An eclectic blog about beads, beading and beyond

Friday, August 31, 2012

Beaders and beads and predator-proof fences - what do they have in common?

At the end of each financial year (June) I review the sales of items (patterns and jewellery) in my Endangered collection items. These are items I have designed to create talk about the beauty of the world's endangered species and their struggles for survival. 10% of sales each tax year in the collection are donated to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (Australia).

This year beads and beaders have helped to purchase two metres of a five kilometre predator-proof fence for the Australian Black-flank rock wallaby is Dax's donation to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2011/2012. Thanks to everyone who supported this possibility.

To read about this and previous years - link here

In celebration of this year's donation here's some of the Endangered collection pieces. They can be made to order or you can make your own using one of my patterns.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wearability and the 'wow' factor - do your designs have it?

Wearable or not? From
You've just finished your latest beading design and you're delighted with it.  It might be wacky, fun, inspirational, avant garde, highly fashionable or just different but in your delight you're convinced it has a certain 'wow' factor. But, if you decide to enter it in a beading contest judges are likely to be concerned with another 'w' factor -  the 'wearablity' factor.  Could you wear it? Would you wear it? How will it feel to wear it?

 'Wearability' is the focus of this week's blog and it is the 7th blog in my series on criteria in beading competitions. If you are entering your beadwork in a jewelry competition you may want to 'wow' the judges but a key question they will ask is, 'Can you wear it?'. A deceptively simple question until I began to muse about it for this blog.

What makes jewelry wearable? I have a necklace I made some time ago that 'wowed' me when I made it. However, I've never managed to wear it for a whole day. The wonderful turquoise and vintage glass beads that 'wow' me are so heavy when strung together that wearing it for any length of time is just plain uncomfortable and it begins to irritate me. Musing further reminded me of the various non-wearable pieces of jewelry I owned or had made. The Cellini spiral necklace whose crystals scratched me, the assymetrical fringed amulet bag that always hung off-centre, the silver bracelet whose clasp pinched me because the bracelet was too tight, the necklace whose chain made my skin itch, etc, etc.

So, based on my experience of the non-wearable in my jewelry box here's some questions that might help you reflect on the extent that those 'wow' designs are also 'wearable' designs.
  • Weight - is it too heavy, too light or just right?
  • Fit - does it drape well or is it too stiff or rigid? Is it too tight or too loose or just right?
  • Movement - can you move in it or does it restrict your movement in some way? 
  • Safety - do any components scratch, prick, pinch or prode you or others?
  • Does anything irritate the skin or rub uncomfortably against it?
Perhaps at the end of the day these all boil down to the 'comfort' and irritation question that started my musings -  can you/could you wear your 'wow' design all day every day without irritation of any kind?

To help you muse further about wearablity you might enjoy following the fun links below to some jewelry that has the 'wow' but ? wearability factor.

Dax Designs - now on Artisan Co-op