5 Reasons to Love Glass Beads

I am delighted to introduce today's guest editor, Jamie Hogsett. I met Jamie when she was the editor of Stringing and she published one of my very first designs.  Jamie is the author of Stringing Style and co-author of the Create Jewelry series. She is also one of Beadwork's "Designers of the Year" with projects forthcoming in every magazine issue in 2009. I am excited about Jamie's new book Create Jewelry: Glass because when I reorganized my bead stash last month, I discovered I had more glass beads than any other type.  If you hoard glass beads like me, you'll be happy to know that you can save 10% off the book's price for one week only.–Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor

5 Reasons Why Glass is One of My Favorite Bead Types

by Jamie Hogsettglass-beads

To my delight, an advanced copy of my new book, Create Jewelry: Glass, arrived a couple of days ago. It’s been nearly a year since I finished making the projects and writing the instructions. Seeing the projects in print brings back memories of just how much fun this book was to make. Of the four books in the Create Jewelry series (the others being Pearls, Stones, and Crystals), the Glass book is the one I most enjoyed. Why? Because I love glass beads! Here are five reasons why you might love them too:

1: Glass beads are colorful. If you’ve been to a bead store or a bead show, or even shopped for beads online, you know that glass beads are available in every color under the rainbow, especially when it comes to seed beads. In many bead stores, there are more colors of seed beads than there are paint chips at the hardware store. That’s a lot of options!

2: Glass is a shape-shifter. When glass is in its molten form, it’s technically a liquid, and therefore can be melted and molded into pretty much any shape imaginable. Need a bead in the shape of an acorn? A fish? An Eiffel Tower? No doubt you’ll find it in glass. I have some Czech pressed glass Hello Kitty beads that I just adore.

3: Glass beads are international. While flipping through my book, I counted up all the countries of origin for the glass beads used. The beads come from over half a dozen locations, including Italy, the Czech Republic, Japan, Indonesia, and several places in Africa. Glass beads are everywhere. Luckily.

glass-beads4: Glass beads are personal. Lampworked glass beads are my absolute favorite type of bead. My collection of art beads grows after nearly every show I attend. I love handmade beads because I get to meet and talk with the talented people who make them. They’re super friendly folks.

5: Glass beads are versatile. The fact that glass beads come in so many different sizes, from tiny (size 30° seed beads and smaller) to huge (the largest bead I’ve worked with was about 30mm x 75mm), means they can be used for anything. Beaders can use glass beads to string a necklace, stitch a bracelet, cover a surface, and sculpt just about anything. The possibilities are truly endless!

Why do you love glass beads?  Who are your favorite glass beadmakers?  Share your thoughts on the website.  

 Jamie Hogsett is a jewelry designer and Soft Flex Company's Education Coordinator. She is author of Stringing Style and coauthor of the Create Jewelry series: Pearls, Crystals, Stones, and Glass. She will be teaching at Bead Fest Santa Fe in March 2009.  Jamie enjoys combining seed beads with just about all other beads and findings and finds that circular square stitch is pretty much the perfect stitch. Contact Jamie through her blog, jamiehogsett.blogspot.com. 

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