Studio Saturday – From Inspiration to Creation

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

Last weeks winner is Christie of BeadLuvah Congratulations! You have won a few buttons from Creative Impressions in Clay. Send us an e-mail with your address in the suggestion box and we will get it right out to you.

I’ve been one busy beadmaker getting beads together for Bead & Button. Pam at Bello Modo will be selling Humblebeads at booth #957, so be sure to stop by and say hello.

Like many of you, jewelry making is my stress-reliever and something I do when my brain needs a break from creating the same bead for the 500th time! I thought it would be fun to share my process from inspiration to creation on one of my latest pieces of jewelry.

It started with the sketch above, which was a color study using my urchins with raspberry keishe pearls. You can read the original post and see the other variations here.

I had large chunky raspberry pearls and decided to string up the design just as I had sketched. Looked great, until I tried it on. It was very Flinestone-y and little too over the top for me. You just never know until the creation is in your hand and around your neck how it will play out in real life. So, out came the wire cutters and the beads fell back on to the table. Time for round two.

One of the problems with the first design was that the urchin just stuck out like a sore thumb. The little bits of amazonite and crystals weren’t large enough to balance out the over-powering raspberry pearls. So I pulled out some lentils in glass that mimicked the shape of the urchin, grabbed some wood, a few turquoise daggers to play off the shape of pearls and put together the asymmetrical design like a puzzle, letting the shapes and colors speak to each. I decided to finish the design with chain and a button clasp. The chain and clasp also mirror the shape of the lentil. This is a much more wearable piece to me and still holds the same spirit of the tropical inspiration. If I had small keishe pearls on hand the design would have worked as sketched, sometimes you have to adapt according to what you have on hand!

And speaking of hands, with the left over beads I whipped up a matching bracelet. I mixed in a few of my disk beads. My question for you this week is what part of jewelry making do you find the most relaxing? Maybe it’s pulling out the beads, hammering away at metal or the meditative quality of sewing bead after bead. I will send out an urchin bead to one lucky winner.Oh, and now that I mentioned winners, don’t forgot to go vote for your favorite creations in the Bead Star contest, voting ends May 30th.

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28 Comment

  1. :-) MaryLou
    May 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I love the color of the urchin bead, and those pearls are amazing. I’ve been reluctant to use dyed pearls because I’m always afraid the color will rub off.

    As to your question about what I find most relaxing…

    pick up 3 beads, go through 3 beads, pick up 3 beads, go through 3 beads

    Repeat several hundred times till finished.


  2. Christie
    May 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Hoooray! I never win anything!! Thanks so much, I will get an email right out to you!

  3. CraftyHope
    May 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Most relaxing? Hmmmm – I think stringing the beads is the most relaxing, but I can definitely get into the ‘zone’ when I’m working on collage pendants too.

  4. Christie
    May 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I can’t seem to find your email address? Would you mind emailing me at beadluvah at gmail.com?

  5. Dawno
    May 30, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I do a lot of stringing and there’s a very meditative quality to putting on bead after bead, following a pattern or not.

    The other meditative task is making simple loop linked chains. There are a lot of fun necklaces you can make from craft wire and assorted glass beads linking each one together. And, the bonus is, it’s very inexpensive.

  6. Gaela
    May 30, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    I have a couple of answers. 1)Peyote stitch is just the most relaxing beading that I do, it doesn’t matter if I am following a pattern or doing freeform, it relaxes me. 2) Hand mixing and conditioning polymer clay is also a way that I can relax. Along with that, I usually get some very cool swirly colour mixes. Hey, your sea urchins are soooo nice!

  7. Marbella Designs
    May 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I love the color combo, cool!

    I really enjoy drawing the designs with my water color pencils and then pulling out the beads to make it happen. So sitting with my pencils and drawing is the most relaxing for me.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  8. peacockfairy
    May 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Ohhh, these pieces turned out amazing! I love the colors!

    What is most relaxing for me is when I have a lot of ideas that I can put into motion seamlessly. The designs work out as I imagined them to.

  9. The Joy of Nesting
    May 30, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Heather,

    I can shut out the rest of the world best when I’m creating a collage. It doesn’t matter what medium. 🙂 But it seems that more and more I return to making jewelry collages to completely relax, between other projects.

    Heather, like MaryLou I’ve not used the colored pearls because I’m not sure about the staying power of the color. I was given a handful of aqua blue and some of orchid and would like to do something with the gift but….
    Do you have any advice??

    Pattie 😉
    Mazatlan Mx.

  10. Gardanne
    May 30, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    I love the way you are able to pull together an asymmetrical design, I am still working on that one.

    Since I make glass beads that is the most relaxing part for me, I can sit at the torch for three hours at a time and it feels like an hour.

  11. Retail Therapy
    May 30, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I find design the most relaxing. i love laying out the beads, playing with the colors, and really using my creative side to puzzle through design hiccups.

