Sugar Me Sweet ~ Pendant: Cindy Gimbrone, Enamel Bead: Sue Beads, Lampwork: J Savina Beads, Ceramic: Golem Studio.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Art (Bead) Education

I had an epiphany around 11pm last night and a sudden urge to re-work my website's homepage. Out of the blue I realized that my customer's may not have the same understanding or appreciation (gasp!) for artisan crafted beads as I do. The words lampwork, ceramic or polymer clay might not mean all that much to them. Could this be effecting my jewelry sales? Perhaps they don't realize how special these little works of art are?

I sometimes forget that the rest of the world doesn't always think the way I do. Just because I go gaga over a sparkly little lampwork wonder doesn't mean everyone else does. I felt at that late hour, that it was my job to share my passion and to explain how much work goes into each and every special little bead.

Art Beads by Loupiac De Gatteville, uvanomos, Golem Studios, Round Rabbit, Shaterra Clay Studios, Jade Scott, Radiant Mind, Lisalu Jewels and Josephine Wadman

Here is the explanation of Art Beads that can now be found on my website.

About Art Beads

Art Beads are any bead, pendant or component that has been handcrafted by a skilled artisan. These can include glass lampwork beads, ceramic beads and polymer clay beads.

Lampwork beads
are handmade one at a time by melting colorful glass rods in a flame and wrapping the molten glass around a metal mandrel. Each bead is then annealed in a kiln, cooling them gradually to room temperature creating a strong and durable bead. I buy lampwork beads from artisans all over the world and am always looking for new and exciting creations to use in my jewelry.

Ceramic beads and pendants
are very popular and I use them regularly in my jewelry designs. I purchase ceramic beads from skilled artisans in Canada and the US and have also started making them myself! They are created by hand sculpting beads and pendants from clay and then firing them in a kiln to create bisque ware. Each bead is then hand painted with a variety of glazes and then fired once again in a kiln to create a smooth, glassy finish. I only buy and make ceramic beads that are non-toxic and food safe.

Polymer clay beads and pendants
are made with a type of plastic clay that can be fired to maturity in a home oven. Polymer clay comes in a wide variety of colors and skilled artisans can shape and sculpt this clay to create an endless amount of effects.

Other artisan crafted items used in my jewelry include hand patinaed metals, hand-dyed silk ribbons, hand forged and soldered pendants, metal clay charms and beads as well as resin filled bezels. The time, effort and skill that goes into these handcrafted materials allow me, the jewelry artisan to create truly special and unique pieces of jewelry that you wont find in any store.

Jewelry made with Art Beads will always be a little more expensive than jewelry made with commercial beads because of the time and effort that goes into making each bead. To offset these costs I combine my Art Beads with commercial beads and stones for most pieces. The more Art Beads found in one piece, the more expensive the piece will usually be. The satisfaction of wearing a piece of Art Jewelry that has been crafted by several different artisans more than makes up for the slightly higher cost

I hope that by sharing the love my customer's will realize how special handcrafted jewelry is, particularly if that jewelry contains handcrafted beads and components.

On a side note: I opened my kiln this morning to a perfectly baked batch of bisque. This attempt was MUCH better than my first attempt. I can't wait to glaze these babies! I'm thinking shades of pink, orange and purple!

On another side note: Don't forget to tune in this Saturday, Feb 26 for the Bead Soup Blog Party! Myself and 209 other party goers are getting ready to share our delicious creations. I can't wait!

Happy beading everyone,

PS: I went into blogger to fix one tiny typo and my entire post got messed up. Weird. I tried to fix it but if it looks a little weird I apologize. :-)


  1. Great explanation, Lisa. This will make it a little easier for your customers to understand and appreciate the work that goes into all these different mediums.
    Hope to see some of your beads all glazed up soon.
    See you at the big event...!

  2. Such an awesome explanation Lisa! I do the same thing that you do... I try to feature art beads in just about every piece that I make. There is something so special about the artisan created beads and findings, especially when you get to know the artist and can tell their story to your clients. I find that I do have to educate the public. Having my big gallery exhibit last summer was huge. I had artists create beads based off the paintings and other artwork that was my inspiration. That went a long way toward educating my local buying public what is involved. You could see the light bulb going on in their heads when they got it and had to go back to really see the exhibit. Keep up the great work! Can't wait to see what comes out of your kiln!
    Enjoy the day.

  3. I enjoyed this post so much. I came for bead soup and kept reading. I'll be back to visit!


Your comments make me smile. :-)

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