Bringing you all the dirt and drama from the beading blog world...
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Bringing you all the dirt and drama from the beading blog world...
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Check out the blog Metal Chik to add a new stash of design tricks to your jewelry-making repertoire. They combine video episodes with an informative blog to offer tutorials and tips related to all things metal and jewelry.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Belle Brooke Designs has been announced as the winner of the Halstead Bead Business Grant. The photo above shows some examples of this jewelry designer's work.
Now is a great time to start the application process for next year's grant and to help you along Halstead has provided some Hints and Tips. One article that especially caught my attention discusses the importance of understanding your target market and gives some great tips on this subject. In the article three main target groups are indentified, their lifestyles described and a sample marketing plan outlined for each of the groups. This is definitely worth taking a look at in order to help refine your marketing plan. Take a look here.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
1. What is your personal name, business name, website and location?
Katie Hacker - Katiedids - http://www.katiehacker.com/ - Keystone, Indiana
2. What kind of jewelry do you make? What types of materials do you prefer? what kinds of art beads do you use?
The bulk of my business is creating how-to jewelry projects for books and magazines. I specialize in making boutique-style jewelry designs that people can recreate in an evening or a weekend. I also make designs for Beadalon that showcase their products and I present Beading Lessons on the public television show Beads, Baubles & Jewels.
I like to support other women who are trying to make a living by making their art, so my stash contains all kinds of art beads made by talented gals: ceramic beads from Earthenwood Studio & Jangles, silk beads from Kristal Wick, stained glass pendants from Lily Studios, lampworked glass beads from Stephanie Sersich, polymer clay pendants from Heather Wynn, pewter beads from Green Girl Studio, engraved shell pendants from Lillypilly Designs. I like to use dramatic art beads as the focus and then fill in the design with a variety of semiprecious, crystal, Czech glass and other mass-produced beads.
Fit for a Queen Bracelet from Hip to Bead by Katie Hacker (Interweave Press 2006, photo by Joe Coca) Borosilicate glass bead by Nancy Tobey
3. How did you get into jewelry design? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
I started making earrings when I was a teenager because I couldn't find any cool clip earrings for my un-pierced ears. Then, I got into making hemp jewelry while in college. After college, I worked as an editor and in-house designer for Hot Off The Press, a publishing company in Oregon. They had published a successful book on hemp jewelry before I worked there and I asked to be involved in the sequel. Since then, I've written more than 15 books about beading and jewelry making.
Being in business for yourself is a constant juggling act. I'm always re-evaluating the different ways that I spend my time. Blogging, having a website, writing a monthly newsletter, having nice business cards (and giving them out!) are some of the things that I do for my business that are difficult to measure in terms of monetary return versus time spent. I think they're very important but I have to be careful to not get so caught up in doing those things that it's taking me away from the creative aspects and actual work of my job.
Knock Out Knotted Necklace from Hip to Bead by Katie Hacker (Interweave Press 2006, photo by Joe Coca) Engraved shell pendant by Lillypilly Designs
4. What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is a typical day like?
My studio is a sunny, yellow room in my house. It has lots of interesting angles and is packed to the gills with beads and jewelry making stuff. Right now, I have to step over piles of magazines and catalogs to get to my desk. On a typical day, I commute up the stairs with coffee in hand and answer email and do any urgent tasks first-thing. Then, the rest of the morning is my creative time. I plan designs and do other right brain stuff. After lunch, I do more repetitive tasks like assembling designs that are already figured out, writing instructions, or organizing stuff in my office. I often assemble jewelry or kits in the evenings while watching movies.
5. How do you stay inspired and motivated?
Like a lot of creative people, I have more ideas than I will probably ever be able to accomplish. (But, I'm sure going to try!) I lay awake at night thinking of new ideas. I'm inspired by beads and jewelry making materials, so I keep a lot of stuff around and I'm continually looking for new, inspiring things to create with. I keep an idea notebook. I also make it a regular practice to look at magazines, books, websites and catalogs to stay on top of trends. If I'm in a rut, sometimes it helps to just take a break and go outside or work in the garden. The mental space helps make room for more ideas to come into my head.
As for motivation, I am a serious list-maker. I keep to-do lists because it makes me feel like I'm getting things accomplished when I can cross them off the list. I'm deadline-oriented, so if a particular task doesn't have a deadline, then I have to make one up for myself. Otherwise, it just keeps dropping to the bottom of my list.
6. What kinds of art beads do you look for? Is there a bead you wish an artist would make for you?
I think the first thing that often draws me in is the color of the beads. Then I'm captured by the story, if there is one. Right now, I'm in love with charms and have been looking for unusual ones. I like bead frames a lot - you know, they're empty in the center and have holes on both ends. Most of the ones you see are cast metal or made from shell but it would be fun to have them in different materials.
