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Some questions for Lowly Beaders!

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  • #16
    Hi Bogus!

    Welcome to the club.
    Yes, beading is addicting and yes, you need money to buy some decent beads if you want your pieces to sell.

    You can practice though on cheap strands and give it away to kids until you perfect your craft.

    Plus, every so often, you may want to keep your designs instead of selling them so you will need more money.

    You may have a tendency to upgrade your materials too along the way.
    I am now I'm using 14K, 18K gold and 925 silver wires, balls, and clasps and some ruby and watermelon tourmaline beads that I buy by the carat. I started from dollar a strand beads. Then If you like the upgraded pieces, you would like to keep them too so you will need more money.

    And then later on, you will use freshadamas, and south sea pearls, and tahitians on your pieces, these too, you would want to keep so you will need more, more money.

    I still do some lampwork pieces and currently have a stock of carved calcite flowers. There's a market for these things. They always say "Sugoi!".

    I'm still finishing some off-shore orders so I'll post the pictures before they are sold.
    Last edited by perlas; 08-23-2006, 01:24 AM.


    • #17
      Wow....I think there are a lot of closet beaders around here!

      (I must have lost my 'subscription' to this thread somehow....I just noticed the new additions this morning.)

      Since my first love is jewelry and gemstones, it would be great if someday I could create things with natural gemstone beads and pearls. But for now I think I'll start with cheapo stuff for the kids.

      Caitlin...I noticed you started a new Lowly Beaders Forum! Great idea!

      I'll post pics of my first creation here...if y'all promise not to laugh!

      Last edited by Bogus; 08-23-2006, 04:56 PM.


      • #18
        Due to popular request, the gracious owner and software person of the Pearl Guide Forum through the invisible intervention of Admin suddenly produced this Forum, yesterday.

        Hi Bogus
        There really is a huge number of beaders using pearls and looking for pearls and gemstones, too.

        Actually, getting into gemstone beads has many tiers. Even at a local bead store you can get all kinds of stone beads in wonderful colors, cheap- less than $5 a strand. the ones that look like marbles are inexpensive. Many kinds of nugget gems are cheap, amaethyst, quartz, peridot and many more in that category.
        Amethysts in all shapes, Garnets and peridot continue to be relatively inexpensive in rounds, and rondells too. Add labradorite and a few other beatiful stones to this teir. Faceted rondells cost a little more. Aquamarine in rondelles and lozenges begin to creep up in price.

        About this time, you decide you need to buy at less than full retail.......
        then you get a simple local piece of paper called a sales license or retail license or tax license, something like that, costing $10 in AZ that says you are a jewelry retailer and buying stuff for resale. That means they will selll to you without charging the state tax, but you are responsible to do that when you sell. You also need to report if you have $0 sales.

        But this license will get you in the door at the bead shows and gem shows and alll the prices will drop dramatically from retail. You can usually buy one strand at a time too. $100 will buy you enough gemstone strands to make a lot of necklaces if you stay at the low end and look for bargains.

        And the whole thing keeps escalating....
        Last edited by Caitlin; 08-23-2006, 03:23 PM.

        How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

        My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.


        • #19
          I can not believe those lampwork beads cost so much! the were not historical lampwork beads from the viking age or anything like that.... I am dumbfounded!

          Teh best part of making my own "beaded Jewelry" is that I can get real semi precious gemstones and pearls and make what I want for daily wear. at reasonable to cheapish proces.... However, I save my good pieces for special occasions.

          Just look for good quality with your beadstore pieces.. it will never be handamma grade pearls, or Flawlwss diamond or deep purple tanzanite quality, but you can sometimes get good stuff... just watch for dyed gemstones such as garnets and some jade, I have found they may tend to bleed... these are just a few tips.. also it depends on where you are located. some regions are cheaper than others..

          Also Start a portfolio of things you have made. it helps if you accidentially give something away that you wnated to keep. or if one of your designs is more popular than another....



          • #20
            These lampwork beads are skulls and longbones, which refer to a section on another thread in the Fashion section where we examined a number of skull pieces in interesting jewelry... Now this one is do it your self. Add in some pearls and you could probably get a necklace and a bracelet out of it.

