CENTER FOR BEADWORK
& JEWELRY ARTS
The purposes of the bead studies group are manifold, including to explore new methods of beading, to experiment with variations on traditional techniques, and to study culture-specific beading techniques. The group meets in Nashville, Tennessee the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 1-3pm.
If you are in the area,
please join us in our discussions. There are no fees.
Current Bead Study Discussion Blog
The discussion question this month is about how you prepare yourself
to go bead shopping, either before you go to the store, or go to a
bead schow. And conversely, how, after a visit to a store or bead
show, you thought of how you could have better prepared. What kinds
of things do you do, or would you like to have done, prior to your
visit to the bead store or the bead show?
Below is part of the section of our evolving book How To Bead A Rogue
Elephant, which should stimulate some ideas.
Please respond on-line to the group.
HOW NOT TO SHOP
To the consternation of staff, many a Bead Warrior, as they prepare
to arrive at the field of bead-selection-battle, have not properly
They arrive with ideas swimming in their heads, from magazine
articles they've recently read, or advertisements they've seen, or
dreams they've had. And it's all in their heads. And when they
arrive at the door, then cross the threshold, there are too many
intimidating choices confronting them, attacking them from the right
and the left and forward and behind, and off to the side, and down
the aisle, and over and around the corner.
- The knitted scarf lady ready to conquer the bead world and find
that blue bead for her fringe. But no yarn in hand. And there
are so many blue beads. No sense of hole size. No idea what
needle to use. Or how to get the beads on.
- The fashion icon determined to turn a brief visit to the bead store
into ultimate world conquest, with her copy of the latest of the
latest from the best of the best style magazine. But no picture in
hand. And there are so many beads and chains to choose from. No
remembrance of what she had seen. No idea of how to attach things.
No clue about finishing off the piece.
- The bead-weaver, knowing full well that success is just over that
hill, a straight march, and her right-angle-weave necklace will hup-
two appear without much of a scuffle. Or tussle. Or hassle, Or,
whatever else might get in her way. Yet no instructions. No supply
list. No knowledge of stringing materials or tools.
- The woman in need of jewelry repairs. No jewelry with her. Wants
that bead or rhinestone or clasp to make her jewelry complete. Which
is at home. And she can't remember. Doesn't know sizes. Vague on
colors. Clueless on attachments.
The knowledge is all to be won – at the bead store. The field of
battle. Shock and awe. Little preparation. Few soldiers. Few
weapons. A daunting walk across the entrance, and that's all it
will take. To win. To accomplish. To finish. To conquer.
The lesson, not to be lost, here is that you need to come prepared.
Sufficiently armed. Some forethought. Some planning. Some
The field of battle is very large. The opposing forces are
onerous. Over 6,000 specifically named colors. Thousands of
styles and sizes and shapes of beads. Nearly 20,000 individually
named metal parts. Fifteen different kinds of metals. Forty-two
possibilities of metal finishes. Nearly 500 choices of stringing
materials. Sixteen separate types of needles. Too numerous to
count issues of quality and pricing.