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What's new in various product categories; monthly update.

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2011 Predictions: Jewelry

Big, bold, and personalized, one-of-a-kind creations.

by Jill Mackay and Kristal Wick (January 17, 2011)

I. Jill MacKay

(Note: Jill has designed a wide variety of jewelry supplies for various manufacturers and distributors. Her latest line can be seen at the CHA show in the booth -- #439 Ė of a new exhibitor, Silver Creek Leather.)

Big color-block styles in active-wear fashion trends call for the bold use of jewelry with lots of bright colors. With color block designs, bold hues appear side by side, intensifying the eye-catching effect of each individual color. The mixing and merging of colors can occur in the garment or accessory. The look is easy to achieve with a juxtaposition of accessories in bold shapes and bright solid hues.

Pieces made to wear (and define) active lifestyles are full of movement and encourage the use of leather, which is durable and being jazzed up with all sorts of metal and beaded decoration. Long bracelets that wrap multiple times around the wrist and forearm suggest stacked bangles look, which continues to be popular. The combination of pure decoration and sentiment suggests anything goes in mixed-media jewelry making. The combination of many different metals in one piece with beads and chain is a strong look. Stamped metals along with a widening choice of stamping tools and textured hammers are big as metal smithing continues to gain more and more active practitioners.

Long, multi-strand necklaces with lots of fringe appeal and layers step up in popularity. Accessories that relate to one another (as in your jewelry and your shoes and or purse) shows style, intellect and creativity. Eco-sustainable materials and sources continue to gather steam. Speaking of steam: those of you out there who found out about Steampunk late and are still trying to make it a happening trend -- forget about it! Itís been done and itís done, over, kaput, period.

Technology continues to grow at lightning speed offering us varieties of ways to connect and share techniques, find materials, and locate places to shop. MASS MINGLING is the happening, world-changing mega-trend. There's now an all-encompassing information layer on top of real-world daily life, that (especially when mobile and location-based), turns "connecting" into 24/7 and "on the go," further blurring the boundaries between online and offline. Follow designers and bead companies, and receive updated blogs, video lessons, and latest coupons real time. Group buying and opinions matter and now you can get all of it in an instant. 

There should be an app for staying on top of all the new ways to do things; though thereís nothing like walking a trade show for keeping your figure on the pulse of a category or an industry.

II. Kristal Wick

(Note: Kristal Wick is a noted designer, author, and teacher, and is now Editor of BeadingDaily.com, produced by Interweave.)

My favorite top 2011 trend: Customization is the new black

Currently, beaders and jewelry makers are more sophisticated in their design styles, and want to make each creation a ďsignatureĒ piece.No longer content with merely re-producing cookie-cutter kit jewelry, todayís jewelry-makers want to personalize each detail and explore embellishment options. Sassy Silkies, my signature silk beads, used to be available through a major supplier. Now, due to popular demand in the market, more crafters want to venture into making their own customized fabric beads, and Iím thrilled to teach them through my new DVDs coming this spring (Jewelry Making with Handmade Beads, Crystals, Resin, and More and Mixed Media: Beaded Bracelets with Fabric Beads, Crystals, Wire, and More (produced by Interweave), and personal workshops. Itís exciting to encourage and inspire creativity at this level because every creation is one-of-a-kind with unlimited design possibilities.

(Note: The previous issue of CLN contained predictions by noted designs Margot Potter and Katie Hacker. To read their thoughts on jewelry-making this year, click CLN Archives in the right-hand column of the main page.)




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