OK, I have a confession to make.  I have this certain obsession with lampwork beads.  I want to own them all.  I am a certified bead maniac.  I am  a bead lady bead addict, and you should see my stash!  I have boxes and boxes and yet more boxes filled with all the colors of the rainbow.   They are piled in boxes on top of my bedroom dresser and almost reach the ceiling – I need a small ladder to get to them sometimes.

Besides the lampworks (which I currently have 5 crammed full gallon ziploc baggies of) I have freshwater and biawa pearls, natural gemstones, Czech glass, cathedral glass, picasso beads, rhinestone spacer beads,  Swavorksi crystals, Bali and Tibetan silver beads, sterlings and silver plateds, seed beads, pony beads, Druks, faceted glass, rounds, squares,  cubes, ovals, rectangulars, triangulars,  rondelles, briolettes, tubes, daisy spacers – ye Gods! do I have beads!!!  And, I love them all!

Each type of bead has a purpose in the design scheme of things.  Beads add interest or blend in, depending on their shape, texture and color.  They can enhance a focal, and if used improperly they can minimize the focal by calling too much attention to themselves.  One of my design rules is to let the focals guide your choices as to what supporting beads to use. 

For example – take a look at the bead to the left.  I see a myriad of colors – the predominant color is red, the next prominent colors are black and white, and there’s also a smidge of yellow. 

So, now you have to ask yourself, what do I want this focal to do?  Do I want it to be the star?  Do I want a more diminutive feel?  How many different colors do I want to use to support the focal beads?  Do I want alot fo supporting beads, or a minimal amount?  Do I want boutique chic, sassy classy or dressed down?  And on and on and on….  As a designer, your choices are limited to your own imagination and color sense. 

For this particular piece, I decided to use black and red supporting beads, and for white and yellow I decided to use gold findings and clear rhinestones.  I had some smaller, fun red and multicolored lampwork beads that I used to support the focal.  I used the focal as a guide to choosing the shades of red, and picked out what I needed from my stash, and voila!  Here is the finished piece.

Currently available in my shop - just click on the photo to purchase!

So, that’s it for this part.  Coming soon is part 4 – though I am not sure yet what the topic will be.  For that, you’ll just have to check back and see!!


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