Question of the Week: What's Your Favorite Type of Jewelry to Make?

Aug 26, 2011

When I first started beading, all I made was amulet bags. This was back in 1999, and everywhere you looked beadweavers were creating beautiful, over-the-top beadwoven amulet bags. Sometimes I would make a pair of earrings to match a particular bag, but those were usually just a few beads strung on a head pin or eye pin. Once I got over the amulet bag obsession, I found myself making beaded necklaces out of lush, thick beaded fringe. To this day, my favorite type of jewelry to make is beaded necklaces. For some reason, the designs for necklaces just come easy for me. It's much harder for me to come up with bracelet and earring designs. And forget about rings - the last time I tried to design and make a beaded ring, it was a total disaster!

I was curious about what type of jewelry our panel of bead artists and experts preferred to make, so I asked them!

Mikki Ferrugiaro: My favorite type to make isn't rings, necklaces or bracelets.....it's simply something different, something that hasn't been done yet. I get bored easily so just doing a bezel pendant with a different embellishment is not something that excites me. So the something special for me is originality, the unexpected and the challenging.

Michelle Mach: I'm all about earrings these days.  Quick to make and requiring few materials, earrings are tiny canvases for experimenting with techniques, materials, and colors.  Jewelry challenges like "Ring a Day" scare me, but creating a pair of earrings every day?  Bring it on!

Jill Wiseman: I love making all the various bits and pieces of jewelry, but I do confess that I find myself gravitating most to necklaces these days. I tend to go through phases. For a very long time it was all bracelets...now I'm looking to challenge myself with other things. I especially love to make companion pieces! Complementary, although not necessarily identically matched sets. Oh heck, let's face it. I like it all!

Kelli Burns: I have and still do make all types, styles and colors of jewelry. However, the art of making a necklace requires lots more thought than making a necklace and earrings (and time, of course). So because of my work schedule and other duties, I would have to say that I make more bracelets. A bracelet can be wide, thick, thin, layered in seed beads, encrusted in crystals, woven with thread or simply strung on nylon coated beading wire with gemstones. A bracelet can be worn as a necklace (if made longer) or as a sweater attachment or as an anklet with an extension. It can be instant gratification or take weeks to complete. I've even made a bracelet that can be taken apart and worn as a pair of earrings! And still 99% of the joy I receive from making any jewelry is making it for someone else to enjoy.

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Margie Deeb: I tend to make more earrings than other jewelry. Earrings are so sexy to see and to wear, especially when they drape, dangle, and shimmy in that space between the bottom of the lobes and the top of the shoulders. 

Do you find yourself inexplicably drawn to one type of beaded jewelry? Or do you rotate through earrings, bracelets and necklaces? Do you make beaded rings or other types of wearable beaded adornment? Share your favorites here and let's keep the conversation going!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

baxter6 wrote
on Sep 3, 2011 7:41 AM

I love bead stringing, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. I don't have the patience (or the eyesight) for seed beads, except as spacers. I like bigger beads, and am expanding to multi-strand designs with lots of wonderful chain, and am working on designs for men.  I design my own and never make two the same. I sell a lot of items to people at my part-time job, and am exploring other methods of exposure for my work. It's relaxing, fun, and something to accomplish with the TV on.  ;)

on Sep 3, 2011 8:15 AM

I usually find myself making bracelets..and if I'm making it for a friend or family member I'll  usually include a choker to match.  I don't particular like stringing beads so anything that requires stitching like herringbone (my favorite bead stitch) it becomes a challenge to figure out designs, colors (which I struggle with) to come up with something that will catch the eye.  I very rarely do earrings but if  I'm making a bracelet and choker I may be moved to make earrings to match ...it depends upon my mood and/or if its requested.

Kraftigal wrote
on Sep 3, 2011 11:39 AM

I started with stringing beads to make necklaces, learning about combining color, texture, size, shape, etc. Then onto multistrand and asymmetrical necklaces. I often added earrings to match or complement the necklaces. I tried strung bracelets also. But I get bored easily and love to learn new techniques, so I have expanded my jewelry-making with classes in wire, bead-weaving, PMC, kumihimo, etc. I love to take a basic bracelet or necklace that I make in class and then do my own versions, often using combinations of crystals and larger beads. I am fortunate that I have a wonderful group of friends and we meet once a week to work on our projects and/or learn new techniques. We try to learn at least one new technique or bead-weaving pattern each month. I don't know that I have any one favorite technique, but I like to try new things and I like to mix-and-match techniques to create unique pieces.

elefsis wrote
on Sep 3, 2011 11:21 PM

My favorite type of jewelry to make is made doing Kumihimo.  I was introduced to this interesting and very easy art by a friend of mine.  I asked her about a piece she was wearing one day.  I thought it was bead crochet, but it turned out to be Kumihimo.  I was hooked from that day forward.  From that point on, I have looked up everything there is on the subject.  I learned by watching Youtube videos  and starting teaching classes on  it within a week.  I love the different patterns and the way a color change can change the look of one design.  I am totally hooked on Kumihimo.  I don't want to do anything else.  It's easy, fast, and very portable.

elefsis wrote
on Sep 3, 2011 11:27 PM

I am totally hooked on Kumihimo jewelry.  It's easy, fast and very portable.  I was introduced to it by a friend.  She was wearing a piece I thought was bead crochet.  When she told me it was Kumihimo I went home and did an extensive search on the web.  I learn from watching Youtube videos and was teaching a class the next week.  Whether with beads or just a simple "naked" braid,  I love doing Kumihimo.  I just can't seem to put my disk down.

elefsis wrote
on Sep 3, 2011 11:27 PM

I am totally hooked on Kumihimo jewelry.  It's easy, fast and very portable.  I was introduced to it by a friend.  She was wearing a piece I thought was bead crochet.  When she told me it was Kumihimo I went home and did an extensive search on the web.  I learn from watching Youtube videos and was teaching a class the next week.  Whether with beads or just a simple "naked" braid,  I love doing Kumihimo.  I just can't seem to put my disk down.