Let’s talk about the most important jewelry making supplies when it comes to jewelry making; beads!
Beads are small decorative objects made out of different materials like woods, copper, glass, plastics even well drilled stones. These small decorative objects are often used in accentuating designer dresses, handmade jewelries and other home or random decor ornaments.
In fact, according to historians, it was once thought as the first durable items of ornamentation that humans wore. Beads have been found buried, but intact in the graves of the humans centuries ago. They are indeed durable, and lots of varieties of shapes and colors we can choose.
In this modern time, we use beads to embellish our crafts, however some of us don’t know each bead’s uses. Today, we will feature and unravel the secrets of different types of beads and its uses.
TYPES OF BEADS
Base Metal Beads
Whether it’s silver, brass or gold, base metals are inexpensive.These are popular to jewelry makers because base metal beads give an antique or old representation of a jewelry. These are also popular to use as spacers that adds texture and length to a jewelry piece.
These beads were originally created by Native American Tribes and come from animal bones that have natural holes that make them easy to string.
Tribal jewelries are popular among men and they are mostly used as pendants.
These kind of beads come in endless variety, colors and shapes for jewelry makers. It is beautifully made by machine or by hand. This kind of bead is famous because it can be painted and carved to have it appear like semiprecious stones.
Creating your own glass beads requires lampworking skills. Through lampwork you’ll be able to shape it, embellish it and make your own beautiful glass beads. Kate DrewWilkinson, a lampwork artist will show you how with her video tutorials Part 1 and Part 2.
Pearl & Shell Beads
These type of beads give you an oriental and exquisite look. It creates one’s ornaments’ strikingly attractive. Shells are popular among beach lovers. They’re great accessories when you’re at the beach and still in fashion. But since shells don’t have holes you need to drill holes on them carefully.
A lot of jewelry makers prefer wood beads for they handy. They are easy to carve, can be customized and inexpensive. Wood beads come in a variety of texture to suit your crafty needs. It is light in weight and they’re a great match with bone beads to have that tribal effect.
Gemstones or crystal beads are exquisite and often costly and particularly drilled for expensive jewelries. Even though expensive, they shimmer on colors that make clothes or jewelries eye catching.
Gemstones are also a little heavier than other type of beads so if you want to work with gems you should use string wires, especially for necklaces and if you’re using a lot of gems. You can still work with nylon threads or beading threads but the sturdier your cording is, the better.
Plastic beads, although cheap are very durable and can easily be replaced if damaged.
Other than that, don’t under estimate plastic beads’ potential to imitate other kinds of beads like pearls, metallic beads or ceramics.One of the most popular plastic beads are seed beads. They’re small and comes in many colors and can produce amazing beadwork art in jewelry making. Seed beads are also the most widely used type of beads.
To show more examples of the types of beads, here’s a helpful video tutorial from Beadaholique.
There may be other types of beads not mentioned in this article. Beads come in different shapes, colors, textures, sizes and materials. Each type has their own uses but all types can make beautiful handmade jewelries.
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