Thursday, May 31, 2007

Enhance your Web Presence, Take a Class

Today, as I pondered what you might be interested in I remembered Eclectic Academy. While Eclectic Academy might not be a juicy, colorful jewelry and bead site you might still be interested in it for the sales and marketing end of your jewelry and bead obsession.

Eclectic Academy is site that provides online classes for only $20 per 6 week course. I have taken three Photoshop classes and highly recommend them. Their classes include but are not limited to basic art classes, selling on eBay, basic computer maintenance, writing effective newsletters, web site development for most of the known html programs all the way up to database management.

Check them out. You might find something that you've always wanted to learn but didn't have the time to pursue at the local community college. Let us know what you think!

Lori Greenberg is a glass beadmaker who blogs from her studio in Cave Creek, Arizona.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Beadmaker Interview: Chris & Jackie Rice

1. What is your personal name, business name, website and location?
C.N.Y. Glass Studio & Gallery
Artists: Christopher & Jacquelyn Rice
Address: 12840 State Route 12 Boonville, NY
Phone: 315-525-2802

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

Lampwork Beads, Marbles, Sculpture and Goblets are our specialties! We Love anything to do with making glass into a work of art of all shapes and sizes. We also dabble in glass fusing, slumping, sandblasting and some other cold working. Our favorite techniques are flower and butterfly implosions and cartoon like critter beads.

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

Chris began working with glass about 7 years ago focusing primarily on the hollow forms for example perfume bottles goblets and large marbles. Jacquelyn began lampworking about a year later with the same approach. After about a year Jacquelyn began to stray to find her own calling in glass art. She found sculpture and bead making allowed her to express her humor and adventurous personality better and on a smaller scale. Two most important things to do as a business is to never put all your eggs in one basket and be open minded. For every minute not working is another dollar left unearned.

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

Our studio and gallery is a 20x30 pole barn we renovated ourselves. The lampworking area has 6 stations; we also teach classes and rent out studio time. Typical day starts with coffee the bookkeeping and phone calls and a trip to the gym. By 8AM we are in the studio working. Between 8 and 10 we try and get as much work done to fill orders because Wed – Sun from 10 till 4 the studio and gallery is open to the public. One weekend or sometimes more we do a bead marble or craft show. One weekend or sometimes more we have lampworking classes or PMC class. We finally settle in about 5 and take this time to focus on website, jewelry making, cleaning beads, labeling, photos etc. Finally we watch a little TV and go to bed.

5. How do you stay inspired and motivated?

We live in the Adirondack Mountains of Central New York inspiration invades us. We stay motivated because we absolutely love what we do!

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

We have such a variety of beads we can compliment any artistic pallet. We have your basic filler or spacer beads to focals, all shapes and sizes, a color for every day of the year, humorous to earthy and abstract, sets, pairs and singles. Jacquelyn does design her own jewelry.

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

We have Bead A.D.D. we always have something in the works. We just recently added a new page on our website called what’s new to try and keep up with our ideas. Jacquelyn has been working on soft glass beads that are almost like little 3d paintings of flowers, bird’s nests and butterflies. Chris has been working on incorporating his implosions into focal beads.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

May Challenge Deadline

The deadline for entering in this month's ABS challenge is May 31st! Post your entries today on the ABS Flickr group. If you are having a hard time figuring out Flickr, email your photo to me and I'll post it for you.

Here are two current entries:

Submitted by Aden A with art beads from Moonfairyglass & AGB beads.

Beadwork by Norma Dalton with face cabochon by Joan Tucker from Off Center Productions.

View the prizes donated by Fire Clay Arists.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I HEART Jewelry Tools....Stepped Jaw Pliers

As a jewelry designer/beadmaker, I use eye pins and make loops. Sometimes, I make A LOT of them! So one of the tools that I can’t live without is a round nose plier with stepped sections – stepped jaw pliers I choose a size of loop from one of the stepped sections and I can make an unlimited number of loops all the same size! Loop making is much more efficient with one of the stepped jaw pliers – I can’t live without them!

