Beadwork Magazine April/May 2019
Shaped beads have taken the beading community by storm—a storm that started in the early 2000s. Tila and tile beads were on the leading edge, soon followed by an explosion of innovative shapes and configurations. For the latest and most comprehensive listing of shaped beads (at the time of press), see “101 Shaped Beads: The Essential Guide.” You’ll want to keep this resource handy.
ABOVE: Beadwork April/May 2019 cover, (clockwise) Iris in Bloom by Debora Hodoyer, Quatrefoil Lace Bracelet by Debora Hodoyer, Tymeo Pendant by Vezsuzsi, Sunflower Earrings by Edwin Batres.
Laura Graham’s Blooming Fleur-de-lis Collar
Shaped beads are found throughout this issue in many designs. Laura Graham’s Blooming Fleur-de-lis Collar is a standout favorite in the office. Laura shares a few different colorways for this pattern, making it easy to envision the design in your own favorite palette.
Compass Rose by EvenlÍna Palmontová
If you’re still getting used to shaped beads or they give you a run for your money (they sometimes make my mind feel like I’m playing Twister), the Compass Rose by EvenlÍna Palmontová will have you on the right path and seeing straight, in no time. Edwin Batres’s Sunflower earrings are also a great place to start. When working on the sunflower design, think of the seed beads as the base of the flower and the two-hole DropDuos as the petals, or prongs, to keep the beautiful sparkling center of the flower in place.
Susan Sassoon’s Paisley Storm Bracelet
One of my favorite shaped beads to date is the storm bead. Storm is a two-hole bead that gets its name from the meteorology symbol for hurricanes. I think I’m partial to it because I love following the weather where I live on the East Coast, and hurricanes dominate our weather six months out of the year. To see the storm bead in action, be sure to check out Susan Sassoon’s Paisley Storm Bracelet. Even if you’re not interested in meteorology, this design is sure to call to you.
Beyond Shaped Beads
Despite the beauty, challenges, and variety, you might be one of few who are not all that into working with shaped beads—fear not! There is more to the issue than shaped beads. Designer of the Year Wendy Ellsworth’s Hawaiian Dream is filled with luscious seed bead color and takes you on a tropical journey; Katie Hacker brings us the latest on <i>Beads, Baubles & Jewels;</i> and there are seven geometrically inspired jewelry designs in our Fast & Fabulous jewelry-making section. We’ve packed this issue with inspiration and resources to fuel your next beading project and beyond.
Here’s to a beautiful spring, wherever you are, and to beading bliss!
Editor, Beadwork Magazine