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

Warren Feld
18 min readJun 2

Money. Power. Prestige. Position. Reputation. Legitimacy. I had all these when I was in health care. And as much as I hated to work in the health care field, I could not give these up. But I had to transition out of health care. I hated it.

My first attempt, though I’ll tell you right up front, was not successful. I was a health policy planner for the state of Tennessee, 25th highest paid state government official at the time.

Before coming to Tennessee, I had been an assistant professor at Ole Miss. I was in charge of the graduate program in health administration. As part of that role, I wrote a career guide for my students. It was very thorough and comprehensive. I submitted it to Prentice Hall Publishers. Out of that, HOW HIGH CAN YOU FLY hit the store shelves in bookstores across the country.

Now in Nashville, I was wondering if I could somehow leverage the book to get out of health care. I tried various speakers’ bureaus, but my one book to my name experience was insufficient for them to book me. So, in short, I set up a career counseling office in a suite of offices in the better part of town and advertised for clients. Concurrently, I wrote a monthly column for the Nashville Business Journal called CareerWorks in the hopes of attracting clients. I saw clients in the evenings and on weekends.

Secured clients, but calculated that I could probably only replace half my salary I was getting from the state. Golden handcuffs. I wasn’t sufficiently ready to transition.

Jewelry Designers Must Be Able To Manage Transitions

A piece of jewelry is a series of sections, each integral to the piece, which must flow together visually and functionally. For example, transitioning from the strap to the centerpiece. How the jewelry designer manages the transitions between each section will determine to a great degree the success of the piece. Sometimes the transition involves color, pattern and texture. Sometimes it is thematic. Sometimes compositional such as balance, distribution and harmony. Other times it is functional such as how the piece lays or feels or moves with the person as the person moves.

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.