(You can buy the stepped jaw pliers through various vendors - the pictured stepped jaw pliers above are found at's webstore for $14.85)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Bead Scoop: Beads of Clay at the Bead & Button Show

Members of the online group Beads of Clay have teamed up to promote ceramic beads at the upcoming Bead & Button show! Stop by any of the booths listed below and pick up a free treasure map postcard of participating booths. If you are interested in fired clay, this is a great way to see the wonderful variety and artistic vision presented by these bead artists.
June 7th - 10th Bead & Button Show

Midwest Express Center , Milwaukee , WI
Bag Lady Beads...Booth 1238
Clay River Designs...Booth 747
Creative Impressions in Clay...Booth 411
Earthenwood Studio...Booth 1227
Embroidered Soul...Booth 930
Joan Miller Porcelain...Booth 15
Jangles...Booth 1140
Marsha Neal Studio...Booth 249
Slendid Loon Studio...Booth 128

Self Promotion, Artist Profile on Bead Arts blog

OK - now it is time for me to "put my money (in my case, time) where my mouth is." Previously I wrote about self promotion telling all of you to get out there and strut your stuff, speak up - let the world know how wonderful your art is... Stand up, point, reach, instruct and demonstrate. So now I need to follow through and do this myself - so here I stand up and point you in the direction of Cyndi Lavin's blog: Bead Arts where on May 24th, she has posted an Artist Profile about...... me!

As I state in the interview, Cyndi's questions helped me do some brain organizing as I thought through and typed out the answers. As you read my profile - think through the questions as if you were writing your own profile and see if it leads you to new pathways or just even encourages you down your current path.

Once you have done that - bop over and take a look at Cyndi's web site with its opening line:

For outstanding women who don't mind standing out

There you will "feed your visual sensory system" just what it needs.

Thanks again Cyndi for making me look so good!

- Elaine

Friday, May 25, 2007

Countdown to the Bead and Button Show

There are only nine days left until the big bead show begins! That's right, the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee runs for a week from June 3rd through
June 10th this year.

Many of you planning on attending already know
about the great selection of classes that are offered,
but here is the list to show you which classes still have spaces available.

Two of the editors here at Art Bead Scene are busy getting ready to fill up their booths with beautiful
beads and buttons. Tari Sasser of Creative Impressions in Clay will be in booth #411 and Melanie Brooks-Lukacs of Earthenwood Studios will be in booth #1227. In addition, Melanie's face cabochon will be featured in Sherry Serafini's Free-form Art Pendant class which runs on Saturday, June 9 from 9am - 5pm. Below is a photo of the project which will be featured in the class.

Be sure to stop by and say hello to Tari and Melanie when you're at the show!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Process of Elimination

Well, my daughter is getting ready to go to Prom and as any of you out there with teenagers in your life know - a big part of Prom is all about the preparations, sort of spinning out of control if you ask me, but that is a different story. Anyway, as I was getting my hair cut today we were discussing how my daughter is trying to decide what kind of "up do" she wants with her hair. My hair dresser (Shelia Boone in Cary, NC - I'd recommend her to anyone) wisely suggested that she first decide what she doesn't want, leaving plenty of room for the person styling her hair to make suggestions.

This suddenly clicked in my mind as such a great way to design jewelry for others also. Many times people will ask for a necklace and earring set, but not really know what they want and it can take a great deal of time to come up with a plan that suits us both. I think next time I'll ask first what they don't want (no blue, nothing close to the neck, not too fancy) then, by process of elimination I'll be able to help guide them to what may be to their likings. Most people seem reluctant to say what they want since they really want the designer to have room to express him/herself, but they still have personal preferences that need to be included in the design.

Shelia explained that she uses this approach of using the process of elimination to help guide her choices with all sorts of things such as choosing drapes, cars, hair styles / colors, finding clothing quickly in a department store, whats for dinner and so on and so forth. I am going to try using this approach more often - I am one of those people that can take forever to make a choice - sometimes driving the people around me crazy, and just plain wasting my own time. Maybe this will help me feel confident about my choices while getting the job done in a more timely manner.

Leave a comment about when you used the process of elimination to complete a project or make a decision - you probably have a trick or two to teach me!

Thanks! - Elaine Ray

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bead Theme: Portraits of Ophelia

One last set of great art beads that would fit the Ophelia's Garden theme for this month's Challenge. This theme is all beads, pendants, and buttons featuring a portrait of a woman, who could be Ophelia.

