Jewelry-Making Materials: Knowing What To Know

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Materials establish the character and personality of jewelry. They contribute to understanding whether the piece is finished and successful. However, there are no perfect materials for every project. Selecting materials is about making smart, strategic choices. This means relating your materials choices to your design and marketing goals. It also frequently means having to make tradeoffs and judgment calls between aesthetics and functionality. There are three types of materials: stringing, aesthetic, and functional. Each material has three types of properties: material, physical, and chemical. Materials differ in quality and value. They differ in the associational and emotional connections which they evoke. They differ in their functional efficiency and effectiveness to lend pieces an ability to retain a shape, while at the same time providing the ability to move, drape, and flow. They differ in cost and durability. Lastly, materials may have different relationships with the designer, wearer, or viewer depending on how they’re intended to be used, and the situational or cultural contexts.

Title: Jewelry-Making Materials: Knowing What To Know
Author(s): Warren Feld
Topic: jewelry design
Publication Year: 2020
Institution: Warren Feld Jewelry
Discipline: art theory, design studies
Relevant Country(s): United States

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