New Feature on Beading Daily: Question of the Week

Welcome to a new feature on Beading Daily: the Question of the Week! I've assembled a panel of some very talented and well-known bead artists, and every week they'll be answering a question about beads, beadwork or anything related to jewelry making!

This week's inaugural Question of the Week was:

What Do You Love About Seed Beads?

Judging from the answers, it seems that there's a lot to love! I saw lots of exclamation points in the answers – it seems that our panel gets pretty excited about those tiny little pieces of glass that we all know and love. Read on to read answers from the first eight panelists for this week! (You can find out more about each panelist by clicking on their picture.)

Michelle Mach: I love using seed beads to stretch my stringing budget. Seed beads make terrific spacers between more expensive beads such as crystals and pearls. A $2-3 tube of seed beads can last months or years when you're only using 20-40 seed beads per project!

Carol Dean Sharpe: What I love about seed beads is the same thing I have loved about yarns, embroidery floss, threads, and fabric my entire life: COLOR! Color in forms that I can manage and manipulate. Take those small bits of color and combine them in the grids created by peyote and suddenly even I – who can't draw a straight line much less a circle to save my life – can create a wonderful graphic. A miracle happens and the whole becomes so much greater than the sum of its beautiful, colorful, tiny parts. 

Betcey Ventrella: Oooh, seed beads! I love the nearly infinite color range – every shade imaginable in every finish – lustrous, matte, iridescent, pearly, opaque. This array of colors and finishes give us the ability to actually "paint" with beads, creating gradations of color and textures. I think my favorites are Charlottes and cuts – yum. That one wee cut – slicing off the tiniest sliver of glass – creates the most delicious glimmer. That single flat surface catches the light to sparkle in a subtle *wink* with the slightest movement. Sublime.

Margie Deeb: Working with seed beads is like making a mosaic: I use many tiny pieces of light and color to create beauty.

Jean Campbell: I love that you can take these tiny elements and use them to build something structural, durable, and fluid. They are like mini building blocks that can not only make "buildings" (jewelry), but also "paintings" (patterns).

Kerrie Slade: Ummmm everything?  I mean, what's not to like about seed beads? But if I had to pick one thing, it would be their versatility. I can use them to whip up a simple pair of netted earrings to match an outfit if I'm going out that evening (they come in just about any colour you can imagine and then some) or I can spend hours working row upon row of something like increasing brick stitch until I have a substantial textural piece that most non-beaders don't even recognize as being handmade. They may look humble but seed beads have huge potential!

Nancy Dale: What I like the best about seed beads is their versatility. They are the super heroes of the bead world. They can pair with ANY other beads in your stash and can be used in a staggering amount of ways. From stringing to structured sculpture, to a beaded fabric, they run the gamut, and come in every color you could ever imagine.  You can paint great swaths of color with them, or add the tiniest details with them, and they form the basis for all of my work. All hail the seed bead!

Shelley Nybakke: The fact that I can take one tiny seed bead at a time, a lot of patience and a relentless nature and turn it into something unique. And then I can take a different color of seed bead or a different size and shape and make the same project but end up with an entirely different piece of "unique". Working with seed beads never gets boring, and neither does buying seed beads!

You can keep the conversation going by adding a comment: What do YOU love about seed beads?

Join us each week for a new question!

Bead Happy,


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