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
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!