Thursday, January 19, 2012

What I like about making art beads


By staci L. smith



Let me start by saying that I am still new to bead making.  I only started making beads to sell last spring.  I took that big jump, from just making them for my jewelry designs, to making them for everybody else to use, and you know what, it wasn’t easy.  I was afraid no one would buy my jewelry anymore.  I was afraid people would steal my designs.  I was afraid to take on another direction.  But I swallowed hard, put fear aside, and jumped.  Guess what?  I made the right choice.  I am loving this adventure.
Purple Haze- having fun with paints on these hearts

So, here is what I love about making art beads.






1.  They are each a little piece of art all their own.  This allows me to produce more art, more often.  (this is also why I tend to collect art beads from other artists- it’s art collecting, right?)

2.  Because I get to produce more art, more often, I get to try more things, and it keeps me stimulated, I never get bored making beads, like I would sometimes get stringing them.

3.  I don’t have to know what to make.  I can just create, and know someone will find the perfect use for it.  No planning needed.  Total muse, all the way.

4.  I get to paint.  Whether I am painting polymer and getting messy, or putting a patina on some copper and brass, I totally get into the color portion.

5.  I get to see what others envision for my beads.  This is the best part.  I get to see what others do, and it may not be something I would have thought of, and it’s like we just collaborated.  I made a bead, and they brought it to life.  ( I have a flickr group where you can upload jewelry made with my components, so please share, I’d really love to see what you made)
This was an experiment that turned out well- polymer and metal brought together


I could go into a million little details of what I like about it, but that’s it for now.

As I am getting ready for my first bead show (deep breath) in March, I found myself making lists of what I should make, how many, and on and on.  It was all getting very stressful.  (That is actually what prompted this post.)  What I love about making beads most is the freedom.  I think my beads reflect that, and they are new every time because of that.  So I can’t go and try to make so many of this, and so many of that, because I think they will lose something.  So I am off to play.  It’s a little scary, but I think it will all work out, and whatever I take to the show will be good enough.

So I leave you with these questions…………………

Do you make art beads?  If so, what do you love about it?

Do you collect art beads?  Why?  Who?

11 comments:

Kristi Bowman said...

I could write a post that would be almost word for word to yours. I thought about creating to sell for months and was terrified to try it. Fortunately some of my terrific online friends encouraged me and helped me and it was the best thing I could have done. It's so exciting to see what other artists do with my components. Great post!!

stacilouise said...

Don't you adore our online community? I have found so much encouragment. I am also happy you make beads and components now Kristi- the world is a better place;-)

Izzy said...

Funny you should bring up this particular topic. I had it in my head last year that I'd have a components shop up and running by January. Uhm, er, well... Each time I make a component I think "oh, that would look lovely in a bracelet or earrings or blah, blah, blah" and then my jewelry making a.d.d. kicks in and I'm off creating a bracelet or something non-component related. Sad really. I just can't stop myself. But hopefully I'll get to a point where I can start stashing away enough inventory for a new shop. Maybe. =)

Louise said...

Staci, as one of your biggest fans, I KNOW it will all work out. However much you take with you it's the love and enthusiasm that you have for your work that will shine through. Each piece is unique, special, a true reflection of the artist you I. I'm aware that this hasn't answered your question; I just wanted you to know :)

stacilouise said...

I did that for a long time too Iz! But eventually- I was able to make enough to sell. I still stash some away for me too!

Alice said...

Wow, you've been making your own beads for less than a year?!? I'm impressed!

I don't make my own beads, but I do have an alarming amount of art beads. I started with lampwork beads--my first love, and thanks to the world wide web I have aquired a love for all kinds of art beads. This year I put myself on a bead diet until I use up my huge stash. It will be difficult...

Malin de Koning said...

I loooove this post Staci! And you make the most fantastic beads and components!

stacilouise said...

Alice- I made beads for my own work for awhile now, but not to sell- that is recent. And on collecting, I hear you! My first love is ceramic beads, and I have a nice stash of them myself. some are hard to part with, thus, the "art" collector in me;) Malin and Louise- you guys are so sweet, knowing my beads are enjoyed make this direction even more wonderful.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Yup! I make art beads.... actually that was my true love before I decided (with the LMAJ encouragement) to use them in my own jewelry. I agree with you that it's great to see what other artists make with them. It is usually something I would have never envisioned. I LOVE you work!
MaryAnn
PS Lately, I've been wearing the turquoise necklace you made.... I ALWAYS get compliments!!!!

Kelli said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE art beads!!! Have an embarrassingly enormous stash of Mary Ann Carroll beads... maybe you've heard of her??? :)
If not :) her beads are GORGEOUS!!! And she's somewhat of a perfectionist, so they are ALL incredibly beautiful. Her incredible work inspired me to make my own ceramic beads... (which she graciously helped me to do). Now I have my own kiln, and am making my own!!!! So art beads.... YES!!!!!!!!! LOVE THEM!!!

mairedodd said...

i both make and collect... you are right, on days when making finished pieces feels daunting, making components can be freeing and fun... you truly get to play... some get sold, some get saved... your hearts are really wonderful...

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