Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fit to Print Review: Stringing Magazine Spring 2007

The latest issue of Stringing Magazine is out on bookshelves now! It's the spring issue, and I think the spring theme is very apparent with this magazine full of refreshing and lively designs. As you may have heard, Stringing is now going to be published four times a year, instead of its previous two. That is twice the opportunity for its beady inspiration! You can now subscribe to it, which is also new, so you never miss an issue.

It has some great features like book reviews and handy tips and tricks. The website also has free online exclusive projects. The projects in Stringing are in the intermediate range, and most have great visual complexity and incorporate exquisite art beads and unusual stringing materials and techniques. The projects don't use complicated beadworking techniques, but rather focus on innovative stringing and wirework solutions with the finest materials. The majority of the magazine is necklaces, each with detailed step by step techniques. There are several pages full of bracelet and earring designs as well: an excellent display of eye candy!

I think my favorite new feature is the "beads to buy" spread in the back of the magazine. It is a hand picked, artfully presented display of new and unusual beads and findings on the market right now, chosen to represent a theme. This month's theme was "birds of a feather". In fact, we at Art Bead Scene love this theme idea so much, we are assembling our own similar theme of different beads, which we will post soon, so keep an eye out.

So if you are looking to be inspired, I highly recommend the spring issue of Stringing.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Beadmaker Interview: Lori Greenberg

1. What is your personal name, business name, website and location?

Lori Greenberg. Some might recognize me as the Bead Nerd, which is the name I originally used for my business. I'm still a bead nerd. My bead web site is and my blog is at

2. What kind of beads do you make? What kinds of processes do you use? What is your favorite beadmaking technique?

I make lampwork glass beads with a propane-oxygen torch set up. Today my favorite beadmaking technique is working with layered dots. Last month it was working with frit and encasing, a while back it was working with presses. I just can't sit still. One thing that has been constant is that I love working with enamels and I love decorating the edges of beads rather than focusing on the surface. Edges just have so much character compared to a flat surface...they beg me to exploit them and uncover their hidden potential.

3. How did you get into beadmaking? What are some of the important things you do for your business?

I was a polymer clay beadmaker before I transitioned into glass. While I've always felt a compulsion to create, I also was brought up believing that everything had to have a practical purpose. I couldn't imagine creating just to create. Beads were my way of bringing the two areas of thought together into something that could still be 'used' in a real way. So that's how I settled upon beads.

While I was still working with polymer we saw a demonstration at a farmers market and my husband saw that I was enthralled. He insisted I sign up for a class and I fought him because I knew what it meant if I liked it. I can't just dabble in something, if you know what I mean.

One of the important things I do for my business is to conduct myself in a professional manner. I do a lot of blogging and have been active in online forums and if I'm feeling particularly negative about something I keep it to myself. Of course, no one is perfect but I do try my best. That probably isn't what you expected to hear but a lot of what I do is in print so that is very important. You wouldn't want to walk into a store and hear the shop owner gossiping and complaining; online is no different to me. Another important thing I do is to keep my newsletter running regular, almost every week.

4. What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is a typical day like?

I am blessed when it comes to my workspace. My husband and I both work from home and we quickly outgrew our space when we started having children. Living in Arizona, it was more cost effective to build onto our house than to move so, in 2005 I got to build my dream studio. You can take a tour here. This is what my torch area looks like right after cleaning it up:

A typical day in the studio involves office work (shipping, writing, email, blogging, updating the web site, all that good stuff) in the morning. Once I feel I've put a dent in that my mind can be clear to create so it's onto the torch I go. From about noon to five I torch creating orders or working on new designs. Right before it's time to leave the studio I usually shoot my photos for the web site so I can continue to do computer work later in the house after the kids have gone to bed.

5. How do you stay inspired and motivated?

I don't have much trouble with motivation. I love what I do and can't wait to get to it every day. When it starts to feel like work or sales drop I just remind myself that I could be out there punching someone else's clock. That usually works in a snap.

I am still inspired by the great polymer clay work going on out there. When I worked in polymer, artists struggled for recognition of the medium as an art form and I'm sure they still do. How do you take something that can be seen as a child's toy and get it recognized as art? That struggle really helped to form what I do. I try to take something ordinary (glass rods) and turn it into something different and show "Hey! Look what we can do with this stuff!"

