Monday, January 28, 2008

Get The Lead Out!

susan mandelDid you know that a new law went into effect on September 1st? Known as the Lead Containing Jewelry Law, anyone who is involved in selling jewelry in California must limit the amount of lead in their products.

For children's jewelry there are very specific guidelines which limit the use of leaded crystal and glass components to no more than 1 gram total in a jewelry piece. To learn more click on the Fact Sheet (pdf).

For adults the law is not as stringent and goes into effect on March 1st. More information regarding specific components allowed (including Swarovski crystals) can be found here: Frequently Asked Questions for Jewelry Businesses (pdf). There's also information on the resale of vintage and antique jewelry.

What about the after-market coatings that are popular on Swarovski crystals? How about the Tierra Cast components? I know nothing about the special coatings but I do know that Tierra Cast is lead free. Tierra Cast has some great information on pewter and metal on their website and an informative article about the lead content in Tibetan Silver - so be sure to check it out.

To find out more about the new law which applies to all jewelry sales in California, please click on the title above.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rebecca Roush: Beadwork Reborn

rebecca roush Bead Artist Rebecca Roush has designed a new website featuring her embroidery work. Using beads and sequins, she draws inspiration from art forms such as medieval mosaics and ancient rock art. Her series of works include Crows, Hands, Female Figures, and Petroglyphs. Her "Crows" represent her work with Columbia Basin rock art; "Hands" reveals her fascinating relationship with her own hands; and "Female Figures" are pieces she created for exhibits. Her canvases are richly decorated with color and texture - I especially love her home page which flashes through a variety of close up views of her work. To read more about Rebecca Roush, please click on the title above.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2008 Bead & Button Show

The 2008 Bead & Button Show is now online! The show offers over 490 classes, a bead bazaar for great shopping, a bead social with a special award honoring Diane Fitzgerald, and much, much more.

Class registration opened on January 15th. Can you believe that some classes have already sold out?! Sherry Serafini has 6 classes - 3 are still open. Among some of my favorite are Huib Petersen's "Going Medieval" -but, as I write, this class has also sold out. Wow. Another great looking class is Jan Zicarelli's Leaf Pendant with Spiral Chain (shown left). Diane Fitzgerald is offering a few classes too and her Gingko Leaf Necklace (a perennial favorite) has also sold out! If you are interested in attending this year's Bead and Button show and taking a few classes, be sure to sign up soon. You can browse the class list by clicking HERE.

Education in Motion
This year, Rio Grande is offering their "Education in Motion". These classes include such basics as soldering, PMC, stone setting and other techniques for creating beautiful jewelry with metal. To view these classes, click HERE.

Special Events
There are three wonderful events including a Lampworking Madness during which flameworkers will show off their talents while composing beautiful pieces of glass art. Space is limited for this event, so if you are interested in going, sign up soon.

Need to learn more about the show? Check out the online videos from the staff at Kalmbach. There are fourteen in all, including information on classes, the marketplace, networking and organizing your time while attending the show (Getting past the first row of vendors!). Click HERE to view all of the videos.

Bead Dreams
Every year Bead & Button sponsors the largest competition in the US for beadwork. This year, Bead Dreams has included a new category called "Crystal Jewelry" sponsored by Swarovski. To read more about the competition click HERE. The deadline for online entries is April 4th.

To find out more about the 2008 Bead and Button Show, click on the title above. Hope to see you there!
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Friday, January 18, 2008

Bead Memes Anyone?

gwen fisher
I 've been inspired by fellow blogger Brian to write about memes and apply it to beading. I was a little fuzzy on the term so I googled it and found a great definition over at The Daily Meme:

A meme is:
  • An idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve.
  • A unit of cultural information that represents a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation.
  • A cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); "memes are the cultural counterpart of genes".
I also learned that for bloggers the term meme can be used to refer to a list of questions that romps around the blogsphere. For example "Answer these 25 questions on your blog and then tag someone else to do the same" - commonly known as a "question meme".

So what is a Bead Meme? I thought I'd use the definition above and give it a try: A bead meme is a series of designs* that a) replicate and evolve; b) represent a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another and mutated (changed); and c) an idea, value or behavior (ie. technique or series of methods) that is shared.

Can you think of a Bead Meme that fits this definition?