7. What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?
I've been working on ideas for my upcoming Fashion Focus columns in Simply Beads magazine. Each column includes two projects: a dressed-down version that takes less than an hour to make and a dressed-up version that takes several hours. I've been researching new products to use and am excited about some of the beads I'll be featuring, including ceramic links from Earthenwood Studio and flower beads from Jangles. And, keep an eye out for new books from me in the near future!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
(All photos from MJ Trim website)
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Art Bead Scene would like to welcome loyal reader Melissa Lee to the blogosphere! She started blogging late this summer with her blog Strands of Beads, which has become an entertaining blog full of creative beading, occasional knitting, and beautiful art beads. Welcome her by posting a comment on her Something Wicked Giveaway post, and you could win the bracelet shown above! Only a couple days left!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Bloomington, IL 61701
I recently had a chance to have an online chat with Shelley Nybakke, owner of The Bead Parlor in Bloomington, IL. The Bead Parlor is located in historic downtown Bloomington nestled between beautiful old buildings and sidewalks sure to inspire the artistic eye.
As part of the Art Bead Scene crew, of course I ask Shelley what kind of handmade Art Beads her store sells, but I also asked about what types of materials her customers prefer.
At The Bead Parlor they carry lampwork beads made by several local artists, ceramic clay by the FABULOUS Elaine Ray, (toot toot goes my own horn!) polymer clay beads and David Christensen Furnace glass. Shelly feels fortunate to have a good friend, Julie Suchy, who makes beautiful lampwork beads along with several topnotch lampwork artists right there in Bloomington, making a special effort to support local talent as much as possible.
These artsy customers are always on the lookout for one-of-a-kind beads and not surprisingly, everyone has different tastes and creative styles. Even for Shelley, her bead "de jour" depends on her project of the moment and guess what ...... she loves ALL beads!!!! - now who else out these loves all beads? Come on, lets see a show of hands!!!! (put 'em there in the comment box)
Next we explored how The Bead Parlor stays current with trends in the bead business and other important business practices.
Shelley explained that she reads every magazine, book and catalog she can get her hands. Pouring over them from front to back, back to front and over and over again. Each read through gives her a chance to see something missed or forgotten.
Understanding the importance of a strong web presence, Shelley has worked long and hard at the web site for The Bead Parlor which she feels has greatly increased business. The goal is to create a space that customers/readers want to surf over to on a regular basis to view pictures of new ideas, beads and findings. This helps everyone get in the creative mood and sparks new ideas. Shelly says that sometimes her ideas are good and sometimes not so good, but she puts it all out there to let her customers pick over. The News Page is similar to a daily blog and is a great way to get new ideas and products out there.
Beading classes play a big role at The Bead Parlor with a line up that focuses on PMC, weaving, wireworking, and basic stringing. There is a wonderful group of regular teachers who teach because they love beading. Their teaching salary rarely makes it out the door, but instead gets spent right at The Bead Parlor! Shelley says this helps to keep class fees low which encourages more people to give beading a try. In another smart business move, they understand that classes are not only to teach techniques, but also to support friendships / business relationships and to encourage customers to shop at The Bead Parlor.
At the Bead Parlor they always make up wonderful examples of finished jewelry featuring art beads. These examples are changed often since many non-beaders also shop at The Bead Parlor - to purchase the "samples". This is one of the many assets of having a store located in a beautiful and busy downtown area. Customers with even minimal beading experience can appreciate the difference between a quality art bead and a cheap knock-off. To stock her store, Shelley looks for earthy natural timeless art beads rather than the "cute", something she will still admire 10 years down the road.
A big thanks from all of us here at The Art Bead Scene to Shelley for her time and effort, not only for this interview but also for all she does to promote beading and the use of Art Beads. If you ever get the chance make sure to stop in at The Bead Parlor and say hi to everyone from us!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
These are used books, so read the condition carefully. Also the descriptions at half.com are rather spartan, so I pop over to Amazon.com to read more about the book and any reviews posted.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Let's Fly by Jane MacGregor Hamilton Mormino features typewriter keys, art beads, charms and fibers. Jane was the winner of our first challenge launched back in April. Her "Fly" necklace is now featured in Beadwork this month.
Congrats Jane from the Art Bead Scene Crew!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
You can visit the doctor at the Beadalon site and have all your beading perplexities unravelled. There is a whole list of previously answered questions and if you don't find yours there you can email the doctor...free of charge!
And that's not all...there's lots of instructions for common beading techniques right beside the doctor's office.
Enjoy your visit!
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
What is your personal name, website and location?
My name is Melissa Lee. I am a novice bead maker and jewelry designer. I live in Illinois, and I have a jewelry and knitting blog at http://www.strandsofbeads.blogspot.com/
What kind of jewelry do you make? What types of materials do you prefer? what kinds of art beads do you use?
I work primarily with glass, ceramic, fine silver and resin beads. I make some of the glass and resin beads and all of the fine silver beads myself. The art beads I use are mostly glass and ceramic. I have a limited number of pieces in my portfolio at the moment, but it’s fair to say that my work is largely theme-based. My tastes are eclectic, but in the end I tend to favor simpler designs without significant ornamentation.
Pendant by Michele Goldstein, accent beads by Melissa Lee
How did you get into jewelry design?