6. What type of beads and jewelry designs do you feel best compliment your art beads? Do you design your own jewelry too?

Wow. I tell people all the time that I am not a jewelry designer so that's a hard question...I just don't see my beads that way which is why I like to work with designers. Sometimes though I do envision my beads with lots of funky, organic seed bead work going on around them, other times I think about unique metal work. Other times, just a simple chain or cable is enough. I guess the thing I think that compliments them best are designs that are funky and out of the ordinary but don't compete too much with the intricacies of the bead design.

7. What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?

I'm being drawn more to simple jewelry design and I can't believe it but I feel like I need to find a way to show people how my beads can be used. I always have new designs but I don't know it until they emerge. I've always wanted to make funky face beads, or masks and I've tried many times but it just hasn't clicked yet. So, that's always on my list. Just today I fused some small bead halves and am going to experiment with some PMC. I was certified in PMC a very long time ago and never really did much with it. It's starting to call me. I've also started dreaming up a line of items for the home but you'll have to ask me again later on that's top secret.

8. If you have a discount code you would like to give our readers, please list it here, including the expiration date:

I always have price breaks of 10% at $250 and 30% at 500 but just for Art Bead Scene readers they can get an extra 10% discount through the end of April 2007 by using discount voucher code: ABS2007 at check-out.

Beading that Benefits

Here at Artbeadscene, we love art beads for many reasons, their handcrafted quality, beauty and the people who create and appreciate them. It's especially heartening when art beads contribute to a greater good in our community. 2007 marks the 10th anniversay of one such program,The Bead Projectat Urban Glass.

Founded in 1997 by Annette Rose-Shapiro, The Bead Project provides 50 hours of glass and jewelry making instruction to low income women. Interested women complete an application and, if accepted, are offered a scholarship. The goal of The Bead Project is to assist women in becoming economically self sufficient.

Annually, Urban Glass hosts the Bead Expo where glass beadmakers join with the women of The Bead Project to sell their art beads. Members of The Bead Project are given free tables to showcase their work. Glass beadmakers donate beads for a raffle whose proceeds go to support The Bead Project.

Happy Birthday to The Bead Project! Artbeadscene wishes you many more!

(Beads made by members/graduates of The Bead Project: Christine Gant, Rosemary Westbrook, Rosita Walsh)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Bead Scoop: Wow! Have your Beads and eat with them too!

I was surfing the web and found this uber cool bead idea. Skyberry Supplies have it made so you can use your beads as handles for your everyday eating utensil. They are suggesting lampworked beads but I don't see why you couldn't use pc (as long as you hand washed) or porcelain.

How cool is that to eat with something you love everyday! And they are made out of high quality 18/0 stainless steel so a month down the road you won't be eating rust with your potatoes.
Take a stroll over to Skyberries Creative and see fun flatware. There is even a tutorial on how to assemble lampworked beads to your fork, spoon or knife.

If you need make the knob on the drawer just as fun as your forks, there are beadable drawer pulls too! For "romancing the beads" there are also Candlesticks you can flutter your lashes over. Very fun beady ideas! What would Ms. Bead-it-All think?

Skyberries Creative has offered the readers of this blog a special code for free shipping within the USA to use on their site: enter artbead at checkout.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Bead Biz: Market Diversification - Tapping new markets

Is that a big enough title for you? I like big titles. They make me feel like I know something. But this is one title that I'm serious about. With imports flooding the market and the number of bead and jewelry makers out there growing by the minute how do we make ourselves stand apart from the crowd? The obvious answer is to have unique work. That is true, but unique work can limit your market too...and that is another post for another time.

So, what am I talking about? I'm talking about being a bead maker or a jewelry designer that pushes not only our creative envelopes but our marketing envelopes as well. Exploring new ways of products. Seeing how our products can be used in different areas that aren't being fully tapped yet. Some of these ideas have already started to take on popularity, such as wine glass charms or cell phone fobs. But what other ways are there to reach new markets? What new products can we make with our art beads?

While in Tucson this spring I was approached by Pamela Hawkins, editor of Bead Unique Magazine, as were many other glass bead makers. This isn't an uncommon thing at big bead shows. But this was the first time I received, in hand, the forecast for the next year and a half or so of their publication. This little half sheet of paper told me the focus of each issue, color schemes, projects, etc. I found it amazing and inspiring to see the wide variety of topics and items in the forecast. Things like home decor, clothing, even pet fare! I'm guessing that magazines do that all the time, I just never saw it spelled out right in front of me. It opened my eyes a little more.

