Beads on board

Beads may not belong to “textile”, strictly speaking, but I count them in here anyway, as they are a different component than metal.

I find it difficult to resist buying beads that I think would go well with metal, and I also look out for vintage necklaces with nice beads to use – as long as I don’t feel I’d ruin a great necklace, of course!

I have been sketching on some ways of using beads, focusing on shapes.

Some ideas look great on paper but don’t work in practice. For example, the effect of weight make them hang differently, or proportions don’t look right. I park them and trust that if the basic idea is good enough, I’ll find a way to deal with it later. I believe that good ideas don’t lose their value over time, and that the most persistent ones will come to life one day or another, after they’ve matured.

14 thoughts on “Beads on board

  1. Fun to watch the sketches come to life in your mind’s eye and skilled hands. Thanks for laying bare the process your pieces go through, including a period of sitting, waiting to take shape.

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    • There are more and longer periods of sitting & waiting than I would like to admit (!), but also, the pieces don’t run away, and some ideas don’t survive the test of time. I’m glad I’m in jewellery making, and not in big scale sculpturing, I don’t need much space!

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    • Yes, do go ahead, what’s stopping you?! It’s so rewarding and you can make it as simple or complicated as you want, up to you. If this can give you some bit of inspiration, I’d be really happy!


  2. What you say about good ideas makes a lot of sense. It’s fun to see the paper/bead combinations, like mock-ups – very cool. I like the finished earring in the last photo very much – is the wire at the top? Probably. And the gold one with the tiny antique beads – beautiful. I have some of those beads. Yes, irresistible!

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    • I’ve learned it’s a good idea to make mock-ups first. It’s quick and can give a fairly realistic idea of what it will come to look like.
      Last photo, I guess you mean the two copper pieces w/ round purple beads? It is meant to hang in this direction, with the ear wire on top, yes. Not pleased with them, though, so they’re on hold for now.
      And the tiny beads! I got them from one of my father’s aunts when I was a child, I was far too young to work with such small things, and am now SO grateful that I never threw them away, all these years! (The defence speech of a hoarder! 😉 )

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      • I said gold, but the copper ones, yes. I like them both but understand your own view must be taking in a lot more than mine. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with keeping things for a long time. I love objects and like to collect but also like to get rid of things, to have a clean slate. But it’s really good that you kept those beads! I sent you an email about old beads – I hope you see it.

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