Polymer Clay pendant by Dolly Traicoff

Porcelain Fairy face beads by Earthenwood Studio

Flower Fairy Pendant from Green Girl Studios, photo from Fusion Beads

Demeter and Persephone buttons/pendants by Creative Impressions in Clay

Ceramic Summertime Goddess bead by Gaea
Garden Spirit Bracelet Kit with lampwork glass beads by Mavis Smith

Pewter pendant by Mamacita Beadworks

Thoughtful lampwork glass bead by Cindy Gimbrone

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Halstead Bead Development Grant

Not only does Halstead Bead Inc. carry an excellent selection of beads and findings for the discerning jewelry designer, but last year they began sponsoring an annual Business Development Grant. This grant targets designers in the bridge jewelry market and is intended to give fresh, innovative designers an edge in an increasingly competitive market, made so by overseas designers and mass merchant retailers.

Bridge jewelry fills the gap between costume jewelry and fine jewelry. It is characterized by moderately priced precious metals like silver and copper along with embellishments such as semi-precious stone, pearls and crystals.

You can find the application for this grant at Halstead Bead's site as well as hints and tips for preparing the application. Halstead notes that the biggest weakness they saw in the 2006 applications was a clear understanding of a designer's target market, and they include some helpful information about this topic in the Hints and Tips section.

The winner will receive a $5,000.oo business grant, a $1,000 Halstead Bead, Inc. gift certificate, a full page profile in Halstead's catalog, and press releases in relevant industry publications, as well as a plaque. Last year's winner was Ananda Khalsa whose outstanding work is featured in this post.

Good luck to all who apply!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Findings Worth Finding: Hip Chick Beads

At a recent bead show, I found some great silver components and clasps for my designs that I just fell in love with! They are made by Hip Chick Beads and are crafted from sterling silver. They have a real handcrafted feel to them, almost a bit primitive or rustic, and the imagery is very contemporary with lots of neat symbols and designs.
Some of my favorite pieces are these heart charms, which are sweet and romantic in a contemporary, not too mushy way. These charms are quite small, and would make great details in a charm bracelet or for earrings, as well as clustered together for a necklace.
There are also some very unique toggle clasps in the Hip Chick line, like the three shown above. These are just a few of the designs that I bought for myself... I would have loved one of each but I had to make my favorite choices. Maybe your favorites are different...check out the Hip Chick Beads website to see the whole line!

Melanie Brooks Lukacs is the ceramic beadmaker of Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

WikiBeadia: Earthenware Beads

Ceramic beads are becoming very popular in the art bead world lately. The world of ceramics can be full of confusing terms, which those who have not worked in clay may not be familiar with. There are many kinds of ceramics including porcelain, stoneware, raku, and earthenware. Today we will explore the world of earthenware beads. All the beads in today's post are from the site

Earthenware beads are generally low fired earth clays, which can be almost any color of clay from white to deep red. The clays can be worked in many ways: by hand, in molds, with stamps...almost any way that you can imagine. Here is a white or light earthenware pendant by Captain's Clay which is stamped with a sunburst design.

This colorful pendant by Shaterra Clay Studio is a great example of one of the reasons artists choose earthenware as a material. White earthenware can be glazed with a multitude of bright and vibrant colors, which is a perfect for a bead artist who enjoys color and a painterly approach.

This set of beads by Clay Babes is another great example of color in earthenware beads. Earthenware is also light weight, so it is a great choice of art bead for multiple repeating designs.

Earthenware clays can be painted with special glazes called underglazes, which can be applied to create large fields of color as well as detailed design elements, like in these plain, striped, and polka dotted beads by Buttons, Beads-n-Other Things

A bead artist with a very steady hand and an eye for graphic design can make incredible painted beads with underglazes, like these detailed ladybug beads by Mount Taylor Mudworks
This pendant shows more of the complex treatments that earthenware can lend to a bead, with both glossy and dry areas, linear graphic qualities, and bold color. This coral colored, fan shaped pendant is made by Virginia Miska

The detail that one can acheive with earthenware and underglaze is only as limited as the patience (and paintbrush) of the artist. Take these tiny earthenware flowers and leaves by Ladybrook Designs, which measure only about 1/4 inch in size.

I hope these examples of earthenware beads help describe some of the wonderful varieties of ceramic Art Beads that are available. To see more styles, look around at all of the ceramic beads available at and check back here for more WikiBeadia descriptions of other types of beads and materials

Friday, May 18, 2007

Alternate uses for Art Beads

Fan and Lamp Pulls:

I took some liberty with these pictures and altered them to resemble lamp or fan pulls. If you could have one of each, which rooms would you hang them in? Have fun guessing which Art Bead Scene editor made which bead(s). I'll do a quick post on Saturday with the answers.

Here are some addition lovely fan pulls: