Learn To Bead

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

Posts Tagged ‘warren feld’

Bead Weaving An Arch -The Japanese Fragrance Garden Bracelet Project

Posted by learntobead on April 17, 2020


 Thinking about the types of choices made for this project

The Japanese Garden Bracelet is a fun project that students love. It is for students who have some familiarity with bead weaving. I had been experimenting with various strategies for bead weaving an “arch” shape (parabolic arch) which can keep its physical shape while the bracelet is worn. Not an easy task. It has required hours and hours of trial and error. The final choices here were influenced by the architecture of Antonio Gaudi, building a column in segments, and then forcing it into a tight arch configuration.

This project is also a good example of how you can use a natural setting for inspiration. This setting influences color choice, color positioning, as well as shape and its placement. This is the image that inspired this piece.

In this fragrance garden landscape, we see the red moon bridge over a glistening pond of water. Commonly used Japanese garden plants that unfurl flowers include peony, chrysanthemum and, near water features, Japanese water iris. Flowering shrubs include azalea, camellia and hydrangea, all of which provide strong winter interest.

We feel that each plant, walkway, stone and other related elements have been deliberately placed, some shaped and others allowed to grow at will. Japanese gardens are designed to express their cultural values and philosophies. The gardens express the fragility of existence as well as time’s unstoppable advance. I believe the Japanese Fragrance Garden Bracelet captures all this.

It is important, I believe, for a contemporary piece of jewelry to have a sense of dimensionality, movement, and a strong use of color. In contemporary pieces, we also want some sense of the violation of straight lines and flat planes.


Whenever you create a piece of jewelry, it is important to try to anticipate how your choice of techniques and materials might positively or negatively affect how the piece moves and feels when worn, as well as your piece’s overall durability.

Towards this end, it is important to redefine your techniques and materials in architectural terms. The important term or concept we think about when we begin our piece is called a “Support System”. A support system is anything that gives your piece “jointedness”, that is, allows the piece to move easily when worn, and allows the piece to adapt to the negative forces any movement places on your piece, making your piece feel more comfortable to wear and more durable.

The bridges are basically parabolic arches.

Parabolic Arch
Parabolic Arches by Antonio Gaudi

Antonio Gaudi is a famous architecture from Barcelona, Spain. Much of his fantastical work is organized around and supported by parabolic arches.

The arch is made up of a series of stacked stones, each fitted together, then shaped. They way these segments are pieced together supports the shape, and this shape supports the weight of the structures resting on them. I tried to mimic his architectural/construction ideas with bead weaving.

After a lot of trial and error, my “arch” (which is called a “bridge” in this project) is constructed using 2-stack ladder stitch. It is made up of 4 ladder stitched components. Within each component, all the beads need to be very tightly stitched together. Between any two components, the stitched connection needs to be looser. When the bridge is attached to the foundation of the bracelet, a 15/0 seed bead is wedged between each of the 4 ladder stitched components to force that arching shape, and keep that arching shape, no matter the stresses or strains put on the bracelet when worn.

The Ladder Stitch and the Bridge Construction

The bridge is constructed using a 2-drop ladder stitch. “2-drop” means that we pick up 2 beads at a time, and treat them as “one”.

Each 2 beads or drops is referred to as a “stack”.

The ladder stitch is used to connect stacks.

The bridge consists of 4 connected stacks.

The 4 connected stacks are, in turn, connected together into what is called a “Column Segment”.

Each bridge consists of 4 connected Column Segments.

All the beads in any one column segment should be tight enough to “move as one”.

The connection between any two column segments is looser, so they can move somewhat independently, and thus be able to bend into an arch.

STEP:Making the Bridge

Column Segment Component 1 of 4

Start with 3–4’ of thread. Wax your thread.

Pick up 4 COLOR Q (11/0 delicas).

Slide these beads down to one end, leaving 6” tail.

STEP: Create 2 Stacks

Return through the first bead added, and continue through the other three beads to make a circle.

DOUBLE CHECK that you still have your 6” tail.

With your fingers, push beads together so that you have 2 stacks of 2 beads side by side.

