Wintersemester 2014/2015, BA/MA Textil- und Flächendesign
Beads Please project focuses on the beadwork. It explores traditional beadwork techniques and challenges to re-think their application possibilities.
Since the appearance beads have been used as accessories. They were worn on a body or were incorporated in clothes or home textiles. The functionality of beadwork becomes clearer once taking a closer look at the history of beads. There is a wide range of fascinating designs throughout the world - organically changed and evolved within human history- through which various communities have developed a system to communicate a person‘ s origin, religion or status in a society through the color, pattern and materials of the beads. The whole process from bead-making until beadwork designing reflects fundamental social and cultural changes as well as aesthetic values of its origin. After recognising beadwork‘s richness and complexity, one will understand its main function: a piece of beadwork is always a storyteller. This project is searching for a way to translate a story of our time.
Beads Please aims to comprehend each step of beadwork. Therefore, bead making is a very important part of the creative process. Every single bead is hand-made using ceramics and glass-blowing techniques. Afterward they are arranged into patterns following construction methods of traditional beadwork techniques. Inspired by spherical patterns in nature and architectural and experimental designs of Issey Miyake the unique image of his craft was created. Experimentation with tension of a thread and variations in bead sizes created unexpected and exciting results. Regular beadwork patterns were transformed to three-dimensional surfaces.
The outcome of this project is a collection of garments that combines experimental three-dimensional beadwork details. I have intentionally avoided establishing a straightforward definition for the produced pieces in order to encourage a rather open interpretation of what they aim and the function of these garments are. They are not accessories, because their shapes and placements on a body indicate parts of a wearable garments. And yet, it is not textiles in a sense that we define it. They are flexible and yet have fixed shapes. All pieces are not meant for a practical implementation, but they rather aim to outline technical and aesthetic possibilities of beadwork techniques.
Special Thanks to Wiebke Matthes and Ralf Reichert from Glastechnische Werkstatt in TU BERLIN