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  1. #1
    Bogus
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    Smile Some questions for Lowly Beaders!

    I was going to hijack another thread, then thought perhaps I should start a new one...

    There was a "bead fair" in our town a couple of weeks ago, and I went to check it out...WOW!

    I was blown away by the vast assortment, and in many cases by their incredible beauty. Some aren't cheap, are they?

    Anyway...how hard is it to learn this craft? Can you recommend any books suitable for a rank beginner? Any other considerations before I take this up?

    Thanks for any thoughts!
    Bogus

  2. #2
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi Bogus,

    Before you begin on your lowly beading adventure make sure you have plenty of female relatives and friends both to give your products to and as a source for critique.

    Next on your checklist should be the magazine stand of a bookstore like Borders or Barnes & Noble where you not only will find plenty of beading and jewelry craft magazines to sample but also a cozy coffee shop where you can browse through them before or instead of buying them.

    When you have selected a few that most appeal to your personal style and what you would like to do, read some articles and book reviews your magazine of choice recommends.

    Since you are now all wired up from your coffee and bead exposure, go to the information desk and ask whether they have any of the most interesting recommended books and where to find them. Look through the books to see which ones appeal to you best both in terms of designs and clarity of instructions. Write down their titles and buy them used from amazon.com since you will be needing a lot of money for subsequent bead and finding purchases.

    You may also want to buy the one or the other of the magazines you like because all the relevant online beadstores advertise there. Do some comparative shopping, join a beaders group for tips on the things that magazines and books rarely mention like tri-cord knotters, beading boards, little plastic jars to store your beads in, how to set up and organize a project. In the magazines it always looks like Emeril Lagassi cooking, i.e. there is somebody behind the stage that chops everything needed in the right amount and puts in those little glass bowls, you know. In real life, you have to do that yourself.

    Now you can compile a shopping list, leave it at home (because browsing is much more fun than list shopping), and hit the next beadshow. Adjust your project plans to your new loot, pick up the shopping list you so prudently left home where you can find it again, and buy whatever else you still need online.

    Zeide

  3. #3
    pattye
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    Oh yeah, Bogus, those bead faires will get ya!

    I am just getting started too! I took a few classes at my local bead shop, knotting, basic wire, bought a few good quality tools, a couple of books, and launched! I will list book titles as soon as I unearth them, I am just getting a craft room set up.

    Pattye Saab

  4. #4
    Slraep
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    Hello Bogus,

    As a silent member of the Lowly Beaders Club, I will temporarily come out of hiding to give you just one piece of advice: DO NOT buy any of those super-cute lampwork beads in the shape of animals, shells or flowers because your work will rapidly go downhill and you will find yourself scanning E-bay sellers at 3 a.m. for cheap borosilicate beads of undescribable hideousness. Everything you make will start looking like swirly, polka dotted clown vomit. Then you will have to check yourself into lampwork rehab. You will also find that all your relatives will be oddly out of town during Xmas.

    Slraep
    Last edited by Slraep; 04-20-2009 at 05:14 PM. Reason: grammar

  5. #5
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi Danuta,

    I dont quite agree. O.k., great lampwork beads are addicting and I generally use them for jazzing up odd-shaped but otherwise nice pearls. Nobody has ever ducked out of town on gift-giving holidays to avoid getting any of these. The really elaborate cuties I keep for myself anyway.

    Zeide
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
    Slraep
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    Hi Zeide,

    I guess it is true, rehab doesn't always work.

    Slraep
    Last edited by Slraep; 02-14-2007 at 09:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Bogus
    Welcome to the club.

    That was a first-class method described by Zeide. My favorite line:

    you will be needing a lot of money


    You will spend every spare cent you have, then more, but nevertheless you will always have something to show for it, unlike many other pleasurable pursuits.

    Slraep just added some good advice, too, but it goes more to content than structure.

    One big decision is what will you string your first piece on? There are many kinds of thread and wire. I strung my first couple dozen strands of beads on monofilament thread, you know, fishing lines, back during the Vietnam war?. One advantage that kind of thread has is you can just melt the tip after the knot, so no clasp is needed. Clasps are the hardest part of any bead project, in my opinion.


