Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Bead Maker as Jewelry Designer

I find being a jewelry designer working with my own beads somewhat overwhelming...does anyone else??? Think about it... when you buy a set of quality, artisan-made lampworked beads and sit down to design something fabulous with them, you are limited to that set of beads plus whatever you pull from your stash (or run to the store to buy!).

But when you make the beads yourself and you need one more...or a bigger size... or something with more texture...or stripes...or dots... you just go make it! Now to a jewelry designer, this might sound like heaven - but to a bead maker, it probably sounds like spending a whole lot of time chasing your tail.

You know you'll never use all those beads...but, better make it just in case. Take my last custom jewelry order. Would you believe I made 37 (!!!) unnecessary beads to make that bracelet and earrings? And in the end, I had to fight the urge to make a few more!

Now, the first part of that 37 was my fault. I made a set once the colors had been decided and I liked them. I knew I could make a bracelet I would love. But I'm NOT the customer! And I really couldn't see a big clunky bracelet like I like on the arm of a 16 - year - old.

So I worked smaller. Once I started working smaller, I realized I would need A LOT more beads than I usually need for a bracelet. And then I decided to see how interesting I could make tiny beads....something I NEVER do. Scale is as important to any artist as any other element and my scale is BIG! But I really liked the challenge of doing this and used many of the tiny and medium sized beads in the final project.

So what do you do with all 37 left -over beads? Why, you break 'em up into sets and see if they strike the fancy of any other jewelry designers out there!

See you back here tomorrow with another take on custom work.

Comments [Original comments edited to remove SPAM]
Maybeads said...
I don't make a lot of jewelry, but I can totally see where you're coming from! I make about 6 beads to finally get a good earring pair. I remember you posting pictures of the finished bracelet and it turned out wonderfully - now you need to find something to do with all those pretty leftover beads!


CreekHiker said...

This is a test...only a test...

CreekHiker said...

Test # 2

CreekHiker said...

Test #3