Take the tail and the working thread and tie an overhand knot. This will make getting started to create your column segment easier to manage.

Take your needle through 1 stack so it is exiting the opposite side from the tail.

STEP: Add 3rd Stack, Column Segment One

Pick up 2 more COLOR Q.

Make a “circle” by returning through the opposite side, exiting where you started.

STEP: Secure 3rd Stack

Continue your “circle” through the 2-bead-stack you just added.

STEP: Add 4th Stack, Column Segment One

Add 1 more 2-bead-Stack.

Pick up 2 beads.

“Circle” back through the previous Stack.

Return through the new stack.

STEP: Connect 4th Stack to the 1st Stack To Finish Column Segment Component

Attach the last Stack to the first to create a column segment.

Fold the stacks so that two stacks are sitting in front of the other two stacks.

“Circle” through first 2-bead stack, back through the last 2-bead stack.

NOTE: If you are not on the opposite side of the tail, keep circling until you are.

Tighten this up.

You are now positioned to add the 2nd column segment to our bridge component.

Create Column Segment 2 of 4

STEP: Create 2nd Column segment

Pick up 4Q.

Return back down the previous stack.
 [Pick up 4 beads]
 [Down 2 beads]

Pull tight.

You should have 2 new stacks sitting on top of 2 existing stacks.

STEP: Return

Return back up the original stack, and the new 2-bead stack.
 [Up 4 beads]

STEP: Circle around two new Stacks

Circle around the 2 new stacks, exiting where you started.
 [Down 2 beads, 
 then up 2 beads]

Pull tight.
 You can push the new paired stacks towards the first column segment beneath it.

STEP: Add 3rd Stack to 2nd Column Segment

Pick up 2Q.

Return back down through (un-topped) Stack in previous column segment, (in this case, 1st column segment).
 [Pick up 2 beads]
 [Down 2 beads]

STEP: Return

Return up through remaining “untopped” Stack in previous column segment (in this case 1st column segment).
 [Up 2 beads]

STEP: Add 4th Stack to Column Segment 2

Add 4th Stack to 2nd column segment.

Pick up 2Q.

Return through previous stack in new column segment (in this case segment 2)

[Pick up 2 beads]
 [Down 2 beads]

NOTE: Do NOT travel all the way down through column segment one.

STEP: Secure Stacks

Your thread is exiting the bottom of a 2-bead stack.

a. Return back one more stack to the previous stack. Come up this stack.

b. Come forward one stack. Go down this stack.

c. Go forward and up the next stack.

d. Continue forward, going down the next stack.

e. Return back one stack. Go up this stack.


Return back one stack.
 Up 2.
 Go forward one stack.
 Down 2.
 Go forward one stack.
 Up 2.
 Go forward one more stack.
 Down 2.
 Return back.
 Up 2

     If you created the thread path correctly, all 4 stacks in new segment (in this case segment 2) should be connected.
     You cannot push any stack aside like you would opening a curtain drape.

STEP 29: Add 3rd and 4th column segments

Completed bridge with 4 column segments

Repeat the pattern in STEPS 22–28.

NOTE: Remember: You are securing the new column segment to the previous column segment only.

NOTE: So, when adding 3rd column segment, you begin by picking up 4Q, returning back down 2-bead stack in column segment 2.

DO NOT go all the way back through column segment 1.

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Pearl Knotting Warren’s Way

Mini Lesson: Making Stretchy Bracelets

Mini Lesson: Making Adjustable Slip Knots With Thicker Cords

Mini Lesson: How To Crimp

Mini Lesson: Attaching End Caps, Cones, Crimp Ends

Mini Lesson: Brick Stitch

Mini Lesson: Flat Even Count Peyote

Mini Lesson: Ndebele Stitch

Mini Lesson: Petersburg Chain

Mini Lesson: Right Angle Weave

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

This Japanese Garden Bracelet is available as a kit from Land of Odds online.

