MIXING MEDIA / MIXING TECHNIQUES IN JEWELRY DESIGN: Some Do’s And Don’ts
For some jewelry designs, the incorporation of mixed media or mixed techniques can have a synergistic effect — increasing the appeal and/or functionality of the piece better than any one media or technique alone. It can feel more playful and experimental and fun to mix media or techniques. But there may be adverse effects, as well. Each media or technique will have its own structural and support requirements — that is, its own special characteristics and its own philosophy of technique. Each will react differently to various physical forces impacting the piece when worn. So it becomes more difficult for the designer to successfully coordinate and integrate more than one media or technique.
MIXED MEDIA / MIXED TECHNIQUES
It’s my belief that you cannot combine two different media or two different techniques to make a piece of jewelry without letting one of them predominate over the other.
Whether combining fiber with beads or metal with beads or paint and sculpture with beads, or braiding with beads or metalwork with glasswork or glass beads with gemstone beads, it is difficult to have a successful, satisfying outcome, without letting one of the media or technique be dominant over the other.
Each media and technique has its own set of structural rules and requirements — that is, its own special characteristics and its own philosophy of technique. Each interacts with light and shadow very differently; that is, the materials and techniques associated with a particular media reflect, absorb and refract light differently. Each has different problems with and responses to physical mechanical forces impacting the piece internally and externally with different stresses and strains. Each requires different strategies for managing tradeoffs between aesthetics and functionality. Each triggers differing responses by wearers and viewers as to sensory…