It got me thinking...there are whole markets out there that aren't being fully tapped by us art bead and jewelry people. That doesn't mean they don't exist but who is actively marketing to them? Who is out there making doggie collar jewelry? Or beaded pet beds? Or who is selling candle collars (I made that one up but I bet it's a real thing). You name it, and I bet there is a beaded market just waiting to be created.

So, my challenge to you is, come up with something new. Think of an area out there where people are willing to spend money (pets are a great example) and tap tap tap away! And when you do, share your success stories. I'll share mine if you share yours.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Bead Scoop: The Bead Bonanza Show

Last Sunday, I was a vendor at my local bead guild's show in Southfield, Michigan...the Bead Bonanza. I have been a vendor at this show for many years, selling my own porcelain beads (see my booth in the picture above?) It was a great show, as always! But this post is not about me any my beads, it is about the art bead treasures I managed to bring back home with me from the show! Check it out...
I found this wonderful cat pendant and "go girl" bead by Diane Hawkey. I love the additional holes at the bottom of the cat pendant for hanging lots of bead dangles or some fringe. The little message bead would be so cute on a bracelet as some encouragement for one of the gals in my life when they might be feeling a bit down.
Then I got this great Daisy pendant from Lily Studios made of stained glass pieces and a real flower flattened in the center. I had to pull these Blossom links and one of my own Daisy beads from my own inventory to go with it...can you imagine what I am brewing up here?

I have been waiting since Christmas to get some graphic black and white ceramic beads from Carla at Bag Lady Beads! I have some new red, white, and black kind of punky charm bracelets I want to make, and the little dice and 8balls are going to be perfect!Finally, I did some shopping at Embroidered Soul, where I got this Leaf pendant and seafoam sun circle from Helen and scraffito flower and oval from Sharleen. I am thinking I need to start a clay leaf pendant collection because I love them so much. I don't have plans for these beads yet, but I am still thinking.

What would you bead?

Announcement: Beading and Traveling

Wish me a bon voyage, I'm off to go on the Bead Cruise!
"Bead Cruise?" you ask. Yes, a bead cruise. I've organized an event filled with classes, workshops, demos and open beading time while we enjoy a 5 day cruise to Cozumel and Costa Maya. Beads and a vacation - does life get any better?

While I'm gone, enjoy the Art Bead Scene this coming week. Melanie will be running the show. We'll have big news when I return!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fit to Print Review: Exquisite Beaded Jewelry

Are you in need of a little inspiration to combine your art bead collection into wearable works of art? Exquisite Beaded Jewelry by Lynda S. Musante is a great place to start.

This book features projects from wire-wrapping, simple stringing to complex beading techniques. Almost every project features an art focal bead.

Step-by-step instructions are intermingled with jewelry galleries, filled with ideas to get your muse jumping! Beautiful and clear photographs help showcase the great collection of talent Musante has assembled in her book.

Beady Back Track

Our friend Andi over at Mystic Spiral thought of another solution to yesterday's Ms. Bead-It-All question. It involves a thoughtful and unique beading technique that one can use with almost any kind of stringing material.
Check out her blog post for the details, and take a look around at her other great posts.
Thanks Andi!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dear Ms. Bead-It-All

Dear Ms. Bead-It-All,

Help! I have fallen in love with some beautiful art beads, but the hole is going the wrong way! The beads have cute little faces, but the holes go up and's all wrong! How can I string them on a necklace so they are in the center and facing upright?

signed, Lost my Direction

Dear Lost,

Firstly, let me point out that it is impolite to judge a bead based on your personal perception of where a hole should be. Please, think about the bead's feelings! Those poor beads didn't choose to be challenged with the burden of its confusing misdirectional piercing.

Seriously, there are many ways to work with a bead with a directional design whose holes are vertical that will make it the center of a necklace and still be facing the right way. I will show some examples using face beads from Earthenwood Studio

#1 (above) Use headpins to make vertically drilled beads into charms.

