Glass Design Challenge Winners, Plus More Beading Contests

  More than 150 beaders from around the world submitted their beaded jewelry designs to the Glass Bead Challenge! The variety of entries was astonishing–every color palette imaginable and all types of glass beads from crystals and pressed glass to lampwork. After the blind judging was complete (entries were judged without any names or identifying information), I was surprised and impressed to learn that several of our winners created the glass beads they used in their designs. Trust Beading Daily members to go the extra mile!

If you did not win, take heart–many of the designs submitted were worthy of publication. What set these designs apart from the crowd were great use of color, the focus on glass beads (the contest theme), and flawless execution of the techniques featured in Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads.

Author's Choice Winner 

beaded-jewelry-design  beaded-jewelry-design


Candy Collage Necklace
Mary MacVoy

Author Stephanie Sersich enjoyed the colors in this necklace and was impressed at the sewing on the felted balls. Mary MacVoy created the lampwork beads and the felted balls used in this necklace.

Mary is currently obsessed with felt making and embroidery. Visit her blog at:



Earrings Category Winner 


Where is Spring?
Marsha Melone

This design proves that more isn't always better! I was impressed how Marsha kept this design simple, allowing you to focus on the beautiful lampwork beads, which Marsha created herself. The choice of hammered and coiled copper findings was also unusual.

Marsha has been beading for over 10 years and describers herself as a "techniques junkie." Her favorite techniques are bead crochet, peyote (especially freeform), and bead embroidery. Visit her blog:



Bracelets Category Winner 


Jumble Love
Jennifer Judd

I loved the bright combination of colors, as well as the stringing and wireworking combination, which added a bit of texture. It's tempting–and easy–to create symmetrical designs, so I was happy to see how Jennifer played with the concept of symmetry. The lampwork beads are by Lisa New (eBay seller Beadamaniac).

Jennifer's military job influences her designs–she loves original and fun designs that are "out of character with a girl who dresses in camouflage every day." Visit her blog: 

Necklaces Category Winner 


Romancing the Spring
Samela Dorey

This strung and knotted necklace combines Czech pressed glass beads, vintage glass beads, and a lampworked focal. What impressed me about this piece was something that is barely noticeable–the very polished knotted loop and bead closure that blends seamlessly into the design. Finding (or in this case, creating) the perfect closure is an admirable design skill–and not one that everyone has.

Samela has been designing jewelry since 2002, focusing on silver and gemstones, a combination which she describes as "a perfect marriage." Visit her website:






Each winner received an autographed copy of the new book Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads by Stephanie Sersich. The author's choice winner also received a handcrafted lampwork starfish bead created by Stephanie.

Congratulations to all our winners!



Upcoming Beading Contests/Challenges:

  • Bead Arts Awards. Deadline: May 1, 2008. Details.
  • Bead Star. Deadline: May 6, 2008. Details.
  • Stringing magazine's "Channeling Cinderella" challenge. Deadline: May 16, 2008. Details.
  • The Bead Museum's first annual juried jewelry design competition. Deadline: August 8, 2008. Details.
  • Art Bead Scene. Deadline: Last day of each month. Details.

Beadwork will be asking for submissions for its sixth international juried exhibit very soon. Your work could be featured in an exhibit at Bead Expo Santa Fe in 2009 and also in the pages of Beadwork magazine. I'll share the details on Beading Daily in April. I absolutely love the theme that's been chosen and can't wait to talk about it! (Take a look at the entries for the Beaded Bag or the Beaded Figure to get an idea of past exhibits.)

Plus, Beading Daily will host another challenge open to all members! I have several ideas in mind, but I'd love to hear what you think! Do you want to focus on color? A certain type of bead? Or maybe a theme?  Do you want to vote for the winners?  Or do some of you want to apply to judge a future challenge?  Please share your suggestions on the website. 

Michelle Mach shares beading news, contests, reader galleries, and other beady stuff every Monday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website. 

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