Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Lately I've been rearranging the studio and thus going through all my materials (and this includes all my findings and beads for making jewelry from my polymer clay components). Beads were one of the first things I'd tried making ( after buttons) when exploring polymer clay years back and I did a bit of experimentation. I really don't lean towards the shiny or the 'bling' type beads, I prefer instead more earthy, natural and irregular to shiny, bejeweled and perfectly matched. So some of my favorites have been imitations of what one would find in nature and drill a hole in it to make a bead.
Beads are one of the oldest forms of self ornamentation on our planets. The newest discovery of ancient beads that I am aware of are made of Nassarius shells with holes drilled in them and estimated to be 75,000 years old, found in a cave in Africa. As you can see, beads have certainly stood the test of time and we are still adoring them.
But lately some more glamorous beads have been catching my eye. Such as those by Cyndie of BreathtakingBeadzz. Cyndie makes beautiful millefiore beads and then uses them to make all kinds of small treasures so you can take this wonderland of floral bouquets with you wherever you go. Check out her shop to see key chains, cell phone charms, earrings, focal beads, pens, bookmarks, and more. She has hundreds to choose from so you are sure to find something for yourself or a gift or both! You can find her canes for sale there in florals, butterflies,bees, hummingbirds, dragonflies, ladybugs etc if you ambitious enough to want to try to decorate something yourself with them. She also has a whole rainbow of Swarovski crystals to match with her stunning beads, so you can design your own piece. That's one of my favorites there, with butterfly's and colorful leaves.
Here's a new shop I've discovered called CreativeSpiritToo . She offers some very colorful beads and focals that are totally different, very artistic, modernistic and impressionistic! Many of the master painters must be her inspiration because I can see many of them echoing from the past in her modern renditions.
I love these beads, I think they would make a stunning pair of earrings, perhaps paired with some Lapis Lazuli? I think they would go with just about anything, especially anything denim. I might just have to snag these for myself, as of late I have been trying to collect little bits and pieces of other polymer clay artists work, just to put into my studio, and be surrounded by them, if not in body, but in spirit.
And finally, last but certainly not least in my beading quest, one of my favorite all time bead makers, who is a Bead Star in her own right, Valerie Aharoni who makes the most interesting lentil beads I've ever seen. I still can't figure out her secret on some of these, all I can say is that they are entrancing, they make you want to look at them and study them for hours, even if you don't figure out how she did it! Take for instance this faux bois Lentil, I love the colors and the texture is amazing. Very organic and peaceful to look at, and would make a stunning focal bead paired with even the simplest of companion beads. Valerie's style is different than any other polymer clay bead artists I've ever seen and I'm so glad to have discovered her shop and the great talent that lies within.
Her shop is called , VAharoni and is full of wonderful beads, and most recently of bead sets that you can buy and use to make her award winning necklace that was shown on the front page of Bead Star magazine, a new magazine that features only Prize winning beaded jewelry. Valerie took first place and one look through her shop will show you why.
She has been very busy making many bead sets in a whole rainbow of colors just so others, perhaps you? can duplicate this intriguing, but fairly simple ( once you have her beads) necklace. The directions can be found in the Bead Star magazine and are very easy to follow, even for someone like me who has only made a half dozen beaded projects in her life!
I have collected a couple of Valerie's bracelets, but am thinking I really need to add one or two or more of her delicious beads to my collection and maybe get up the nerve one day to do it justice in my own jewelry piece!