Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Is a Beaded Bead?

by Jen VanBenschoten

To me, there is nothing more magical than a beaded bead.  Put simply, a beaded bead is simply a bead (something that can be strung and with a hole running through it) that is made up of other beads.  This is one of my favorite beaded beads that I designed last spring, based on a piece of jewelry I found among my mother's things after she passed away:
The original beads were actually more oval-shaped, and were covered in Swarovski crystal pearls, if you can imagine that!  I used right-angle weave to cover the bead with dozens of tiny 4mm round beads and even tinier size 15 seed beads.  And yes, this was one of those designs that took me many, many tries to get it right.  The first time I succeeded in creating a right-angle weave covering that fit snugly around the bead, I had to tear it all apart to figure out what I had done because I didn't write any of it down!  (Head, meet desk...)

Now, if you really want to get into the beaded beads, here's a version done by my good friend Carol Dean Sharpe of SandFibers.  She calls these her Blooming Beads, and let me tell you, they are addictive to make!

Carol Dean Sharpe's Blooming Beads are the Epitome of Zen in Beadwork!
I don't often get a chance to make another artist's design, but when I saw the directions for these pretties, I basically dropped what I was doing and set out to make two of them.  I wear the big denim-blue one on a simple multi-strand wire necklace, and let me tell you, it gets compliments and questions like crazy!

Beaded beads are one of the mystical aspects of beadwork that I love so much.  It's like that M.C. Escher drawing of the hands drawing themselves - the beads make themselves into...beads!

And on that note, while I have you, I have a very exciting announcement to make, even if I'm a little late in making it.  As of May 2, I took over as the online editor for the Beading Daily online community!  I'll be writing daily blogs, along with the fabulous Jean Campbell, and working behind the scenes to bring you lots of beady goodness every week!  This is truly a dream come true for me - I have been a follower of Beading Daily since it's launch back in 2007, and I really think it's one of the friendliest online beading communities around.  You can sign up for free newsletters, get free projects, and even free eBooks - there will be one new free eBook available every month for 2011!

For today's post, I want to leave you with this question: where do you find the mystical in your craft?  Is it in the transformation of raw materials into finished pieces?  The creative journey itself?  Share your thoughts here on the blog!





13 comments:

MaCarroll Beads said...

Jen, First congratulations on the new job! That's awesome :O) Gorgeouse beads!! That amazes me......
My creative journey..... I just pick a slab of clay and let that transform to where I am at that moment in time.

EB Bead and Metal Works said...

Congrats on the new job!!!! I love the beaded beads but I don't have the patience to make them. I love them though :)
The journey for me and mom is the process. Mom finds her Zen moment while sawing out the pieces and I love the enameling process because I never know what is going to happen. I also love seeing how the colors turned out when I am experimenting.

Izzy said...

That's wonderful news. I've been a Beading Daily newsletter subscriber for a few years now, so it will be nice to see a familiar name. The mystical in my craft lies in the wonders of being able to mold and shape metal. The simple process of heating and bending and moving is amazing. Sometimes I joke with my hubby when I have a piece in the vise saying "look babe at how strong I am". He just smiles, thinking "I married such a dork".

rosebud101 said...

Magical or mystical? To me, it's the fact that glass can melt and be reformed into a bead. The glass can take on any shape or form and, actually become a shape shifter. It's engrossing. I also call it therapy.

Congratulations on your new job!

Malin de Koning said...

Wow! Did you know I am actually literally right now sitting trying to figure out a pattern for a round beaded bead myself. (I've made a call out on Facebook too, for tips on great patterns.) I think I will take photos and post on my blog about what I came up with. There are a few different versions ... more or less perfect ... Probably tonight or tomorrow.

Now I wanna do your round RAW one! Is there any chance I can I buy the pattern?

Beading Daily is fairly new to me, I've grown to really appreciate the newsletters and the site in general. Congrats on the new job!

TesoriTrovati said...

Wonderful news! I think beaded beads are so mysterious. I have no idea how someone would do that and I don't want to know. I just want to buy them from all my friends and designers!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Carol Dean said...

The most mystical part of my art is whenever I can just get lost in the process, without worrying about the outcome; it happens most when I'm beading a cuff from one of my own patterns, when I no longer have to think about where I'm headed because that's been planned out for me. Then beading becomes meditative.

Thank you for loving my Blooming Beads, Jen, and being so encouraging for me on so many different levels.

mairedodd said...

congratulations jen!
the mystical - when i can work (uninterrupted)and just get into a flow... i have a love of working with fire and patinas that reveal their magic as they are used and over time...
the beaded beads are really neat!

Sally Anderson said...

I'm mad for beaded beads. I think I started my whole love affair w/ beads so that I could learn to make them. I'm still learning and still new but I'm getting better. The metaphysical? When I'm in the groove working on something (usually peyote stitched because it's the only one I feel really confident with) and just cruising along. I don't have to think too much so it's very meditative. And then, voila -- beady goodness at the end. So so satisfying!

sharri said...

I've been designing and creating beaded beads since the early 1990's. They are endlessly fascinating to me - challenging to design and, once the kinks are worked out and I'm in the groove of executing the design, meditative. I've been so happy to see the explosion of new beaded bead designs in recent years. It has truly become an art and a genre of bead making along with glass, metal and clay.
Sharri Moroshok
www.beadedbeads.com

Malin de Koning said...

Hi again, I was so totally caught up with the beaded bead aspect I forgot to answer your question in my previous comment. Being caught up is mystical, isn't it :-)

I find the whole creative process being mystical in a sense. Sometimes your hands and body sort of just move by themselves and you are not really there yourself. Being in a "flow". It's a wonderful and weird feeling. When I "wake up" I see what I did and am amazed. Amazed coz I don't totally understand how it happened.

Carole Ohl said...

Congrats on your new job. I LOVE your beaded bead!

VanBeads said...

Thanks so much, ladies! I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the beaded beads - so much fun to make!

The Beading Daily job is really the best job I've ever had in my entire life, ever. I feel like I hit the lottery with this one. I get to write about beads and they pay me, too?! Bring it on! :-)

face
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...