Art Deco – then and now

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The most common question is ~ ‘What is ‘Art Deco’? Well, the most straightforward answer would be ‘decorative Art’.  But let me elaborate….

The term ‘Art Deco’ stems from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes, held in Paris. The show was organized by an association of French artists known as, La Societe des Artistes Decorateurs (society of decorator artists). Most of it’s founders were previously involved in ‘Art Nouveau’, a style that, with it’s fluid motifs, contrasts sharply with ‘Art Deco’.

The structure of ‘Art Deco’ is founded on geometric shapes which drew equally on the faceted architectural forms of Babylon, Assyria, Ancient Egypt, and Aztec Mexico.             To be specific, Art Deco designs are characterized by trapezoidal, zigzagged, and triangular shapes, chevron patterns, and sweeping curves.

Art Deco styling was enthusiastically adopted by artists all over the world – in architecture*, interior design, poster art, furniture, jewelry, textiles, fashion and industrial design. It is also very evident in the visual arts, such as paintings, and graphics.

Initially a luxury style, using costly materials like silver, crystal, ivory, jade and lacquer, after the Depression it also used cheaper and mass-produced materials like chrome, plastics, lacquer, inlaid wood, aluminum, and stainless steel.  ‘Art Deco’ also introduced exotic items like shark-skin, and zebra-skin.

Bold, bright colors and metallics rose fast in popularity.                                             During the roaring 20s lively energetic colors began to symbolize the prosperity of the time. Hues like canary yellow, peacock blue, emerald green, brilliant red, and royal purple were all the rage. Since metallic finishes instantly add Glitz and Glamor, and imply wealth. Silver, Gold, and metallic blues were used in abundance, and represented the prosperity of the time.

I recently found acrylic, C-shaped beads, in metallic hues, and instantly had a necklace design in mind, that needed to be made. Here it is….

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I combined the beads with gold chain, gold links (oval and rectangular), and ‘Charlotte’ beads. Due to the nature of the acrylic beads, this necklace is delightfully lightweight, while it still makes a statement, will get you noticed!

As you saw in the ‘opening picture’, I did make 3 more necklaces using these beads. This time I stuck to 2 colors, making the pieces more modest. Here is a better look…

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I hope you enjoyed this post!                                                                                  ’til next time! I hope I get to welcome you back!                                                    ~Tina @ Kristabella Weston

Here’s a little tidbit for my neighbors..                                                                          *In Missouri, the best example of the Great Depression and its effect on Art Deco construction is the Kansas City Power and Light Building (completed 1931). Other examples in Kansas City include the Municipal Auditorium, the Jackson County Courthouse, and City Hall.

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