Jean's Top 4 Bead Trends for 2009

Jean’s Top 4 Bead Trends for 2009

I don’t wear the latest fashions, have a cutting-edge hairstyle, or know the latest greatest new bands. In truth, my fashion needs don’t require much more than a T-shirt and jeans, long hair means no fussing, and the soundtrack to my life includes music purchased on CDs rather than on iTunes. But there is one thing I know I am truly hip to and that’s beading. Since I bead for work AND pleasure, I’m steeped in it all the time, so I’ve got a pretty good sense of what’s hot in the bead world. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I could call myself a bead mod.

Danielle Fox, editor of Stringing, is a bead mod, too. She recently shared an article she wrote for Beads 2009 on upcoming bead trends, available on newsstands April 21, but you can reserve your copy today.  Don’t know Beads 2009? You should check it out. It’s one you should keep handy all year long. Danielle told me that this year’s version will feature over 100 of the coolest products on the market–products you might not otherwise find with a casual internet search. The comprehensive calendar of national beading events is worth the cover price alone—it’ll keep you with something beady to do all year long.

I suppose everyone has a bit different take on what’s popular, but here are a few things I see when I look into my beaded crystal ball for 2009:

1. Beading with a meaning
There’s a major buzz among top designers about making work that’s not only beautiful, but that also has an underlying meaning. They’re creating that meaning by incorporating found objects and personal charms, altering store-bought beads and findings, and working in significant colors to create pieces that read like journals or awareness ribbons.

2. Mixed metals
I’ve seen a huge resurgence in the use of pewter, brass, and copper as viable findings alternatives over the last year and I think that will only keep growing. The influx in demand has meant that the manufacturers who make these beads and findings have come up with truly creative and innovative products that encompass all kinds of styles, from vintage to contemporary. These metals aren’t the best for those with metal allergies, but they do offer a lower-cost choice to silver and gold.

3. Embracing craftiness
It used to be that beadworkers and jewelry makers were a little snobby about the techniques they’d use. For instance, using glue was a major no-no. But I think jewelry makers will start thinking “anything goes” to reach an end result. Resin-infused pendants, hot fix crystals, permanent ink stamped on findings, and Ferido are all “crafty” directions I’ve seen beaders embrace recently and I think it’s only the beginning. 
4. Bead society meetings
I find people in general are going to start getting tired of meeting people only via Facebook. Bead and needlework society meetings will have a renaissance as these venues fulfill a basic need for face-to-face contact. Plus, these meetings provide a great low-cost, high-fun way to get out of the house for an evening.
What do you see in your bead trend crystal ball? What new trends have you been exited about? Are you a bead mod? Share your thoughts on the website.  

Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website.  

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