Question of the Week: What's Your Favorite Type of Jewelry to Make?

When I first started beading, all I made was amulet bags. This was back in 1999, and everywhere you looked beadweavers were creating beautiful, over-the-top beadwoven amulet bags. Sometimes I would make a pair of earrings to match a particular bag, but those were usually just a few beads strung on a head pin or eye pin. Once I got over the amulet bag obsession, I found myself making beaded necklaces out of lush, thick beaded fringe. To this day, my favorite type of jewelry to make is beaded necklaces. For some reason, the designs for necklaces just come easy for me. It's much harder for me to come up with bracelet and earring designs. And forget about rings – the last time I tried to design and make a beaded ring, it was a total disaster!

I was curious about what type of jewelry our panel of bead artists and experts preferred to make, so I asked them!

Mikki Ferrugiaro: My favorite type to make isn't rings, necklaces or bracelets…'s simply something different, something that hasn't been done yet. I get bored easily so just doing a bezel pendant with a different embellishment is not something that excites me. So the something special for me is originality, the unexpected and the challenging.

Michelle Mach: I'm all about earrings these days.  Quick to make and requiring few materials, earrings are tiny canvases for experimenting with techniques, materials, and colors.  Jewelry challenges like "Ring a Day" scare me, but creating a pair of earrings every day?  Bring it on!

Jill Wiseman: I love making all the various bits and pieces of jewelry, but I do confess that I find myself gravitating most to necklaces these days. I tend to go through phases. For a very long time it was all bracelets…now I'm looking to challenge myself with other things. I especially love to make companion pieces! Complementary, although not necessarily identically matched sets. Oh heck, let's face it. I like it all!

Kelli Burns: I have and still do make all types, styles and colors of jewelry. However, the art of making a necklace requires lots more thought than making a necklace and earrings (and time, of course). So because of my work schedule and other duties, I would have to say that I make more bracelets. A bracelet can be wide, thick, thin, layered in seed beads, encrusted in crystals, woven with thread or simply strung on nylon coated beading wire with gemstones. A bracelet can be worn as a necklace (if made longer) or as a sweater attachment or as an anklet with an extension. It can be instant gratification or take weeks to complete. I've even made a bracelet that can be taken apart and worn as a pair of earrings! And still 99% of the joy I receive from making any jewelry is making it for someone else to enjoy.

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Margie Deeb: I tend to make more earrings than other jewelry. Earrings are so sexy to see and to wear, especially when they drape, dangle, and shimmy in that space between the bottom of the lobes and the top of the shoulders. 

Do you find yourself inexplicably drawn to one type of beaded jewelry? Or do you rotate through earrings, bracelets and necklaces? Do you make beaded rings or other types of wearable beaded adornment? Share your favorites here and let's keep the conversation going!

Bead Happy,


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