How about Beaded beads? I remember seeing Sherry Moroshok's beautiful beaded beads for the first time. Wow. Since then, all sorts of variations have emerged including beaded rocks. Crystal beaded beads are certainly popular too. And lately I've been seeing beads made from crystals (and no inside bead)!

What each of these has in common is that once an idea is developed into a design- for example, a beaded bead - it is shared and changed over time. The end result is a huge selection of beautiful beadwork and loads of inspiration!

Do you have a favorite bead meme?

*Design assumption: An idea creates a design which is then expressed as beadwork. In this way, beadwork becomes the representation of an idea - just as a questionnaire does - and therefore fits the definition...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another (easy) Odd Count Peyote Method

susan mandel
*Pencio & Lilie-Poupette's Method*
Pencio has shared with us another method for weaving odd count peyote. I took her image that she sent us and re-drew it for her. It is brilliant! Please be sure to stop by her blog by clicking on the title of this post and thank her for sharing :)

Pencio a partagé avec nous une autre méthode pour tisser le peyote impair. J'ai pris son image qu'elle nous a envoyée et re-a dessinée la pour elle. Elle est brillante! Veuillez être sûr d'aller à son blog en cliquant sur le titre et de la remercier. Pour Pencio : Un Hibou! (j'ai tissé un et il est superbe!) Merci merci Pencio! Merci merci Lilie-Poupette!! Gros bisous!

Earlier Posts: Methods to Weave Odd Count Peyote, Carmilla's Peyote Instructions

The Method:
1. Using a spool of nymo/thread, unravel one meter/yard of thread. Add your needle to one end.
2. String on an odd number of beads. Push them all the way down to the end of the thread. Begin weaving peyote.
3. When you finish adding the first series of beads, unravel the thread from the spool just a little bit (be sure to keep your tension on your peyote strip by holding it with your thumb and first finger).
4. Pick up your last bead for the row and loop your needle and thread around the thread attached to the spool. Begin a new row.
5. Continue in this fashion until you have run out of thread. For your new thread, you will need to cut a piece of thread from a different spool. Do not cut your spool thread that is holding your beads onto the peyote strip!!!
6. Finishing. When you are finished with your weaving, unravel a foot (1/3 meter) of thread from the spool and cut the end. Carefully weave this end into the beadwork, knotting occasionally.
1.En utilisant une bobine de nymo/thread, démêlez un meter de fil. Ajoutez votre aiguille à une extrémité.
2. Corde sur un nombre impair de perles. Abaissez-les toute la manière à l'extrémité du fil. Commencez à tisser le peyote.
3. Quand vous finissez d'ajouter la première série de perles, démêlez le fil de la bobine juste un peu (soyez sûr de garder votre tension sur votre bande de peyote).
4. Prenez votre dernière perle pour la rangée et faites une boucle votre aiguille et filetez autour du fil fixé à la bobine. Commencez une nouvelle rangée.
5. Pour votre nouveau fil, vous devrez couper un morceau de fil d'une bobine différente. Ne coupez pas votre fil de bobine qui tient vos perles sur la bande de peyote!!!
6. Finissage. Quand vous êtes fini avec votre tissage, démêlez 1/3 mètre de fil de la bobine et coupez l'extrémité. Tissez soigneusement cette extrémité dans le beadwork, nouant de temps en temps.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jo Wood: Bead Art

jo woodJo Wood has a new website! I've written about her before but since she's updated her site, she's worth mentioning again :).
She works with bead embroidery and surface embellishes felt. Her works are small "paintings" of landscapes and are lovely to look at. To see her work, click on the title above. Please be patient while her site loads (it takes a while). Enjoy!

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Vote: All Dolled Up Competition

land of odds

Land of Odds biannual contest "Beaded Art Doll Competition" is accepting votes for favorite entry through January 15th (Tuesday). Click on the title above to see the entries and vote for your favorite!