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BEZELWORKS PENDANT Workshop by Warren Feld, 4/12-13/2014

Posted by learntobead on February 7, 2014

Center for Beadwork &  Jewelry Arts:  Workshops



Warren Feld



Sat/Sun, 4/12-13/2014,

10am-5pm, Sat

10am-4pm, Sun

(with a break for lunch)

Held at

Be Dazzled Beads

718 Thompson Lane, Ste 123

Nashville, TN 37204

FEES: $90.00 plus supplies[Optional Kit available for purchase from instructor.Olive Fire Agate, $135.00]

Deposit: $90.00

The instructional
fee does not cover the cost of supplies

You may register
in person at Be Dazzled Beads, or by phone with a credit card (615-292-0610),
or by mail with a check to 718 Thompson Lane, Ste 123, Nashville,
TN 37204

limited to 12 registrants


March 24th, 2014





718 Thompson Lane, Ste 123
Nashville, Tennessee
PHONE:  615-292-0610



Access by Car, Plane

Center For Beadwork & Jewelry Arts - beadworking and jewelry-making classes
Be Dazzled Beads and
The Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Artsin Nashvile, Tennessee


Warren Feld

April 12-13, 2014

10am-5pm Sat (with break for lunch)

10am-4pm Sun (with break for lunch)

BezelWorks Pendant

Intermediate/Advanced Level

2 Days

Saturday – Sunday, April 12-13, 2014, 10am-5pm
(Sat), 10am-4pm (Sun)

(with a break for lunch)

FEES: $90.00 plus supplies

[Optional Kit available for puchase from instructor.

Fire Agate, $135.00

Deposit: $90.00

Registration by March
24th, 2014

BezelWorks Pendant

Guest Instructor:  Warren Feld

Intermediate/Advanced Level

Wear that mystical, bead-bezeled stone close to your heart!  Use tubular
peyote, circular peyote, and spirtal tube Ndebele stitches while
exploring design ideas about fringe, edge, bail, surface embellishment and strap.


The BezelWorks Pendant has a Center Piece, around which we create a
bezel or frame, then do some edge and surface embellishment. Attached
to this Center Piece is a bead woven butterfly bail. This piece
hangs from a bead woven strap. For the bead artist working from
an Art perspective, the frame, embellishment, bail, and strap should
be seen as supplemental to the center piece. But if working from
a Design Perspective, all these components should be seen more wholistically.

So, not only will we be creating a beautiful piece in this workshop.
We will also be discussing the implications for the choices we make
about each element or component for creating a successful and satisfying
piece. This includes our choices about managing the transition from
one element to the next.

The techniques we will be applying in this piece include:

– tubular peyote, open back bezel
– circular peyote
– fringe
– tubular spiral ndebele

Art or Design?

If jewelry is “art”, is the entire piece the art, or only
the center piece, or central focal part the art? Classical art theory
holds that the fringe, strap, edging, bail, and other similar parts
should supplement or support the center piece or focal center. This
theory holds that these jewelry structures are not art. They should
function like a frame to a painting, or a pedestal to a sculpture.

It is, however, often difficult to separate the jewelry’s anatomy like this, with
one part important and the other parts supplemental. This BezelWorks
Pendant project is, in part, designed to foster ideas, discussion
and debate about the roles of fringe, edge, strap, bail and surface
embellishment. Each of these is critical to the finished piece.

For each of these anatomical parts or extensions to our piece of jewelry, we
need to understand it in terms of:

– What it is, its purpose, its role

– What value it has to the piece

– How it makes the piece more or less satisfying

– What principles should regulate it

– Whether it is part of the art or not

Center Piece

The central project: A BezelWorks Pendant, with open-back peyote bezel. How
do we go about designing an aesthetically pleasing, well-functioning,
center piece? What functions does the center piece serve? How do
we make choices about size, design, proportions, placement?

Edge, Frame, Boundary, Line 

The Center Piece has a bezel, creating an interior edge encircling our stone. In
addition, the we weave a frame around the entire Center Piece, creating
an additional key edging component.

Edging is used to give a finished look to the piece. It might be used to hide threads.
It might be used to hide any irregularities in how beads line up
or are juxtaposed. An edging strategy is especially critical, however,
for creating, preserving, blurring, or otherwise affecting the boundary
line, line curvature, and/or silhouette of the center piece or the
piece of jewelry as a whole.

