia by Kathleen Lynam

Every other year, Land of Odds and The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts sponsors a beaded art doll competition.    This year’s deadline is August 31, 2009.

The theme is Earthen Mother.    Each artist submits images of their doll.   And each artist has to write a short story about their doll, starting 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…”

Here our images of our first three submissions:

by Dawn Ott

by Dawn Ott

by Bonnie Prebula

by Bonnie Prebula

by Gabriella DeLawey

by Gabriella DeLawey

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Proving “Beads” Can Be Made Of Anything

Posted by learntobead on June 26, 2009

Jennifer Maestre Sculpture

This bead artist cuts off the tips of colored pencils, top drills a hole through them, and bead-weaves them together in these awesome sculptures.


From the Artist’s statement:

My sculptures were originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin. The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion.

The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials. Quantities of industrially manufactured objects are used to create flexible forms reminiscent of the organic shapes of animals and nature. Pencils are common objects, here, these anonymous objects become the structure.


There is true a fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture.

To make the pencil sculptures, I take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpen them all and sew them together. The beading technique I rely on most is peyote stitch.


I’m inspired by animals, plants, other art, Ernst Haeckel, Odilon Redon, mythology. In fact, it isn’t easy to specify particular sources of inspiration. Sometimes one sculpture will inspire the next, or maybe I’ll make a mistake, and that will send me off in a new direction.

I started off in the direction of prickly things when I was in my last year at Mass College of Art. It all comes from one idea I had for a box with a secret compartment that would contain a pearl. The box would be shaped like a sea urchin, made of silver. In order to open the box and reveal the secret compartment, you’d have to pull on one of the urchin’s spines. The idea was of something beautiful, sculptural, but that you wouldn’t necessarily want to touch, and that also held a secret treasure. I never developed the small-metals skills to ever make the box, but it got me thinking about that kind of form. I started experimenting with different materials to make urchin forms. I found that nails, pushed through window screen, worked well, and I could use many different types and textures and colors of nails.


After graduation, I didn’t have the facilities to do glass, so I kept playing with the nails and screen (very low tech), and gradually started working larger, adding zippers and other elements. Continuing with the container theme, I started making the tack-coated eggs to place inside the nail baskets.

The eggs were so beautiful on their own, as well, that I decided to open some of them up, putting little windows in, for example.

While I was doing that work, I was also dabbling in bead work. I taught myself several beading techniques, especially peyote stitch, which is great for creating sculptural work.

I was constrained a bit with the nails, because I couldn’t get all the turns and twists I wanted. I loved the textures and the contrast between the industrial qualities of the nails and the organic forms of the sculptures, but I wanted more complex forms. I was also thinking about how bad the liquid rubber probably was for my health.

So, I experimented with other pointy things and techniques, and finally hit on turning pencils into beads and sewing them together. Using this combination of technique and materials allows me to retain all the qualities that I want in my work, with the potential for more variety of form.

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