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Methods to Weave Odd Count Peyote

Following my post yesterday on methods to weave peyote (beautifully illustrated by Carmilla of Carmilla Bijoux), I had a wonderful discussion with my friend Louise Hill about the various techniques used. There are many ways to weave odd count peyote and I thought I'd share them all with you. There are pros and cons to each technique too, which I've touched on briefly. The important point is that you choose whichever method works best for you.

susan mandelMethod One: The "Erase the edge and add it back later" method. This method uses even count peyote stitch to weave the majority of the work. The missed edge row is then added back using brick stitch. The benefit of this method is that even count peyote is simple to weave. The downside is the brick stitched edge can sometimes stiffen and distort the work, depending on how good you are with tension.

susan mandelMethod Two: The "Loop over the threads" method. (Check out Carmilla's illustration at Carmilla Bijoux). This method requires that you get your needle and thread under the edge thread of the prior row. I've heard this method described as "fast and easy". The downside to this method is if you are decreasing, your edges may not align themselves neatly. If you pierce your edge threads, unravelling when pulling out a stitch can be challenging too.

susan mandelMethod Three: The "Roundabout" method. I use this method. To see a beautiful illustration of this, check out Carmilla's blog at: Carmilla Bijoux. This method is most often noted as being "challenging" and "difficult". However, once you get it, it's not so bad. The downside of using this method is a thread line can form all along the inside edge of the third row and be noticeable, particularly if you are using a thread color in contrast to the beads. It is also challenging to unravel.

susan mandelMethod Four: The "Keep weaving, don't stop" method. The advantage of this method is the thread is in a continuous line and no "turn arounds" are necessary. Unravelling work is fairly simple. The disadvantage is if you are following a pattern, it can get quite confusing.

I hope this inspires you to try different methods to weave odd count peyote. It's a little bit challenging, but once you get it, you'll love it! (Thank you Carmilla for the inspiration on the topic!)
PS: You can read more about the various peyote stitch techniques by downloading this free tutorial from Bead & Button Magazine: Peyote Basics. Enjoy!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Carmilla's Peyote Instructions

Are you stumped by peyote or struggle with odd count peyote? Carmilla has posted a free step by step tutorial for peyote stitch on her site. They include even and odd count peyote, as well as two methods for odd count peyote. The graphics are beautifully done and easy to follow, no French required! She's also included instructions for Herringbone and a lovely Rosette Pendant.

To see this wonderful tutorial, click on the title above - you'll be redirected to her site. I use the mantra "Pick up one [bead], skip one [bead], go through one [bead]" as I start peyote. Once you've set up the start, then it's "Pick up one [bead], go through one [bead]". Be sure to master even count before you move on to odd count.

Note: Tissage Peyote Pair = Even Count Peyote; "nombre pair de perles" = even number of beads in the starting row. Tissage Peyote Impair = Odd Count Peyote; "nombre impair de perles" = odd number of beads in the starting row.

Thank you Carmilla for posting the instructions!

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More from Jacqueline Lillie!

Sienna Gallery, located in Lenox, Massachusetts, carries a wonderful selection of Jacqueline Lillie's work in beads and metals. As many of you may know, the esteemed Austrian jeweler is difficult to find on the web. The good news is the gallery has recently added more pieces to their collection!

To view the newest pieces, click on the title above. At the bottom of the page you will see thumbnails of the individual items available. Simply click on the thumbnail to view the piece.

When I spoke with Sienna Gallery a few months ago, the items were being held for an upcoming travelling exhibit of her work. I don't have any details to share with you on that but if I find out more, I will let you know. The pieces shown are available for purchase. Ms. Lillie has exhibited at SOFA and the Neue Gallery in New York. Her current production is 40 pieces a year.

Read & see more on the Web:
Beadweaver: Jacqueline Lillie (5/07)
Corning Museum of Glass
Powerhouse Talk (brief)
Galerie Slavik acquisitions (images)
500 Beaded Objects (image)
The Fine Art of Jewelry (image)

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Lucia Antonelli: Divine Wearable Art

ornament magazineHappy New Year and welcome to 2008! I thought I'd start off the new year by presenting an artist some of you may already know: Lucia Antonelli. Her work is divine.

From the Patina Gallery online: "Many of Antonelli’s necklaces feature a strong center element. This center element is often antique, too, perhaps an antique button, perhaps, or amulet. Frequently, Antonelli will craft her own centerpiece, using sterling silver and/or 18k gold." Her work has an ethereal quality to it and can be described as classically feminine.

Lucia's work was recently featured on the cover of Ornament Magazine. She is scheduled to teach at the Bead Expo in Portland in 2008 (Update: she isn't teaching at Portland 2008 but you can read about her work through this link). To view some of her work online, visit Markay's Wearable Art. You can also read more about this wonderful artist and her journey by clicking on the title above.

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