Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Modernization of an Art Form

I've mentioned before how I find it disturbing when I hear other beaders say that beadweaving is no longer "in" as an art form, and that no one wants to purchase beadwoven work and it's impossible to sell beadwoven jewelry.

I don't think that the problem is the art form itself.
I mean, isn't that like saying that knitting is just too old an art form and no one will ever want knitted pieces? (The magazine aisle in my Barnes and Noble says otherwise).

I'm sure the Greeks also told Michaelangelo when he started working on David...."Hey Mike! Sculpture is sooo yesterday!".
Well, it didn't stop him and it shouldn't stop you either no matter what your art form.

It's just another part of the challenge.
Can I take an ancient technique (sewing, knitting, mosaic, metalsmithing, etc...) and create something modern, fresh?

I believe you can.
These pendants, I'm calling them Arch Pendants were created using the pattern for my La Catedral Bangle. The pattern was definitely tweaked somewhat to create the arch, but for the most part it's the same pattern.

A modern shape from an ancient technique that most definitely is not out of style.
And just for good measure, I created another bangle.
This one in shimmery copper.

That makes three of these that I currently have in my possession.
I've got plans to make more.
The beadweaving is so therapeutic with these and repetitive.
The structure is sturdy as well and they feel very architectural when worn.

I've listed the pendants in my shop, in Teal and Copper.
Also, the Copper Bangle is in there along with the Tutorial in case you're one of those artists who's all hung up on creating things using ancient techniques that you can only find in dusty books amongst other ancient writings.


  1. I am so dying to get this pattern and I love the way you morphed it! I do not think beadweaving is dying either it's just morphing with the times. And you are so rockin at it!!!!

  2. The necklaces and bangle are gorgeous-absolutely beautiful! They are most definitely an art form! I am always impressed by the skill, talent and time that goes into bead weaving jewelry. I took a class to learn how to make a cube cuff using a bead weaving technique. Four hours later, I was half way through!

  3. Beautiful... and very original....

  4. They are beautiful pieces. I've always thought that you bring a very unique and modern twist to bead weaving.

  5. I think that anything old is bound to be new again. Case in point with the knitting. I think the challenge is most definitely to use fresh color palettes and pushing the envelope in terms of style. You have updated this form beautifully and although I am not a beadist like you, I appreciate the modern twist that you put on things. You changed my mind, that's for sure!
    Enjoy the day!

  6. You are so right. Man has done nothing but re-invent the wheel and everything else since the dawn of civilization. We are supposed to evolve and your work is a fantastic example of that. I love your creations and every ancient art should be dug up and improved upon. What is life without challenges?

  7. I think you are right Marcie. Keep on making what you love and others who love it will be your buyers. Trying to make things that "will sell" is an activity that often leads nowhere, and produces work without much heart or soul. Your art has plenty of both!

  8. HELLO:-)
    I think,the situation of beadwork's sale is not that bad.It is not,that this kind of work can be considered as 'oldfashioned',or something like that...I think,main problem is in...prices.Nobody wants to 'give the hard work over',because it really is hard,even if it means pleasures for us,creating it.Simply saying:people have no money nowadays for jewels of all kind and I personally have said to myself,that I have to wait the bad times over.The good ones for this kind of ART will surely come again.You're right-it is as if to describe crocheting,or knitting as being 'oldfashioned,unneeded,unloved and unwanted'.I strongly object to such claims and no matter-I am going to bead on and on! :-)I love it,as well as Your all presented sets:-)
    Best Greetings-Halinka-