Sometimes it's just about the bead
As a bead designer who owns a wholesale bead company with my husband, I am surrounded by beads all day in my office. They stay with me mentally most other places as I work through designs in my head.
Under those circumstances, people often assume that I design and wear my own jewelry, but I rarely get the opportunity to make the complete journey with our beads.
Our Roller Beads – full of personality and easy to use — are one of my favorites. They are a basic shape, but the large hole opens up all kinds of possibilities for their use. They first caught my attention because of the chance to play with a shiny lined coating around the hole, making the look of the beads distinct from the smaller hole counterparts.
I see beads in a different way than a jewelry designer who may use them as only one component in their work. Beads start in my mind as a result of inspiration or ideas, often from nature or beautiful things that catch my eye in an otherwise ordinary setting. I imagine how they will take shape, how colors and finishes might be applied, and how they will look against a variety of skin tones.
The design process starts in my mind and often stays there for some time until it’s released for production, delivered, photographed, processed and stocked on our shelves waiting for its’ ultimate home. I start the journey with our beads, but rarely get to see them take the final form of wearable art or come to full brilliance as they are finally worn.
But last month I had a beach wedding to go to in Mexico and took some Roller Beads on the journey. I had a gorgeous white dress with orange and red flowers and knew immediately which beads I would use.
Our Red Orange Roller Beads matched the flowers of my dress and copper-lined color was almost the same color as my tan skin revealing an elegant, subtle shine effect.
This color is under-appreciated. Orange isn’t a regular choice for the masses. When our artisans in the Czech Republic produce red, orange and fuchsia glass beads, they sometimes they need to apply real gold to obtain the color — making them slightly more expensive. But we know our customers expect more than ordinary — and now that you know these beads may have gold inside doesn’t it make them feel even more special? My necklace was a simple combination, perfect for an elegant beach wedding. I used one strand of 8x12mm Roller Beads, chain, jump rings, and a brass clasp – simply centering the beads on the chain and then doing the same with chain and earwires.
I got so many compliments about my dress and jewelry “set,” I’ve been inspired to put together another two sets with the colors I use most—red and turquoise.
This time I used the smaller 6x9mm Roller Beads and filled the length of the chain. Depending on your length preference, it will take between three and four strands.
The design of these of these sets is simple allowing the beads to do the work of understated elegance.
Our Red Wine Roller Beads are a mix of two tones, offering the feeling of a natural red stone with the added luster of the lighter color. For the Turquoise Picasso set, I added some Champagne Rollers to give some shine, while keeping the earthy look.
I hope you too will share the joy and ease in working with these beads. I love to see pictures of your work with these and any of our other beads here or on our Facebook page.
Check all our Roller Bead colors and sizes to start your inspiration journey. (And if you’re in a button mode today, check out my post on making simple, beautiful Czech Glass Button Earrings).
CYNTHIA SHANTI MORALEZ
Shanti designs most of the beads and buttons produced for Nirvana Beads. She is also a Graphic and Web Designer