This is probably the most simple solution to the hole problem. A headpin with a wire wrapped loop attached to a jump ring or bail instantly turns your bead into a charm or pendant. You can use a single one as the focus of a necklace, or you can use several as charms on a bracelet or necklace like the example shown. This necklace detail uses moon and pixie face beads in porcelain with silk cord woven through copper chain, and a beautiful PMC and resin pendant by Zoa Art.

#2 (above) Use an eyepin to make a vertically drilled beads into a pendant with a dangle

A variation on the headpin charms theme is using an eyepin to make an elongated pendant. With an eyepin, you have the added bonus of linking another charm or bead as a dangle. You can use any sort of charm with a loop, such as a pewter or silver charm, or you can use another art bead/charm. Shown here is a porcelain fairy bead with a coordinating purple leaf charm, dangling from a 3-1 split pewter component. The pewter components used here can be found at Fusion Beads.

#3 (above) Use cording to to make a vertically drilled bead into a pendant with a dangle

You can also use thin cord as a base to create a pendant with a vertically drilled bead. this example uses thin, strong twisted waxed cotton cord to join the stained glass picture pendant by Vintage Faerie to the necklace, working its way through a kitty face bead along the way. The thin cord fits through the small holed kitty bead perfectly, and then above the bead, it is tied with heavier silk cord and ribbon to create a fuller and more textural look. Mixing the thin and thick cord works well, because you can use the thick cords for texture and use the thin cord for finer beads and details.

#4 (above) Use cord to to make a vertically drilled bead into a pendant with many dangles/fringe

Another variation of the thin cord dangle method of using vertically drilled beads uses a thin cord as the length of the necklace, knotted intermittently with small accent beads. For this necklace, all the excitement happens below the large fairy face art bead. It looks complex, but the fringe is just two lengths of the same cord used in the necklace, filled with beads, knotted on each end, and doubled over in the center to create the fringe. This is also a great way to use up the small piles of singular beads left over from other projects that every beader seems to have lying around.

I hope this has given you a few ideas about how to use those tricky "wrongly" drilled beads. One more suggestion...if you meet the artist of the beads at a show or online, ask them for ideas about how they envision a bead that you are having a hard time visualizing in a design. It is a great way to open up a conversation about design, and the bead maker would probably also like to hear your thoughts about how you are thinking about using their beads.

happy beading, everyone!...*Ms. Bead-It-All*

p.s. Ms Bead-It-All reluctantly admits to not knowing *every* solution to *every* beading problem...

If you can think of another solution to the question at hand, please share with us and your fellow beaders! We invite you to leave a comment here. Or write about it in your own blog...let us know about your post and we will link to it!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Announcement: Lori Greenberg interview

Art Bead Scene's Lori Greenberg has been selected as the featured artist over at today.

From her Arizona studio, Lori creates exquisite lampwork beads. And from the heat of her torch, luscious colors are shaped into flowing, organic forms.

She fascinates in pushing the boundaries of her glass work and does so with intriquing results, such as when she brings the often overlooked edge to the forefront of her designs.

She is author of the book Hot Off The Press as well as an invaluable tutorial on photographing beads, which we'll feature right here at Art Bead Scene soon.

So head on over to, where Lori shares many aspects of her work in today's interview.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Bead Biz: Self Promotion

Without a marketing squad, an ad counsel or a bunch of dancing fruit to do it for us, we all need to sell ourselves. It is difficult for many bead makers and designers alike to find a way to strut our stuff, bring attention to ourselves, show off, and generally just say to the world: Look at this: I made it and when you wear it you will look Absolutely Fabulous.

How do you personally promote your beads / jewelry? In this blog, I am going to focus on what Heather Powers introduced to me as "conversational selling". I'm not sure if that is an industry term or if she made it up, but it fits the bill perfectly for what I want to talk about. People have said: “I’d rather let a friend do the selling, I don’t want to appear cocky, my beads will sell themselves, it is so awkward….” Yes, I agree, those are all legitimate statements and all have merit, but in the end, you are the one with ultimate responsibility to sell your little beauties. You control their destiny. I have debated how to best teach this area of self promotion and have decided to go with a “given scenario” approach.

Scenario #1: You are walking down the mall and someone notices and compliments the necklace you are wearing. Which is your typical response? “Oh, I made it several years ago, not one of my best, but thanks for noticing.”

