She teaches exclusively at our Philadelphia event, along with additional jewelry art events across the country. Jean has always had a passion for art, and she is particularly fond of creating enameled and mixed media pieces. The workshops she is leading at Bead Fest Philadelphia feature pieces that are colorful, energetic and timeless. Seriously, her pieces are always in style!
Jewelry Jabber with Jean Van Brederode
Tell us about your design style.
“I love all things jewelry and enamel, especially if it involves unusual styles and color combinations!”
What is your absolute favorite technique to work in and why?
“Crackle enamel is my current favorite technique. I love to take it to its limits!”
What sets your workshops a part from others who teach similar techniques?
“I always pride myself in creating art jewelry that is set apart from other enamelist’s work. My goal has always been to create a totally unique look. Having been trained as a teacher and also loving my craft combine to make my classes enjoyable and worthwhile. I want my students to feel totally comfortable with my workshops, and I love it when they return again because they enjoyed the experience.”
Do you have a muse, or are you inspired to design pieces for a certain type of man/woman? What kind of person wears your jewelry?
“Alexander Calder has always inspired me because he created out-of-the-ordinary jewelry from plain wire and unusual found objects like broken glass and parts of reflectors. On that note, confident, fearless, trend-setting women would be attracted to my style of jewelry.”
Do you have any favorite jewelry trends right now?
“Handmade chains seem to be trendy these days, so I have been teaching how to make chains along with my pendants.”
Does the city or community you live in impact or inspire your designs?
“I live in a small, quiet neighborhood in a wooded area with lots of birds and woodland creatures that inspire nature-oriented figures and colors.”
Have you picked up any goods from the Bead Fest Expo that you’ve used in future work(s)?
“I have two favorite purchases from Bead Fest. The first is a bangle press that I have used in many different ways to add an unusual touch to many of my creations. The other is a set of amethyst “solar crystals” that presented a challenge to set with enamel pieces because they are so fragile.”
What makes Bead Fest different from similar events?
“Bead Fest is like coming home to many students because returning year after year to the same venue creates a familiar and welcoming atmosphere for learning new things.”
Have you ever had an epic fail while creating a piece of jewelry? It’s okay. No one is perfect!
“Yes, many failures. I love experimenting with enamel, and it just comes with the territory. My best instructor ever told me that there’s a reason you have a trash can – don’t be afraid to use it! Letting go of the fear of failure adds so much to the creative process and leaves an open door to so many possibilities.”
In addition to creating jewelry art, do you practice any other art forms? If so, tell us about it!
“This may sound odd, but I think teaching is an art form. You never know who is going to show up and what they will bring in terms of prior knowledge and personality to the class. It’s always a surprise! No matter how well you plan, you have to be flexible and open to change based on the personality of the student group. It’s a happy challenge to adapt your project to the mix of individuals who end up sitting in front of you.”
Learn mixed media and enameling techniques with Jean this August!
But hurry! Chances are you aren’t the only one eyeing that workshop, so register and commit to learning alongside Jean today!
Are you attending Bead Fest Philadelphia? If the answer is YES (and we really hope it is), tell us what you are most looking forward to at this year’s event. Maybe it’s the fun and trendy $5 Make & Takes. Maybe it’s the chance to meet your favorite instructors, exhibitors AND Interweave’s Editorial Team. It might even be all about introducing someone you love to the art of making jewelry. Whatever the reason may be, we want to hear about it in the comments below!