An Inside Look at the Creation of Bead Metamorphosis

Bead artist and author Lisa Kan

From Jennifer: A few years ago, I discovered that my beaded jewelry designs seemed to be taking on lives of their own. I started out working on one piece or component, and suddenly, I had four or five new components, and dozens of new designs to work on. It was thrilling and completely overwhelming, as I watched my designs morph into new shapes and styles. It really was the beads talking when I sat down to work every day: I was just following their instructions!

Bead artist Lisa Kan understands this beaded jewelry design phenomena. She's written an entire book based on the idea of taking one basic beaded component and letting it run wild. Lisa shared her inspirations for writing Bead Metamorphosis with us today on the Beading Daily blog!

In 2008, Bead Romantique introduced everyone to my signature design style of creating elegant and timeless beadwork, inspired by history and nature. It was always my intention to followup with a sequel to Bead Romantique.  After designing the 2009 Beadwork magazine designer of the year projects, I took a hiatus from beading to focus on my glasswork and to start developing Aria Design Studio. In between, I also relocated from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest.

In 2011 and 2012, Melinda Barta invited me to contribute to her books, Mastering Peyote Stitch and Mastering Herringbone Stitch. Designing and beading Tresor and Girasole, respectively for each book, made me realize how much I missed designing beadwork and sharing my design concepts.  The two necklace designs were reversible and could be worn in multiple ways — thus began my journey of "bead metamorphosis". It was not until 2013 that I was able to find the time to further work out the concepts I had in mind for Bead Metamorphosis.

We spend so much time selecting colors, beads and components for our beadweaving that I wanted to design beadwork that would be multi-functional, reversible and/or interchangeable. I wanted to continue to blend my love of history with nature in creating wearable beadwork designs. Formed into collections, the ensemble of related pieces could be worn together or separately. Designing on the component level breaks down beadwork to the simplest level, making it easy to teach a new technique thus setting the foundation to develop more complex designs. By simply changing the bead count or adding additional embellishment beads the initial component can transform from simple to complex, dependent on how and where the components are connected. One design then can be many.

Start your Bead Metamorphosis journey and explore the infinite possibilities to beaded jewelry design.

Let yourself explore beaded jewelry design in a whole new way when you stitch your way through the beautiful beading projects in Lisa Kan's Bead Metamorphosis. Dive into your stash of crystals, pearls, shaped seed beads, and funky jewelry findings to start creating these fabulous versatile beaded jewelry designs today!

Bead Happy,




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