Why is beading so popular?

Susannah Ravenswing absolutely hit the nail on the head! Beads are a
part of the pallette. Most metalworkers love their tools and , in an
artistic sense, the materials used constitute part of that toolbox.
Beads are just another, often quite beautiful, tool used in
achieving a particular effect for the finished piece. As metalsmiths
we tend to use surface texture to an advantage. Beads also can be
utilized to achieve surface textures depending on their use.
Properly applied, they can be very similar to granulation in a
textural sense.

I, too, have run into the elitist notions that, if a piece isn’t
made from stones or materials of a certain price range, they simply
don’t qualify as being worthy of being looked at. Balderdash!! With
capital “B”! My tool box overfloweth with a variety of materials,
tools, colors and the like. I like copper. I’ve found amazingly
beautiful stones in a meager gravel pile while shoveling the stuff
into a driveway. There is very much to be said for the specialists
in certain techniques and materials, and I commend them highly for
their expertise. But, as an artist, I find it insulting for someone
to judge my work based solely on the price tag of the component
pieces. Beads can be a vital tool in achieving a particular effect.
They deserve their due respect, as do beadworkers. Viva la bead!


Hi and holiday greetings to all,

I started in silversmithing and have moved over to weaving and
beading. I love the range of colors and regularity that Delica beads
provide. I have been studying the art of beading for almost two
years at Amazon.Com University and I still have a long way to go.
Some many cultures, so little time! :slight_smile: I too have found that there
is little regard for the time and care that must be invested in
beading projects - it’s just a bunch of beads so why should it be so
expensive, right? However, you would never see people guessing how
much a yard of material costs when buying clothes, or a pound of
apples when buying a slice of pie. Actually, beading is very complex
and entails knowledge of thread selection, thread care, thread
tension, bead sizes, bead shapes, bead types, bead materials, bead
weight, bead finishes, needle sizes and types, and sometimes
“hi-tech” tools such as looms - all in addition to technique and
pattern. Well, it’s not what you have but how you use it. For this
reason I use the color wheel, silver weave, and my computer to come
up with unusual pieces. The sky’s the limit: To go where no beader
has gone before! Keep shining, D


I had a giggle when you referred to “hi-tech” tools such as looms -
my loom is a couple of dowel rods, a pair of pine boards, and some
springs. I’ve never tried a Mirrix, but my jumble o’ scraps works
great! :slight_smile:

What is silver weave? Are you weaving your beads on silver? Please
tell us more about this!

Jessee Smith (whose studio sunlight has been blocked by the two feet
of snow in the window wells) www.silverspotstudio.com