What role does the “border” of a piece play? Does it mark a beginning/ending?
How does it help the viewer appreciate the emotional content of the piece?

What kinds of positioning issues are associated with the placement on an edge,
boundary, border or line?

Fringe and Surface Embellishment

We weave Fringe Embellishment off our Frame. So what exactly is fringe, and what
can fringe be? How does the fringe make the piece more or less satisfying?
There are numerous possibilities.

 In good jewelry design, the Fringe and/or other Surface Embellishment would play
either a supporting, or a co-equal role, with the center piece.
It would not overwhelm or be overdone. It would seem as if the fringe
were organic part of the piece. It would not seem like an afterthought.
If it’s primary purpose is to hide flaws, no one should notice.
Too often, designers overdo the fringe.


The Center Piece hangs from a thin, twisted Ndebele tube Strap. What are the visual
and functional purposes of the strap? What should the strap look
like? How should the strap be connected to the piece? Where should
the strap be connected to the piece? To what extent is or should
the strap be as an integral part of the piece of jewelry as art?
How does the strap define a silhouette? How does the strap make
the piece more or less satisfying?


In our piece, a Bail is connected directly to the Center Piece, and the strap
moves through it. 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,
aethestic and functional transitioning between the center piece
and the strap.

The Canvas

We have two things which serve as “Canvas”. The most obvious is the
stringing material. In this project, we use beading thread for some
parts, and a cable thread for others. The other part which serves
as “Canvas” are the woven beads which for the basis of
our Frame, and off of which we add Fringe.

The “canvas” in a piece of jewelry may be the stringing material, and how it
is worked off of. It might be another piece of beadwork, such as
a beaded base, off of which some center piece is developed. It might
be a core line of beads. It might be a piece of fabric or other
material. How does the canvas influence the interpretation of jewelry
as art? How should the canvas interact with the main piece and its
components? To what extent should it become part of the artwork
itself; and to what extent, not? Classic Art theory suggests that
the canvas should NOT be a part of the artwork at all.

What Techniques Students Need To Know Before The Workshop

The skill level required: Intermediate/Advanced. The student must be
comfortable with tubular peyote and the ndebele stitch.

Additional workshop information found here.

About Warren Feld


Artist’s Statement: 

Jewelry Designer

Director, Center for Beadwork & Jewelry Arts and www.LearnToBead.net

For Warren Feld, Jewelry Designer, beading and jewelry making endeavors have been wonderful
adventures. These adventures, over the past 25 years, have taken Warren from the basics of bead stringing and bead weaving, to wire working and silver smithing, and onward to more complex jewelry
designs which build on the strengths of a full range of technical skills and experiences.

He, along with his partner Jayden Alfre Jones, opened a small bead shop in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, about 20 years ago, and called it Land of Odds. Over time, Land of Odds evolved from a bricks and mortar store into a successful internet business —www.landofodds.com
. In the late 1990s, James and Warren opened up another bricks and
mortar bead store — Be Dazzled Beads — in a trendy neighborhood of Nashville called
Berry Hill. Together both businesses supply beaders and jewelry artists with all the supplies and parts they need to make beautiful pieces of wearable art.

In 2000, Warren founded The Center For Beadwork & Jewelry Arts (CBJA) — www.landofodds.com/beadschool. CBJA is an educational program, associated with Be Dazzled Beads in Nashville, for beaders and jewelry makers. The program approaches education from a Design Perspective. There is a strong focus here on skills development. There are requirements for sequencing the
student’s classes; that is, taking classes in a developmental order. There is a major emphasis on teaching how to make better choices when selecting beads, other parts and stringing materials, and how
to bring these altogether into a beautiful, yet functional piece of jewelry.





Posted in beadwork | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by learntobead on January 20, 2011


I entered my jewelry work in a contest called ARTISTS WANTED: A YEAR IN REVIEW. There are many judging levels to the contest. One of them is a public review. The public is asked to judge and rate the collection online. If you have the opportunity, I would appreciate if you would visit the website. At the top right corner, are a five star rating system, with 5 as the highest score. Voting ends around February 8th.

Go to:

Thanks — Warren

Posted in Contests, jewelry design | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »