The Joy of Glass Beads!

Sep 7, 2012

Whether you love to stitch 'em, string 'em, or just hold 'em in your hand and bask in their glow, glass beads are probably the reason why most of us love beading and beadwork. And with all kinds of glass beads out there for you to use in your stringing and bead-weaving projects, the only limits to using them is your own creativity!

Czech Pressed Glass Beads

glass-beads
glass-beads
I've always loved Czech pressed glass beads, but some of these new shapes are really kicking my imagination into high gear lately. Take, for example, the Czech glass spike beads from York Beads that came out last year. Created with the input of beading rock star Laura McCabe, these beads come in three different sizes and in dozens of colors and finishes. The baby spikes are perfect for adding just a little bit of texture to your favorite bead-weaving projects. If you prefer making bold, tribal statements with your bead-weaing and beading projects, the large, chunky spikes make for perfect focal points.

The newest shape of Czech pressed glass bead with which I'm totally in love are York's gumdrop beads. These delicious little nuggets of glass come in some pretty spectacular colors, and they really do look good enough to eat!

Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads

glass-beads
glass-beads
Sadly, this was the year that I finally had to admit that I no longer had the time to sit in front of my lampwork torch and make my own glass art beads. That said, I've become a keen hunter of handmade lampwork glass beads from sellers on both Etsy and eBay.

One of my favorite new glass bead artist discoveries was the magnificent work of Beau and Shani Barrett of Evolving Creations Lampwork. There's a reason why they've named their business Evolving Creations -- every couple of weeks, something new and absolutely beautiful appears in their eBay listings, prompting a flurry of bidding. I'm the proud owner of a nice little drawer full of their amazing handmade glass beads, and I've always got my eye on their eBay listings and their Facebook page to see what's coming next!

Need More Reasons to Love Glass Beads?

Jamie Hogsett, the former editor of Jewelry Stringing magazine, co-author of the Create Jewelry series of books, and Education Coordinator for Soft Flex has given us five great reasons to love glass beads: glass beads are colorful, versatile, personal, international, and adaptable. The remarkable fluidity of glass in its molten state means that anything is possible when it comes to making glass beads.

My own personal favorite reason for using glass beads in my beading projects and bead-weaving is that I love the human aspect of glass. Glass beads have been produced by pretty much every human society since 2200 B.C., and their importance in human history continues to evolve even to this day!

glass-beads

No matter how you like to use your glass beads, or what kind of glass beads you like to use, you'll find something to spark your creativity in Jamie's classic book, Create Jewelry: Glass. Co-authored with editor Marlene Blessing, these twenty-one beading projects combine bead stitching, bead stringing, and basic jewelry-making in jewelry designs that are both fresh and classic.

Get your copy of Create Jewelry: Glass during the Beading Daily Fall Sales Event and re-discover the magic of using glass beads with your favorite jewelry-making and beading techniques! (Or, if you positively can't wait to start beading tonight, you can also download Create Jewelry: Glass as an eBook and be reading and beading in just minutes!)

What's your favorite type of glass bead, and how do you like to use it? I've been having so much fun using the Czech spike and gumdrop beads in my bead embroidery for the wonderful texture and dimension they give my beaded pendants and necklaces! Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us why you're mad for glass beads!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

HannahsGems wrote
on Sep 7, 2012 10:07 AM

My favorite are faceted Czech Fire Polished round glass beads. ~www.hannahsgemstonejewelry.com

lrcl wrote
on Sep 8, 2012 3:29 PM

My initial  and continuing bead addiction is fueled by my fascination with the journey every bead makes  - the efforts made, from the gathering of the raw materials from what can be  as many as three or four continents and the resulting miniature piece of art in my hand, I will never cease to be amazed by this.

Anois wrote
on Sep 10, 2012 8:09 AM

Unfortunately my eyes and hands no longer cooperate for me to continue making beadwork. But when I did, my favorite form was sculptural peyote and my most favorite beads were and continue to be vintage glass.

I had to laugh when you said "just hold 'em in your hand and bask in their glow." Since I probably have a large enough bead stash to open a small store, my fantasy is to toss them all into the bathtub and roll around nekkid in 'em. Oooooeeeee. :D

Jewelitts wrote
on Sep 10, 2012 9:27 PM

I discovered the Czech glass Picasso beads a few months back and immediately took to them.  I'm not exactly sure why -- I think they perhaps call to the antique-lover in me given their "aged" look.  So far, I've made two bracelets which ended up in my own jewelry box (uh oh!), but more creations on the way.  www.jewelitts.com