Speak to me, beads!
If you ask me where I get my inspiration from when making jewelry, I can’t tell you more than some beads just have a mind of their own. Whatever I start out trying to make, it will eventually turn up just the way the beads deem fit. So I usually start my beading sessions with an open mind and a “what do you want to be today, beads?” attitude.
While doing this, I’ve discovered that different beads have different personalities.
The Japanese Miyuki beads for example are extremely docile. The Miyuki company uses high tech to get beads of exactly the same shape and size in each batch. To me they’re like little soldiers, just waiting for you to give the directive to where they should go. Beading with Miyuki then becomes almost mathematical and scientific as you can make great jewellery just by combining different sizes of Miyuki beads.
Like this ruffled peyote bracelet for example:
I also work with Czech glass beads, which to me are fun and carefree and innovative. There are the simple round Czech beads that are similar to Miyuki, just larger, so then they’re very good for learning new techniques. But there’s also a slew of weirdly shaped beads, with holes in weird places, so that they really force you to stretch your imagination and come up with original designs.
This is one pretty example of such a combination of Czech beads, designed by Alex Argaï with Tila beads (the square ones), SuperDuo beads (the rhomboid ones) and Twin beads (the brick shaped ones).
Also in my bead stash I have a large collection of sparkly beads. Whether Swarovskis, Chinese crystals or faceted glass beads, they’re the blingey, “look-at-me”, “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” beads. They are quite shy, until they catch a ray of light and then your jewellery completely comes alive.
I love watching this bracelet as I go up the subway electric stairs. Because there are lights set at equal intervals along the way, the light caught in the bracelet changes and fluctuates constantly, it’s simply mesmerizing.
I can sometimes spend hours on end browsing through the beads shops on Etsy, there are just so many wonderful treasures out there. The latest addition from such a research expedition were these pretty lovely lab created fire opal 3mm beads.
There is of course a whole lot more of other beads out in world that I haven’t talked about, but maybe we’ll do a part 2 on this post sometime. It’s a long and exciting story after all.