How to Make Beaded Jewelry
When learning how to make beaded jewelry or other unique trendy beaded jewelry, there are three schools of thought. Each one of the three approaches is based on specific assumptions about the process, skills, abilities and concepts the jewelry designer will require.
Every jewelry artist and designers has a prescribed set of goals and based on them they select or integrate one or more of the different approaches when designing.
Probably the most followed approach is the “Craft Based Approach” where specific steps are followed in order to complete a predefined project.
This is also known as the step-by-step approach taught when you are learning how to make handmade beaded jewelry. There is no allowance for deviation from the set instructions and creativity is restricted.
The instructions do not offer no room to make changes. This approach is most often taught in bead shops or craft stores. They are also the basis for many of the “how to books” and kits sold today.
When you have some difficulty, you usually have to retrace your steps until you find the problem. This is a straight forward approach that can teach you some of the basic techniques without the pressure of creating a unique work of art. The emphasis is only in completing the project.
The Craft Based Approach believes that everyone is capable of following specific steps and that jewelry is a craft that anyone can do.
There is no concern with functionality or how each piece works together.
Creativity is limited by the rigid set of instructions that you have to follow.
The Fine Arts Approach
This concept is usually followed by the fine art schools and community college jewelry fabrication classes. It is based on the assumption that everyone needs to learn set of techniques that can be used in any jewelry making situation.
Artistic expression can not be learned by following pre-determined set of rules as in the step-by-step approach used when learning how to make beaded jewelry.
In the art approach art theory is emphasized and it is applied at each stage of the process. You are free to allow the process to take you in a variety of direction, thus promoting creativity. Integrating the principles and elements of design such as the color wheel
Some of the concerns with this approach is that the extra focus on the art theories lead students away from the functionality of the jewelry piece. Many of the works that come from this approach are visually stunning but not wearable.
The important part of the Art Approach, is that beauty s the ultimate goal The artist is free to discover their work without being encumbered by precise set of rules or patterns.
The Art Approach is based on the following assumptions:
Everyone has creative talents that can be highlighted with the basic theoretical knowledge.
Process takes precedence and focuses on beauty.
Jewelry as art is seen as a form of wearable art.
An acceptable outcome is one that is beautiful and appealing. It doesn’t matter what specific steps you went through to create your jewelry.
The Art and Design Approach – How to Make Beaded Jewelry
This approach is followed in schools of architecture and design Emphasis is placed in teaching design principles and their applications. The principles are then applied to all different art forms regardless of the medium.
Trendy and handmade beaded jewelry is analyzed by the notion that it functions in a 3-dimensional space, particularly sensitive to position, volume and scale.
Jewelry must stand on its own while interacting with the person wearing. It moves with the body and highlights the wearer’s personality and the environment in which it’s worn. Jewelry serves many purposes, from adornment to psychological and emotional keepsakes.
The Art and Design Approach combines the step-by-step concepts of the Craft Approach with the well defined set of art rules of the Art Approach, they include and approach to learning from a developmental perspective.
The focus is on the process of construction, so a lot of attention is paid to all the parts, and how they should be chosen, how they will be used, and how they may or may not be integrated within the whole.
The jewelry artist is seen as a multi-functional skilled professional. The professional jewelry artist/designer has to be able to manage artistic design, functionality, and the interaction of the piece with the individual as well as that person's environment.
The Art and Design Approach is seen as “Jewelry as Art" and appreciated as it’s own discipline and its defined as it is worn.
The Art and Design Approach is based on the following assumptions:
Everyone’s is creative and they can express it as they learn how to make beaded jewelry. It is process that supports their intuition and ability to accomplish their designs as they learn how to make beaded jewelry
What matters is that any work is judged as a work of art long with how it will be worn.
Jewelry is understood as “art” as it is worn. It takes into consideration the wearer’s own body, fashion style and psychological/emotional underpinnings.
Learning how to make beaded jewelry following this approach may seems challenging, yet learning some of the basics can bring your jewelry designs to a whole new level.
Read ahead tto learn more about working with metal to create art jewerly.
The Arts and Crafts Approach - Influences on How to Make Beaded Jewelry
William Morris founded the Arts and Crafts Movement after being overwhelmed by the blatant, over-designed style of the Victorian era.
The Arts and Crafts movement place emphasize on the execution of beautiful design by a skilled artisan from start to finish. Handiwork with its slight flaws or asymmetries was supported in Arts and Crafts style.
Individual works ws highlighted and envisioned. A new aesthetic sensibility was pursued.
Specifically in terms of jewelry design, the Arts and Crafts movement provided more of a philosophy than an over-arching style. Many works were designed by one artist and then passed on to others for actual production, it is often hard to credit a specific artist with the creation of a piece of work. Many of the work went unsigned, as well.
Though it's difficult to pinpoint an exact style indicative of Arts and Crafts jewelry, there were common themes used by most, a great deal of the jewelry was inspired by nature and organic forms. Leaves, flowers and birds were common motifs.
The materials chosen to create the pieces were also a unifying factor in Arts and Crafts jewelry. Many designers today still take this approach in their jewelry making.
As in any discipline, learning different theories, philosophies and techniques will no doubt enhance your work as you learn how to make beaded jewerly.
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