Remember that old joke? What’s black and white and “red” all over? A newspaper! (So lame, so very lame -ha!)
Okay, I’m not talking about newspapers today, I’m talking about beads. And shapes – I have been messing about with bead shapes. One thing that I’m really into is the shape or form a bead takes. Sometimes you see a bead with beautiful patterns and colours but the shape it takes lets it down somehow. It looks good but not fantastic, if you know what I mean. But then you’ll see a bead and it’s truly amazing. Everything about it works – the design, the colours and it’s shape all come together to make a blow out, knock out bead. A real banger of a bead. I also like how certain shapes of beads feel in my hand. I love how some beads just feel so good and right in my hands. Beads are not only visual treasures, they’re a treasure to possess!
So with that thought in my mind, I have been exploring different shapes of beads. Namely round beads and long tube beads. When I first started making beads, I made them quite small and tiny. I don’t know why but that was what I was comfortable with. Then after I met a whole bunch of glass loonies at a Brisbane Bead Makers Meet, I saw some really huge and heavy beads. My mind boggled at the sheer size of some of them – gear stick knobs they could’ve been!
So, first off I wanted to explore long skinny beads as you don’t normally see them for sale in shops. I imagined long skinny beads would look good in a long drapey necklace, and I’ve been loving the wild safari themes in clothing of late, so a zebra-style pattern came to mind as it does stand out but not overwhelming for the wearer or complicated for me to make. I made long zebra stripe ones and even longer black beads to set them off. I love the way these look. And I love how the black ones feel in my hands.
Round beads were next on my creative To Do list. I love round beads and that’s come from a love of marbles since I was a kid. So I pulled out my marble marver and kept with the zebra design. This time the visual width of the bead is quite big and therefore would make the zebra design stand out. So I opted to go for high visual impact and a smaller number of beads. Plus these beads are huge solid glass beads, so you don’t want too many of these hanging around your neck unless you’re doing weight training. These ones I love love love and I get heaps of attention. I think they’re great attention grabbers but not too “out there” since it’s only black and white that’s been used. They’re more bright and striking, I think. I also broke up the necklace design with a plain dark bead, just to break the pattern. I had been wearing it with a black bead in amongst them.
And now to the red all over. I’ve also been exploring frit glass of late. Even fallen in love with it 😎 Frit glass is small bits of broken glass and is a great way to add a sprinkle of colour to a bead. I’ve fallen in love with a Cherry red frit in particular and decided I want to make it the feature of some beads, making the frit look like it was floating in the air. They kind of looks like rose petal, don’t they? The shape I explored this time was a straight-sided circular tab. There’s something about these that I like so I’ll make some more of these.