    Beading has come a long way and so have I. I now have all the accoutrements-- the beading trays, the case for pliers and crimpers and drilling hand tools and measuring gauge and awl.. Traveling cases, stay at home storage units with many drawers. I now have about 4 thingys from the hardware store to hold nails. Probably a 100 little drawers. I personally like to store items I have a hank or more of, in those drawers. Tiny beads and beads with small numbers go in special cases with separate lift up lids for each container. Then I also have the visual aids, the bright daylight lamp, the goggles that magnify your work.... the camera. I have an entire room dedicated to beading, except my computer is in here, too. I was going to take a picture, but everything needs dusting?. Ah well, I am funky, lowly beader??.it has taken over my life now that I am an empty nester.
    Caitlin

    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.

  8. #8
    Bogus
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    Thanks, everybody....hee hee, this does sound like fun...and potentially addicting. Uh-oh...

    It turns out that there isn't a craft store in my little town but there are some not too far away. I'm sort of thinking I should take a class to get started properly. I'm heading off to the bookstore now, but I'm really better at 'hands-on" instruction.

    I have two adorable granddaughters I can give my 'practice pieces' to. It would be so great if I could actually make some things a grown-up would like! I'm just worried my stuff will look like they were created by a ten-year-old at summercamp....we'll see...


    Thanks everybody for all the tips! I intend to refer back to them.
    Bogus

  9. #9
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi Bogus,

    The best part of crafting your own necklaces is that you can simply cut them up and start over again when something does not look right anymore after a while or some "friend" (ha!) tells you your wonderful beading project stinks. I, for instance, had some abacus-shaped klonks (12-14mm+) that were just not quite enough for a well balanced pure-bred strand. Indeed, they looked very much like the Rana of Dholpur's big choker. I had some nice flowery lampwork beads, that looked a lot like those hats ladies wear to Ascot. So I decided to put them together in a pearl and bead concoction I dubbed An Ascot Affair (that's the flowery, klonky thing I also posted a picture of together with the B&B, only this shot has been retroactively "focussed"). Please note the 18k clasp:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Zeide Erskine; 08-22-2006 at 09:09 PM.

  10. #10
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    I love it! Zeide, you do such wonders with pearls. You would set Ascot on its granny-pearl-wearin' head to show up in that! It would take one of you tall gals to really carry it off.
    Caitlin

    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.

  11. #11
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi All,

    Whoever thinks that good lampwork beads come cheap has not shopped for any lately. looky here: http://cgi.ebay.com/A-BIT-OF-SPICE-L...QQcmdZViewItem

    This should rightfully qualify as a hoot of the day.

    This one isn't half bad either: http://cgi.ebay.com/Loren-Stump-Lamp...QQcmdZViewItem

    Zeide
    Last edited by Zeide Erskine; 08-22-2006 at 11:07 PM.

  12. #12
    thou shall read the book Senior Guide Member effisk's Avatar
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    not that I intend to start a lampwork beads business, but what are these beads made of?

  13. #13
    pattye
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    OMG! They could have had a lovely baroque ss or a Freshadama necklace instead of that!!

    Pattye

  14. #14
    Zeide Erskine
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    Hi FX,

    Lampwork beads are made of glass.

    Zeide

  15. #15
    Satine De La Courcel
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    I just learned how to lampwork on vacation! Its awesome!!! Easy and time consuming! I loved it! I also bougt a beading loom so now I can ex[and my repitwiore of beading stuff even more..... LOL ...

    Lampwork is making beads out of glass... for anyone interested in a good book on lampwork is Making glass beads by Cindy Jenkins.. easy to follow fo rthe movice.. like me.

    Beading is easy however where do you want to start??? beaded trim? adorning cothing? Jewelry? Lampwork? Studying historical beads? Beaded flowers? Beadweaving? wire weaving with beads?

    I would suggest figuring out what you want to do with beadwork.. there are many more "facets of beading" than the ones I just mentioned.. I am not by any means saying stick with one facet but pick a starting point....

    It is much easier to for us to help you with books and guidance when we know what you wnat to do with your beading.


    Hope this helps some


    Cheers,
    Ash