Or, “Thanks! I made it several years ago and it still compliments everything I wear. Who knew I’d get so much mileage out of this one piece. I bet it would even go with that shirt you are wearing.” Pull a business card out of your pocket, hand it over and say “I have several pieces in my line that may interest you. Take a look around my site. If you’d like to place an order, just give me a call! If not, just enjoy the pictures and my card will make a happy book mark!”

When you answer in a manner similar to the first answer above the other person hears: handmade, old, outdated and not so good. The person in the second answer hears: handmade, looks great, timeless, would look as good on me as her and now I even know where to get one for myself. Even if you feel that piece is not “your best”, that person likes it – support his/her good taste!

Gestures count. Touch the necklace and show it off even more. Look the person in the eye, let them know your necklace is as confident as you are.

Scenario #2: You are at a show and people are milling around, but not actively buying.

Is your response to hang back, stay out of the way, and hope, hope, hope they will decide to buy? Or do you stand up straight, talk, point, show sets, make eye contact, demonstrate, suggest uses, hand them a piece to fondle… Some people just may need some hints on how to use your pieces. Let them know how you and others are doing just that: “That pendant was used at a bridal shower as a prize. My friend was wearing a pair of earrings made out of those when she attended her job interview. These beads particularly compliment that color you are wearing. These make a great earring and necklace set. Those always attract attention when I’m wearing them. That pendant is my best seller…..” By the end of the day you should be dead tired!

Don’t get discouraged when people stop by, talk and don’t buy. Remember, everyone is on a budget, but they will remember their conversation with you along with your suggestions and will have your card to use in the future when the time is right. Or maybe they will suggest you to a friend, or a bead shop….

Scenario #3:

A potential buyer stops by your table and seems to really like a piece and sends you a curve ball. “I really love this and would like to buy it, but wow, that is a lot of money.” Is your reply, “I know, but I can’t produce it any cheaper. Maybe you can save up for later. Here is my card.” Or: “You got that right! Being someone who makes handmade crafts myself I can completely relate. The reason for the cost is this particular process requires X number of steps to get that beautiful color mix - This glaze contains X which is twice as expensive as Y, but as you can see is about 5 times as beautiful.” Help your buyer justify the cost: “It is one of those pieces that you will get your investment out of by wearing it for years and years, by selling it to that special customer who you know will appreciate the extra craftsmanship, by giving it to your special sister friend who is always there for you no matter what…”

Let them know what they are getting for their money – and it can’t be just your time. Just because you took 5 hours making it, doesn’t make it more attractive to them. In all reality – who cares if it is handmade if it is no better or different than the off the rack beads? So you need to tell them what is better about your pieces – point out details that are impossible with mass production, show the steps needed, stress the individuality the person wearing it will feel, note that no two are alike but all beautiful, give your pieces a story, give them a personality, help the buyer establish a relationship with your pieces, not just with you.

Hope this is helpful – I’d love to get some comments / suggestions. Post a comment and I’ll get back to you. If you have additional ideas or can tell me of a time you stood up and made the sale – post it! We all love a happy ending! As I wrap this up I want to point out that when you get out there and self yourself and your beads, you are really selling all of us. We all need to support and sell the idea of fine, hand crafted art beads and the fantastic final pieces of jewelry they end up in. Lets spread the word and get it out there – We have beads and baby your gonna love ‘em!

-Elaine Ray

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wikibeadia: defining the world of art beads

We here at Art Bead Scene are all about art beads. So you might be wondering, what do we consider art beads to be? Well let me explain with a few examples...

Polymer clay beads by Heather Powers of Humble Beads

Lampwork glass bead by Lori Greenberg

First, art beads are made by individual artisans in independently owned studios. They work either alone or in very small studios, making one of a kind beads by hand or in small batches. Most are self representing, meaning you can buy their beads directly from them, although some work with stores to get their beads into the hands of the public. Art beads are not made in factories or sweatshops in mass quantities. When you buy art beads, you support the people who make them directly.
Ceramic Moose Pendant by Virginia Miska

Stoneware Component by Elaine Ray
Now, before you get out your dictionary I must say that here at Art Bead Scene, we use a very broad scope when we use the word "bead". Of course, by definition, a "bead" is a item with a hole to be strung onto string or wire and worn. But there are so many beautiful things that are related to "beads" that we like to expand our vision to include buttons, charms, pendants, links, and other components that are intended for making into wearable crafts. We are aware of the literal definitions and prefer to just use the word "bead" for all of it.
Lampwork Glass Spiral Bead by Cindy Gimbrone

Ceramic buttons by Tari Sasser of Clay Buttons
Art beads can be made in many materials. Glass, ceramic, polymer clay, metal, and natural materials are all very popular choices for artists to use for handcrafted beads. We hope to write about all of these materials, and intend to seek out new and exciting new materials that artists are using to create art beads.

