Choosing the Perfect Name For Your Beadwork

Oct 24, 2011

Naming my beadwork is probably the hardest part of the whole process for me. A good name can mean so much when you are trying to convey an idea or a concept through a piece of beadwork or beaded jewelry. To me, choosing a good name for a piece of beadwork can make it or break it!

Sometimes, a good name just comes to me while I'm working on a piece or sketching out a concept in my sketchbook. It might be a line from a poem or even from a movie. Names can come to me when I think about what was happening in my life during the time I made a particular piece of beadwork or the time period that inspired a piece.

The Lady in the Lake gets its name from a creepy story about a suicide on nearby Lake Placid.
This piece, The Lady in the Lake, was inspired by a piece of local history from Lake Placid, New York. It involved the disappearance and apparent suicide of Mabel Douglas, a summer resident who owned a camp on the lake and was the founder of Douglas College at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I created the piece to reflect the story of how Douglas's body was discovered at the bottom of the lake thirty years after her mysterious disappearance. While the overall piece seems to be really creepy (my husband couldn't wait for me to finish it so he wouldn't have to look at it every time he walked past my work table), it did a good job of reflecting the creepy story behind it!

When it's time to figure out a name for your finished beadwork, here are a few things to keep in mind for a successful name:

Relate the name to your project. Sometimes the most successful names are the most obvious. For my Victorian Infinity necklace, I chose to use the word "infinity" in the title because the shape of the twisted herringbone components resembled the mathematical symbol for infinity. (Yes, I am a math geek. You have been warned.) Look for symbols or colors in your beadwork that you can use to come up with a great name.

Keep it simple. Don't go overboard with your names. Keeping it short and sweet when naming your beadwork can work to your advantage. It's usually easier to remember a short title than one that takes up an entire line on the page. Look for highly descriptive words that can capture the essence of your piece. If you need help, grab a thesaurus and look for alternatives to wordy phrases!

Use the classics. I've been inspired by great works of literature and art when making my beadwork, so I don't hesitate to refer to those titles when I name my beadwork. If the original title or the artwork is very long, consider pulling a few select words to use in the name for your own beadwork.

I definitely broke the "Keep it Simple" rule with this piece, but I certainly made people laugh when I named it "We're All the Same But Different"!

Make them laugh. Funny names are always good! Even though I broke the "Keep it Simple" rule here, I decided to name this lampwork necklace, "We're All the Same But Different" after an episode of a favorite television show. (Five points to the person who knows which television show it is!) It certainly got a lot of laughs when it went on display as part of an art exhibit at my local cultural center, and the piece eventually sold because of that title!

Do you have a special method for coming up with names for your beadwork? Leave a comment on the blog and share your thoughts with us!

Bead Happy,


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alicia.m wrote
on Oct 25, 2011 8:48 AM

Andy Richter Controls the Universe?

I love your suggestions - and yes, naming the pieces is indeed hard. It helps if you have a story (which I have most of the time), but even then...

Thanks for the article - great ideas!

on Oct 27, 2011 7:36 AM

Hi everyone !

I ask my Facebook fans on my wall where they're asked to find a name then vote for one with the question app. The fan who suggested the title with the most votes becomes the godmother (or godfather) of the creation.


on Oct 27, 2011 12:17 PM

Alicia, you got it right! My sister and I are huge fans of Andy Richter Controls the Universe, and that was where I got the name for that necklace!

on Oct 30, 2011 10:44 PM

i find it tricky to name my pieces too......some good tips in here, thank you!

jeanirvin wrote
on Nov 3, 2011 10:22 AM

How about "Sparkle Plenty"