  12. King's Ransom
    May 30, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    First, I gaze at the ladder in my workroom which has strands of beads hanging from each rung. My mind leaves the worldly issues as I mentally combine the different beads. The ultimate ahhhhhhhhh then comes from the beading!

    Love the bracelet. The colors are awesome together!

  13. AJ
    May 30, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    The actual process of beading is probably the most relaxing — but at times there’s something very therapeutic about digging through my collection, looking for the perfect bead, coming up with other project ideas as I go along…

    Over the next few days I’m going to be moving my bead stash to another room and re-organizing it (it’s become very messy this year!), and I suspect that will be fun, relaxing, and full of “Hey, I forgot I had these!” sort of moments 🙂

  14. RupaB
    May 30, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Love the color combination that you have used and I DO love those Urchin beads….have been meaning to get my hands on one of them.

    I think any type of craft is therapeutic/relaxing as it relieves everyday stresses.

    In jewelry particularly I enjoy sketching my pieces before I begin a project. When I purchase beads I try to sketch some designs and then I pin them on my “picture board” until I get a chance to work on actual piece.

  15. Christy @ Shouting Stones Design
    May 30, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I enjoy pulling down boxes and looking at my beads, putting a few together until I have that “oh wait- where is that ____ that would go perfectly with this” moment. When everything is together and laid out ready to go, I can get into a Zen like state where the piece just almost makes itself.

  16. Elizabeth
    May 31, 2009 at 12:54 am

    Love your necklace and bracelet set. The most relaxing aspect of jewelry making is the focus it makes me have. Totally takes me away from all the bothersome things in life: bills, annoying coworkers, company reorganizations, etc, LOL.

    My furbabies join me in my space and all is right with the world!

  17. CreekHiker
    May 31, 2009 at 2:49 am

    for me, it’s bead crochet. I love the repetitive rhythm and feeling a necklace grow.

  18. Dale
    May 31, 2009 at 4:49 am

    I love your owrk here too. You have such lovely, lovely wooden beads! they combine un such a lovely way with the raspberry and teal. Great work.

    For me the best part of making jewelry is the gathering of ideas. I love sifting through my beads, finding the best ones, and envisioning how it would be all put together.

  19. Alice
    May 31, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Love your beautiful pieces!

    For me, the most satisfying and relaxing is going through my bead stash and looking for the perfect beads. I love looking at all the color and feeling the texture and heft of each bead. Sometimes I don’t even make anything, I just gaze at the beads.

    Stringing the beads together is fun too, but I really don’t like adding a clasp. At that point I just want it to be done and don’t want to fuss around with crimps, jump rings etc.

    I worry about the dye rubbing off of pearls also, but recently read that you should wash them in a bowl of warm water, rinse and repeat until you see no more dye in the water.


  20. Jean Hutter
    May 31, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    The most relaxing to me is getting into a rhythm of a repetitive pattern and watching the design grow.

    The most stressful for me is deciding what to make next.

  21. bluelapis
    May 31, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I have to agree with Alice. I just love going through all my beads and seeing all the possibilities there. The actual making of the jewelry is kind of tedious. Unless of course I am trying a new method or wiring tip. Then it is tolerable until I learn it. I just love rearranging my beads and finding new ways to store them so I can see them all at once!


  22. Valerie C.
    May 31, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    I love your finale dission on your design of your urchin. I does look much better then the original design. The colors are great too.

    I love to wire wrap the best. It is the most relaxing way I can spend my day or evening. Not really kowing how it is going to look when I am done unless I am going by a pattern I made up. I just love to create with wire. Sometimes I will switch up to seed bead weaving or loom work to relax.I will do this when I don’t want to think just do.

  23. SueBeads
    May 31, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    I have to say that what is relaxing for me is when I have an idea, and it comes together and i can just string (or whatever). However, I do love running my hands over the beads too. Better stop there!

  24. Ingrid
    June 1, 2009 at 2:43 am

    I love the sea urchins…they are so delicate looking and jump start my creativity! And being creative in a new way is very relaxing for me. There are so many venues for beaders that it’s impossible to get bored with it.

  25. Ms. Lahtidah
    June 1, 2009 at 5:53 am

    I simply adore your urchin beads!

  26. TanmoySarkar
    June 1, 2009 at 10:33 am

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  27. Mari Aparicio
    June 3, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    For me the most relaxing part of jewelry making is sewing bead after bead after bead. Its like knitting. Release my stressssss!!!

  28. Shaiha
    June 12, 2009 at 12:57 am

    I know that I am way behind but I just had to comment. I keep most of my beads organized in those 64 drawer nuts & bolts container. The bad part is that I can't see the beads until I open the drawers. But it also leads to my favorite and most relaxing part where I start pulling out drawers until I find a bead that sings to me. Then I start pulling out more to find compliments. I might end up with 8 to 10 boxes of beads to play with. Then comes the play to figure out a design. Awww… relaxation

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