Glass Beads

Glass is the most varied in appearance of all the materials used to make beads. Glass beads can be clear and brilliantly transparent, reflecting the world around it; mysteriously transluscent, emanating a rich glow from within; or even as opaque as gemstones. Glass beads can be vibrantly colored, thanks to the addition of particular minerals like iron and cobalt or metallic oxides. The surface of glass beads can be shiny or matte and the glass bead itself can encase layers of color and pattern. Glass beads can be embellished and textured with ribbons of molten glass or they can be coated with lustrous metallic finishes. Glass beads can even be cut and faceted like precious metal stones. As ancient as glass beads are in origin, they continue to evolve and enrich today’s beaded jewelry designs. As you explore the world of glass beads, you will realize that no other man-made material will give you more ways to express your ideas for beautiful beaded jewelry!

SuperDuo beads

Shaped Beads Primer: 2-Hole Seed Beads

There are so many new shaped beads out there! Lentils. Tiles. Triangles… How can you resist them? They are so pretty in all their colors and finishes. And each one offers its own unique design possibility. One must focus (or try to focus) to appreciate them individually, as each one has its own beauty, variety,…

eMMa

Guide to Triangle Beads

It used to be that the only triangle beads you needed to keep straight were these:        This type of Japanese seed bead has a triangular profile. The style on the left is manufactured by Toho; they have a thin body and the corners are sharp. The kind on the right are made by Miyuki;…

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Do You Speak Bead? See This Glossary of Must-Know Terms

My husband once overheard me talking to a friend about beading and he gave me the craziest, most confused look I’ve ever seen. Then I realized that it’s probably the same look I give him when he talks about computers! Peyote, frog stitch (ripppit, ripppit), QuadraLentil, SuperUno, culling, Rizo….the list of terms used by beaders…

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Lost Your Jewelry Making Mojo?

Have you ever heard about the Hindu deity called Saraswati? Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of creativity, and she gets a lot less attention than her sisters Lakshmi (goddess of abundance) and Durga (goddess of protection). When you feel the urge to go on a jewelry-making binge and your beading projects are just flowing together…

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The Evolution Of Shaped Glass Beads

There was a time when I was first learning how to bead when I became obsessed with shaped glass beads. Of course, this was more than 15 years ago, and shaped glass beads weren’t what they are today. The most commonly available shaped glass beads were Czech fire polished beads, round or in the shape…

Using or Making Glass Beads? These Free Downloads are Essential

Using or Making Glass Beads? These Free Downloads are Essential Glass is the most varied in appearance of all the materials used to make beads. Glass beads can be clear and brilliantly transparent, reflecting the world around it; mysteriously transluscent, emanating a rich glow from within; or even as opaque as gemstones. Glass beads can be vibrantly…

Finished-Beaded-Earrings

Shamans, Mandalas, and Beaded Earrings

Earlier this year, I paid a visit to a local shaman, who, during the course of our visit, gave me 3 tasks to complete as part of my spiritual journey. The first one was easy – she told me to take a bubble bath with as many bubbles as I could. Woo-hoo! The second task…

Gorgeous Glass Beads with Penny Dixon

There’s no question in my mind that the recent introduction of such an amazing variety of shaped glass beads has forever changed the way we make beaded jewelry with seed beads.  Browsing through a local bead shop or online at my favorite bead supply company makes me feel grateful to have such an array of…