Monday, December 29, 2008

Best of the ABS - Seeds of Invention

On September 3rd, Lynn shared some inspiration for stretching your beading budget with seed beads.

Many jewelry designers start out in the beginning of their learning process using seed beads and then somehow gradually move away from seed beads in their designs as they begin to use lampwork, ceramic, polymer clay and other kinds of art beads. But there are many ways that colorful, fun and simple seed beads can fit into a sophisticated jewelry design and work well with art beads as the finishing touch.

This design by Lorelei Eurto uses a Humblebead's chrysanthemum bead, wire, metal chain and seed beads combined with metal charms. The seed beads add texture, color and a lighthearted touch to the design. The tone and matte finish of the seed beads works perfectly with the warm metal and focal bead colors, and there's something very attractive about all those tiny bead shapes in a strand like this.

This Lotus Flower Bracelet signature cuff bracelet design with Heather's lotus flower art bead six-hole divider combines seed beads with crystals, pearls and stones. Beautiful colors, totally compatible with a great jewelry design and using seed beads blended with an art bead spacer to make a unified color statement that's linear and balanced.

I've been doing some reading about the history of crafts and found out about a designer named Ramona Solberg, a legendary groundbreaker in jewelry design from the 1960's who created a series of this style of necklace using strands of various shimmery colors of seed beads combined onto wire like the one pictured at the left. It's almost structural, and the colors and textures are really unique.

One of the very best things about seed beads is that they are easily available, come in multitudes of rainbow colors, in glossy and matte finishes, and they are very inexpensive. And that leaves you more money to invest in your art beads and special finishing items!

Here is a trellis bracelet tutorial by Heather on her blog that shows how to use seed beads to create your clasp for a bracelet. Let's add versatile to the list of descriptions for seed beads.

Stretching your art bead budget using colorful seed beads is a very good thing!

1 comment:

Lori Anderson Designs said...

Wow, Ramona's necklace is just wow! Actually, everyone's work is terrific!!!