In a fundamental way, my son has enabled me to start designing jewelry seriously. Before he arrived, I kept fairly long hours, working as an intellectual property lawyer. I didn’t have enough time to be anything except a really casual beader. It wasn’t until I stopped working as a lawyer and starting learning how to be a mother (another job with a demanding “client” and long, irregular hours – but so much more rewarding, may I say) that I finally decided I needed to explore interests that I had shelved for many years. First, I started learning how to make my own beads. While I had had an interest in lampworking for several years, I never actually looked into it seriously. My schedule was a hindrance, and, to be quite honest, I was scared of the torch. Much to my surprise, once I started, I discovered that I loved working with the torch. Later, as I considered investing in a kiln for annealing glass beads, I decided to try working with metal clay, just to see if I should buy a kiln rated for both materials. Again, much to my surprise, I loved the experience. From making beads, I started taking jewelry design much more seriously.
The problem I have often had in my jewelry design is not being able to find all of the components I needed for specific projects. Being able to make certain items myself was very liberating. In turn, I started investing much more time and energy into the design of a piece, whether or not I made the components myself or not.This has been a learning experience but an exciting one. I feel that I am in a period of growth right now. Although I have always enjoyed working with my hands, I have no real background in art or design. I am working from the ground up, and I love it.
Boro beads by Sarah Moran
What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio?
Ermm, do I really have to tell you about this? I’d like to say that I’m a methodical person whose work space is as neat as a pin, but in fact, I’m a complete packrat and I just have an accumulation of, well, stuff, everywhere. I really liked Emma Ralph’s description of her workspace as being “ordered chaos”. I’m afraid my workspace is just plain “chaos”, though. I have a generous workbench in the garage. However, more often than not, I spend my time working in the far left corner of it, as that’s the only space that tends to be clear of clutter. Once I have the components collected together and ready to assemble, I usually just work on the dining room table.
What is a typical day like? Ideally, I come up with a concept, then do preliminary sketches of a piece in my notebook. In reality, I take what time I have, and I often end up drawing the first sketch on my son’s art table with a crayon, while we’re coloring together. This process goes hand-in-hand with working out the best way for me to execute the idea from a technical perspective. Once I have a handle on these two aspects, I begin to make the actual beads and/or collecting together whatever beads I need from my stash or need to buy. Completing a piece, from initial concept to stringing the beads, has taken anywhere from 2-4 weeks, on average. Having said that, I have a number of ideas right now that have yet to make it past the sketch phase, mostly due to limited time on my part.
How do you stay inspired and motivated?
Well, the Art Bead Scene challenges have been a great source of inspiration! I have recently had three pieces accepted for publication in BeadStyle Magazine, and they have all been inspired by the ABS challenges. Primarily, the challenges have taught me that I am much more successful at designing when I have a complete, well-thought-out story to tell in my work. I find many of these stories by rediscovering poetry that I loved when I was younger. I have an M.Phil. in English Renaissance Literature. I never used this degree in my career, but this time as a student was an extremely happy period in my life. For many years after completing the degree, I hardly picked up a book of poetry, but now I find myself going back and re-reading John Donne, Andrew Marvell, George Herbert, Ben Jonson, Shakespeare, Dorothy Leigh, Anne Bradstreet – all of the works that moved me when I was a student. Also, I have been reading more modern writers like Yeats, Wallace Stevens, Seamus Heaney and e.e. cummings.
I’m extremely greedy when it comes to art beads. I love so many different kinds, and I admire so many different artists. I collect primarily lampwork beads – the work of Sarah Moran and Michele Goldstein are particular favorites, but there are many others. I also have a small stash of beautiful ceramic beads from artists such as Earthenwood Studio and Joan Miller. I love Anne Choi’s silver beads. I have fallen hard for Green Girl Studio’s lovely work as well. These are just the tip of the iceberg for me, though. I could go on and on all day about beautiful beads. Ummm. Beads…
Is there a bead you wish an artist would make for you?
Well, it’s impossible to anticipate what forms the next great inspiration from my favorite bead artists (including those favorite artists I have yet to discover) will take, but I’m sure I’ll love them. Having said that, I am waiting for Anne Choi to make a set of John Donne beads. Also, there’s a specific color palette that Joan Miller sometimes uses that I love. An example of this is the set of beads that are pictured on her Etsy store banner. I would love a set of round porcelain beads in those colors with similar designs.
What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?
With the end of summer, I have been leaning towards autumn-themed pieces. In the next month, I hope to finish a new work based on the quote “By the pricking of my thumbs, / Something wicked this way comes” from Macbeth. I would also like to do a collaborative piece with my son. More generally, I hope to continue to improve my technical skills, both in bead making and in jewelry design. I do not offer my work for sale at the moment, but I also hope this will change in the future. This is a very exciting time for me. The old adage that “it’s never too late to learn something new” seems to hold true. I don’t exactly know where all of this will lead, but I’m certainly having a good time getting there.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Finished necklace includes all original components (except the clasp) with addition of 5mm wood rounds, iridescent amber seed beads, copper chain and toggle, while featuring a Virginia Miska pendant.