The Hunt: Finding the Perfect Beads

This is the cover project from my book, Jewelry Designs from Nature.  One of the things I talk about in the beginning of my book is substituting beads for treasures that you find along your way.  I collected the beads used in this necklace from shows, Etsy shopping binges and some of my favorite online shops.  The art beads come from all corners of the globe including the UK, Germany, North Carolina and New York to name a few! 
When you buy a book and the supplies aren’t easy to come by, what you’ll need to do is decide what the basic components of the design are that need to be replaced and what essence of the design do you want to capture in your interpretation of the project.  Is it the color combinations that have caught your eye?  If so, you can play around with the shape and style of the beads that you replace.  Is it the beaded clusters and lush exuberance of beads that have you drooling?  If so, start with two or three floral focals and gather your accent beads to coordinate with them. 
By adjusting the beads you use in a project from the ones used in a book, you create a design that is personal to you and has your own spin to it! 
I’ve gathered up some Etsy finds that could be substituted for the focal beads in my original design. 
CeraMiC BrAcEleT … foCal …

2 Amber Handmade lampwork Gl…

Lampwork Bead – Pendant Foca…

SPIDER MUM in Orange Lampwor…

Peony- handmade ceramic foca…

Sweet Lampwork Glass Floral …

Lavender and Orange Raised F…

Glass Head Pins – White, Bla…

Flower Pendant, Pink and Bro…

Violet Glass Wire Headpins B…

Victoria Lampwork focal bead…

Purple Raku Leaf SRA Lampwor…

2 Light Amethyst Handmade la…

Sculptural Flowers in Icy Bl…

Interconnection- handmade ce…

Ceramic Pendant Flower Textu…

(And just to give some props – the beads in my necklace: Focal bead: Seaurchin. Lampwork focal: Dora Schubert. Lampwork rondelles: SueBeads. Polymer clay lentil: Humblebeads. Ceramic lentils and blue rounds: Elaine Ray. Cream ceramic rounds: Gaea. Headpins: Cindy Gimbrone.

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4 Comment

  1. Rabea Iatridou
    March 20, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Just perfect!
    The fact that all these beads are so not ordinary can make a jewellery unique and precious!

  2. Andrew Thornton
    March 20, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    With my sister's book, one of the projects included beads made by an artist who has since passed away. So… it's not too terribly easy to find his work anymore. She got a lot of complaints that they couldn't find these particular beads… however… I think there's fun in the hunt. And how did she get the original beads… she asked someone to help her make them. So, maybe you can't find some rare piece… but with a little bit of creativity and some elbow grease, one might be able to make the said piece! (Not to say that people should bootleg things… but occasionally when sources dry up, finding someone to make something similar is a good option.)

  3. Cindy
    March 22, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Heather, I was just admiring your book today! All I can say is you sure rounded up an exquisite selection of art beads here! I can see a necklace made similar to your cover piece, but in an entirely different color palette…these are beautiful. Will enjoy visiting some new-to-me shops!

  4. Hillary24
    June 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Heather, I really want to learn more from you. I love to learn and also do this crafty hobby as a business. Do you offer any workshop so I will learn in actual?

    My blog : mini cocotte en fonte 

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