Salutations to you dear reader!  I’m a relative novice when it comes to appraising what constitutes a good or bad bead, and completely uninformed when it comes to working a loom.  Those people who can work them expertly are like magicians to me in fact.  But that aside, I think I can probably glean some good information that I’ve gathered and I’m happy to share it with you.Now I don’t expect any young ladies of this generation to pull off a work of art like that photo of that heavily embroidered cuff above, but in the mean-time.

stone-heart-bead

Here you can see a photo of a glass bead that is extremely well formed and designed.  Doesn’t it look like it’s actually made of stone?  I can’t even begin to imagine the pains taking process of creating this thing; it’s truly a work of art.  (The photo is © of Stephanie Gough).

Now while appraising a cool bead or two is important, I still like to delve a little further and consider the cultural or even individual artistic aspects of different beads.  I suppose that’s only to be expected, as you might do the same when you’re trying to appreciate and differentiate one piece of art from another, or one movie from another, or different meals, or different styles of clothing, or different pieces of music, or really just about anything that you can consider as an art form.

beaded-earrings

And speaking of appreciating different beads from different cultures and artists, take a look at these stunning glass beads that have been purposed into a pair of decadent earrings! (This photo is © of Alette Designs).

While I’ve certainly enjoyed my fair share of studying the different styles of beads that are out there, I’ve had to take at least a cursory glance at the craft of looming and embroidering beads off of the loom.  From what little I’ve learned there are several different styles, even within individual nations and cultures.  There are at least two different kinds I’ve heard about that originate in Native American cultures, two African variants and a Dutch style of stitching.  So that’s not too surprising that there are just about as many different ways of putting the beads to use as there are different kinds of beads.

lampwork-pendant-and-beads

I suppose it’s up to personal interpretation whether or not you think I’ve saved the best photo for last or not, but in my subjective opinion, I’d say this picture of an extremely well designed lamp work pendant bead along with earring size beads is pretty awesome.  I’m not sure if the critics out there are debating whether or not to classify beading as an art form, but if there was ever any question about their artistic integrity before, I think these babies are all the evidence you need.  (This photo is © of Stephanie Gough).