Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bead Crochet & Art Beads

I want to share with you the textural combination of bead crochet and art beads. Bead crochet takes a little practice, but isn't as hard as it might seem. It's not like regular crocheting, so fear not if you have tried to crochet and think bead crochet would be too challenging. Bead crochet was popular in Victorian times, during the 20's, in the 60's and has had a resurgence in the bead community in the last 15 years or so.

I really love Judith Bertolgio-Giffin's instructional booklets. They have great diagrams, clear step by step pictures and inspiring galleries. I've had the pleasure of working with Judith on the Bead Cruise and seeing some of her work in person. I have both of Judith's books and highly recommend them. (Lariat necklace by Judith)

Janice Abarbanel offers a bead crochet DVD on her website along with findings for your bead crochet creations, like the end caps shown here. (Necklace and art bead pendant by Janice Abarbanel.)

Try the EZ Bead Changer, pictured above, to feature your favorite art beads on a crocheted rope! (Bead and necklace from Janice.)

You can use art beads that are called sliders, they feature very large holes and are more like rings. The one pictured above is from BluHealer Glass, bracelet by Beverly Herman. Any bead with a larger hole will work as a focal bead, you just need to be able to pass the needle and thread through the bead several times. For bracelets you don't need a clasp. They are a little stretchy and will roll over your wrist.

Necklace by Judith Bertolgio-Giffin using an art bead with a larger hole.
"Tiny seed beads, are you kidding?" I can hear you already! Use the larger size 8 seed beads to get started. They are easier to work with and take less time to crochet.


melanie brooks said...

These are beautiful examples of bead crochet. What a great way to present a special bead! And thanks for ths suggestions to instructions...these photos really tempt me! Good idea to try a larger seed bead, too...that seems less oeverwhelming for a beadwork beginner like me...

Anonymous said...

I found this blog a couple of weeks ago and just have to say how much I have enjoyed reading all the daily posts - this one in particular...

You all do such a wonderful job and I really appreciate all the work that must go into it!


Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

I love this entry!

Elaine Ray said...

Thanks for stopping by the Art Bead Scene. I had a chance to take a look at your painted beads. They are a wonder to look at - your comment about "painting on the round" was interesting. Looks like many of your beads would also look nice with a Crochet rope. I can see it extending the "pond" for the gold fish.

Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

My thanks to YOU Elaine and your ABS friends - this blog is a marvelous inspiration!