Why We Love 2-hole Glass Beads

From Jennifer: When I started learning how to bead 14 years ago, 2-hole beads were something of a rarity. The only glass beads with two holes that I could find were vintage Czech and German, and since they weren't that common, I would snap them up. The problem was, even though they were gorgeous and colorful, I had absolutely no idea what to do with them! Sound familiar?

These days, 2-hole beads are just about everywhere, whether it's the innovative 2-hole seed beads like Twins or SuperDuos, Tilas, tiles, bricks, and even daggers and pyramids. I asked Nichole Starman of Starman beads what she likes best about the 2-hole bead phenomenon, and she was kind enough to share her thoughts with us for today's Beading Daily blog!

Two-hole beads have always been a curiosity to me. Over the past 14 years I've reproduced just about every 2-hole bead shape I've come across within the Starman factory archives. I loved the idea of working with the vintage 2-hole beads, but I found that their usage was somewhat limited to connecting strands in simple stringing designs. Determined to justify the expansion of the Starman product line into such uncharted territory, it became my passion to design new 2-hole bead shapes and stitching methods that enhance the dimensional possibilities of traditional beading.

It was almost unheard of five years ago to incorporate 2-hole beads into intricate seed beadwork. While researching the concept, I asked a few prominent beadweavers if they were interested in working with beads that had double-holes. The responses I received were mostly indifferent. I was told that there was minimal use for a bead that didn't have a hole through the center. Why add the complexity of a second hole when a single hole is all you need? I decided to develop the CzechMates Tile anyway, and with their input in mind, I challenged myself to create new techniques that could demonstrate the versatility of 2-hole beads. It only took a few compelling designs from forward-thinking artists to hit the market before those who were once hesitant started to realize that there were more design opportunities than they had ever thought possible.

Once I realized the structural potential that 2-hole beads could offer, I was inspired to expand into more shapes that could work as a system of dimensional tools. I started with the Brick and Lentil, each being both compatible and complimentary to each other. Then came the Triangle, which furthered the system's versatility of depth and texture. With all the basic geometric shapes accounted for, I had my building blocks of modern beading.

It is exciting for me to watch 2-hole beading evolve. I love reading about the latest techniques that are being created by artists around the world. It's fun to think how every component of each new design will influence the way we bead for years to come. It brings me joy to see new stitch configurations being developed in ways I never thought possible when designing the beads.

Nurturing the development of 2-hole beads rejuvenated my love for beading. The concept emerged at a time when beadwork trends were at a standstill. It has been exciting for me to watch this revolution take place. Not only are beaders learning to adapt traditional stitches to accommodate the new beads, but they are also developing advanced sculptural techniques. Since the concept caught on so quickly, there was talk about how long the trend could possibly last. I consider this time to be a milestone in the history of beading. The skills and the design possibilities that have emerged from 2-hole beading cannot be easily abandoned. Two-hole beads have gone from a curiosity to a concept, from a concept to art form of its own. Beading will never be the same.

Earlier this week, I got to sit down and play with some of these two-hole beads: I got to make Penny Dixon's super-cool Fan Flower Earrings from the cover of Beadwork magazine! If you want to make these beautiful, playful beaded earrings, you can get your Fan Flower Earrings bead kit right now in the Beading Daily Shop! Choose your favorite color palette of either red or purple, and use your own beading thread and needles to stitch up these quick, fabulous beaded earrings.

Not only were these fun to make, but they're so much fun to wear, I don't want to take them off! And if you're looking to get a head start on shopping for holiday gifts (or making great beaded gifts to give away), the Fan Flower Earring Kit is a great idea. These earring kits will sell out fast, so make sure you get your Fan Flower Earrings kit today.

Bead Happy,


P.S. Check out the Beading Instructions blog today for a free beaded earring project using 2-hole Czech glass daggers from our friends at Starman Beads!






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