HOW TO BEAD A ROGUE ELEPHANT The Musings Of A Jewelry Designer:

Warren Feld
20 min readJun 12

Jewelry brings our desires into existence.

The jewelry designer collaborates with assumptions, expectations, values and perceptions the universe presents us with to make good things happen.

Jewelry design is not about making money off of people’s hopes and dreams. It is about creating a story-telling vehicle which triggers a self-realization or self-actualization among both designer and client. Triggers this, whether that story follows a road map, or more likely follows an iterative, back and forth process involving a lot of communication between designer and client (real or abstract).

Jewelry creates a type of foil: You look at the piece and ask yourself Who would I be without it?

Jewelry entices one to wear or purchase, by continuing to foster questioning:

Is what I think is true?

If true, how likely is that to happen?

If likely to happen, how important is this to me?

How You Are Reflected Back In Your Own Work

A piece of jewelry, so designed, is an object of beauty and functionality. But it is more than that. Jewelry is a unique form of artistic expression. It is not stationary as if hung like a painting in a museum. It has a different type of relationship with the wearer or viewer. It is meant to be worn on the body. It moves with the person. It adjusts positions as the person walks, sits, runs, turns, bends, maneuvers. It relates to clothing and hair styles and body shapes and sizes. It flows through many contexts and situations. Jewelry is expressive. Relational. Both an object and, more importantly, an intent.

It took me a long time after I got started to figure all this out.

I made things to match clothing. To fit into different occasions and events. I got very matchy-matchy. In fact, too matchy-matchy where things I designed were tight sets of necklace, bracelet, earrings. I tried to fit every client into my particular designs.

I did not realize that jewelry stands out because it has something to say about its context — not only about me. Jewelry represents a commitment to a conversation — between designer and self, designer and client, and less directly but no less importantly, designer and all the various audiences of that client. Jewelry has…

Warren Feld

Beading and jewelry making have been wonderful adventures, from custom work, production work, and teaching. *Design is about the ability to make smart choices.