Ceramic bead and charm earrings by Melanie Brooks Lukacs of Earthenwood Studio

Art beads are usually made with the intention of becoming a part of a beautiful piece of jewelry. Bead makers are often the first step in the process of the journey of the art bead, making the beads and sending them onto another artist who uses them to create their own art in the form of jewelry or other crafts. It is a truly inspirational process and very special relationships can develop between the artist who make the beads, the artists who turn the beads into jewelry, and even the owner of the finished jewelry. 

Great jewelry tells a story. Artists write the story, and art beads are the inspiration to that story. We at Art Bead Scene hope to bring together the creative people who can make these stories come to life!

***A bead that is handmade is not necessarily an art bead. Hill Tribe Silver, Kazuri ceramic beads or lampwork beads made in factories are examples of handmade beads that are not considered art beads.
Beaded beads, stamped metal pendants or wire-wrapped components are not considered art beads for our challenge.***

Monday, March 12, 2007

Welcome to The Art Bead Scene!

Art Bead Scene is an interactive blog with the goal of uniting bead artists of all materials and the jewelry designers who use art beads in their work. We have a daily blog with several contributors posting about the latest events and ideas in the bead world. Watch for weekly interviews with bead artists and jewelry designers who use art beads in their work. We'll review new products, books, and stores that carry art beads. We also have an exciting monthly design challenge open to all our readers as well as many other great features!

To us, art beads are incredible, tiny works of art made by hand from the finest materials by some of the best artists in this country and around the world. We think art beads are the heart of excellent jewelry design, and we celebrate the artists and products that agree with us!

We hope you will enjoy stopping by daily to catch up on the latest news, reviews and interviews! Please leave a comment or drop us a line in our suggestion box.

The Art Bead Scene Crew

About the Art Bead Scene

Who are the contributors and editors of the Art Bead Scene?

Heather Powers - The owner and editor of the Art Bead Scene, her website is When she isn't busy making beads and blogging, she is planning her next Bead Cruise adventure.

***Contact Heather for Art Bead Scene information and interviews. You can also send her your art bead news or request product/book reviews.***

Cindy Gimbrone - The glass beadmaker who brings you Sundays with Cindy. Cindy offers up a slew of unique posts as one of our talented contributors. You can find her beads at Cindy Gimbrone Beads.

Tari Sasser - Tari reminds us that art beads aren't always beads! Primarily a button artist, the owner of Creative Impressions in Clay sheds new light on the possibilities of art beads and their uses.

Lynn Davis - Lynn is a creative hurricane of mixed media art beads that includes polymer clay, glass and metal. You can find her unique beads and findings in her shop at Expedition D.

Jennifer Heynen - Jennifer is our Bead Biz whiz. You'll find her posts sprinkled with color and tips for your jewelry business. Jennifer offers her ceramic beads on her website Jangles and is the author of Ceramic Bead Jewelry.

Lorelei Eurto - Our newest member of the ABS, Lorelei is talented jewelry designer with a passion for art beads. She is a master at scouting out new artists and sharing her inspirations. You can find Lorelei's jewelry in her etsy shop at Lorelei1141.

What is the Art Bead Scene all about?

Art Bead Scene is an interactive blog with the goal of uniting bead artists of all materials and the jewelry designers who use art beads in their work.

Some of the regular features include:

*current events and trends in the bead world

*interviews with bead artists and jewelry designers who use art beads in their work.

*reviews of new products, books, and stores that carry art beads.

*an exciting monthly design challenge with prizes from our sponsors

*Studio Saturday, offers a peak into our creative spaces and a chance to win a free bead

*Sundays with Cindy, a round up of the best posts from some of our favorite blogs

To us, art beads are incredible, tiny works of art made by hand from the finest materials by some of the best artists in this country and around the world. We think art beads are the heart of excellent jewelry design, and we celebrate the artists and products that agree with us!

And exactly what is an Art Bead? Melanie Brooks answered the question on our second post.