…A Guide For The Aspiring Bead Artist
by Warren S. Feld

Excerpts From This Ever-Evolving Tale.....

I don’t mean to drag a poor Elephant by its tail, kicking and screaming, into our bead world against its wishes. Nor do I perceive the elephant to be a threat, like you might see an Elephant in the boudoir, or the fine china store. And I don’t want you to shut your eyes and pretend not to notice that this Elephant is here, standing shoulder to shoulder with every beader and jewelry maker around.

The Elephant is not a joke. And the fact that it is “Rogue” makes it more important than ever to figure out why it’s here, among size #10 English beading needles, and Czech size 11/0 seed beads, and Austrian crystal beads. It seems so worldly, yet other-worldly, our Elephant. It’s not our muse. It’s not our Cassandra. It has no secret plan or strategy. It does not depend on its size to make its point. It does not hesitate to stomp and chomp and clomp because the beads before it are raku or glass or gemstone or crystal or metal or plastic. But a Rogue Elephant in the middle of our craft room forces upon us a completely different logic, so that we can make sense of it all.|


Planning Your Necklace

The best jewelry designers are very organized.

First, they work like an artist with an artist’s palette. They have all the beads and other jewelry components they might use arranged around them. Often they arrange the beads by color, and the components by size and style.

Next they sketch the piece, or lay out some ideas on a bead board. They play with arrangements. The constantly and persistently and honestly ask themselves this type of question over and over again:

If I added or subtracted one more bead (or one more color element or one more form or one more texture or one more of something), would it make the piece better and more satisfying?

They examine weights and proportions. They determine the appropriate length.


Bead Size # Beads Per Inch

2mm 12.50
3mm 8.25
4mm 6.25
5mm 5.00
6mm 4.25
7mm 3.50
8mm 3.25
10mm 2.50
12mm 2.00
14mm 1.75
16mm 1.25
18mm 1.23
20mm 1.20


Ladies, 7 - 7 1/2 " including clasp
Mens, 8 - 8 1/2" including clasp

Ladies, 9 - 9 1/2" including clasp
Mens, 9 1/2 - 10" including clasp

Ladies, tightfit, 15 1/2 - 16" including clasp
Ladies, loose-fit, 17 - 17 1/2" including clasp
Mens, tightfit, 16 1/2 - 17" including clasp
Mens, loose-fit, 18 - 18 1/2" including clasp

Hangs above breastplate - 22- 24"
Hangs at breastplate - 24-26"
Hangs just below breastplate - 30"
Hangs above navel - 36"

Millimeters To Inches

Rulers are marked in millimeters on one side and inches on the other.

There are approximately 25 millimeters in an inch.

Artists treat their beads with respect. They play with combinations. They coordinate their parts based on visual appeal and functionality and durability. They anticipate the context in which their pieces will be worn. The types of body movement they will be subjected to. They are attentive to both the concerns of the wearer, as well as the viewer.



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