Beadwork Celebrates Over 20 Years of Publication

Over forty years ago, Linda Ligon founded Interweave on her dining room table. Handwoven, Spin-Off, and PieceWork were born. Over twenty years ago, Beadwork was launched as a special newsstand-only issue and was so successful that it soon became a regular quarterly subscription magazine.

Beadwork’s October/November 2017 issue commemorated twenty years of publication with a special section highlighting memories, remarkable covers, contests, and more. To continue with our celebration, we thought it would be fun to share a few facts and figures from our history!

Beadwork Magazine Covers - beaded spice bottles (Spring 1999) and beaded kaleidoscopes (October/November 2001)

Beadwork covers through the years

Unless you’ve been a reader from the very beginning, you might be surprised to learn that beaded jewelry isn’t the only thing that has graced the cover of Beadwork magazine throughout its history. The most unusual object? Well, we think it’s a tie between the beaded spice bottles (Spring 1999) and the beaded kaleidoscopes (October/November 2001). One thing’s for sure, there has been no shortage of creativity on the part of our talented contributors.

Speaking of jewelry, can you guess what’s been featured on more covers than anything else?

  • Bracelets have been the star of the most covers, with a total of 50!
  • Necklaces come in a close second, with a total of 40 covers.
  • Earrings have only been featured on 4 covers.
  • Non-jewelry items have been the star of 27 covers; these include objects such as beaded bags, bowls, bottles, vessels, and even tapestries!

Beadwork in nature

Butterflies were beloved back in the day, and are still popular with our readers to this day! We’ve featured them four times on the cover of Beadwork!
Beadwork Magazine Covers - Four Butterfly Features Flowers have been popular as well, as evidenced on these six covers! How many of these issues do you own? And how many butterflies or flowers have you beaded?

Beadwork Magazine Covers - 6 Covers Featuring Beaded Flowers

A few unconventional props

Hey, we like to make fun of ourselves just as much at the next guy! A few ideas that just may fall under the “What were we thinking?” category:

Beadwork Magazine Covers - Images from the Skin Issue

  • The “Skin” issue (July/August 2000)

Beadwork Magazine Covers - the fruit themed issue

  • The “Fruit” issue (Feb/March 2001)

Beadwork Magazine Covers - the dinosaur/reptile themed issue

  • The “Dinosaur/Reptile” issue (April/May 2001)

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention everyone’s favorite column, Bead Boy, which ran from 2000 to 2007. Then senior editor Dustin Wedekind beaded his version of each issue’s contest, and the best reader entries were selected for publication alongside Dustin’s. We still run into enthusiastic Bead Boy participants and fans at Bead Fest events across the country!

Beadwork Magazine Covers - the popular Dustin Wedekind bead boy column

Whether you’ve been with Beadwork from the start or have just begun your bead weaving journey, we’re happy to have you along for the ride—our growing community of readers, bead manufacturers, shops, and teachers make this craft so remarkable and enjoyable.

Editors have put together a list of favorite projects from each issue from the past twenty years. Click here to see the list. Select patterns from the collection can be found in the new Beadwork Editors’ Choice: Peyote Stitch, Picot, Netting, Herringbone Stitch & Other Favorite Patterns eBook.

Have a favorite project, article, or issue from the past twenty years? Leave a comment below! Together, let’s make the next twenty years even more amazing than the first!

Debbie Blair
Editor, Beadwork magazine

Subscribe to Beadwork and never miss an issue!

Special thanks to these proud sponsors who helped create our memories giveaway and congratulations to the winner.

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