            How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

            My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.


            • #21
              As I said earlier, here are some lowly beadworks.
              Attached Files


              • #22
                Very spiiffy, I like the green bracelet. I also like your displays....




                • #23
                  Well, I just got back from my first "beginners" beading class! I made a bracelet and a pair of earrings.

                  Although clearly not rocket science, I'm sure it will take a while before doing even the basic things...making the eye loop, crimping properly, etc etc will be second nature to me. In fact I wonder if I can do it again without having an instructor hovering over me! Hmm...

                  After the class (I was the only student) I went back to the bead store intending to buy all the tools and acoutrements recommended, and select some beads to try to do another piece at home.

                  Well, I ended up getting so overwhelmed by the choices...and not knowing if I should select individual ones or one of those 'strings'..that I almost started to cry, and ran outta there empty handed!

                  I'll go back tomorrow hopefully more composed.

                  I can tell already that I favor the teeny delicate they beads or seed pearls and that for bracelets, anyway, attractive clasps/toggles will be important to me.

                  One question: For my first project, they recommended "Softflex" for stringing. Do you agree? Is it ok to string pearls with this stuff?



                  • #24
                    Hi Bogus,

                    Congratulations on your first beading project. As you know it si not rocket scince but depending on where you wnat to take the beading it can get pretty time consuming.

                    First off do not let the beading shop bully you into their usually over priced stuff. if ther is a hobby lobby, michaels or even a major chain fabric store such as Joanne's, Fields, Handcock or whatever the big chains are arround your area.. Often have cupons up to 40% off and I use them to get the "packet" ofvarious beading pliers at first. and then get the crimper with the next cupon etc..... I have been give some of the better quality pliers and I have notices no difference in the performance between them ... only that the Plastic coating handles do not tear on the more expensinve one as easily, and they may not tarnish as fast either...

                    that is only my opininion... but beding cnaget very expensive a hobby very quickly so I look for real deals where I can find them!

                    as far as the little beads.. I do not go any smalelr than 11/0's even though you can go to size 15 that is pretty small.. there are many brands out and types as well.. some of the absolute best are the japanese seed beads but the get really pricey for just a few.. IMO to get more bang for a buck get the Hanks... check out Shipwreck beads and Fire mountain gems. for starters sometimes you can get discounts for buying in bulk...

                    Ther are a dozen or more books about using seed beads from weaving to this and that stuff... also many places on the web offer free patterns for use.

                    Before you know it you will have several binders full of pattens and a portfolio of stuff you have just cranked out! I also like Gerdany( ukranian beadwork. Maria rypan of rypan designs is a site to check that out. It combines some easy stuff with more complex looking pieces.. athat are all freehand.

                    Beadwarehouse, and ther is a bead museum in AZ that may also be able to help you with beading.... check out what your local library may have on beading..... I feel like I am beaing cheap here by not giving you book names.. but I hope you do dabble in this and that and checking books out from the library and free websites are teh best way to fins out what you relaly like and do not like....

                    For the Softflex.. it is a wire and could possibly "cut" your pearls over time weakening them from the inside and you may loose them.. I would not touch the stuff.. but for beading swarofski crystals and glass beads definately!

                    To string your pearls use Silk or Nymo threads and I wax my nymo... Although honestly Silk is best, beacsue it is a natural fiber. and waers teh best withthe pearls... but that is MHO

                    Hope some of this helped.

                    If you have any questions please feel free to ask! I am a beading junkie and love to share!




                    • #25
                      Hi bogus
                      Go ahead and learn to use softflex and to crimp. It is useful for many bead projects and makes a good strong necklace and is especially good for bracelets. I don't worry about commercial grade pearls and the softflex, but choose the thread, string, wire, or fishline according to what I have and/or what I want to use.

                      The same store where you took the first class may have one on knotting. Take it when you are ready.

                      How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

                      My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.


                      • #26
                        Oooooh, look at this bump for a look into the earliest days of Pearl Guide, and its humorous and disengenuous Charactors, and the genuine. Plus - pretty creations!