February 25, 2012

A Bead is Born

While making my January Bead of the Month I snapped some photos of how I make my beads.  I thought you'd enjoy seeing what goes into each and every one of my disk beads.

First - it starts with color.  I love Brandi's color palettes that she makes for the Art Bead Scene. I print them out and start custom mixing my colors to match. 

Next, the colors are formed into round beads.

And here comes the hard part - I sketch out my canes and start to create them. 
The designs run horizontally in those tubes.

Paper thin slices of the designs are applied to each bead.  We then roll the clay smooth, shape each bead, poke the hole, bake and artfully arrange them before we tie them up into sets.  Jess is my official bead roller.  He takes forever, but he just does such a great job.

Here are the finished beads.  I only made 12 sets.  These sets each month are only available to my Bead of the Month Club subscribers.  I used the rest of the canes to make other beads and created leaves, birds and flowers to match, those can be found in my Etsy shop
 
I'm offering five more Bead of the Month Club subscriptions for the 10 months left in the year.  Each month I take the inspiration painting from the Art Bead Scene's monthly challenge and jump off from there.  If you buy the BOM Club, you don't need to take part in the challenge, that's just my inspiration. 

21 comments:

Alice said...

The colors of the clay alone are fabulious, and even more so are the gorgeous beads. I can't imagine how long it takes to make just one bead.

Thanks for sharing the process!

Lori Anderson said...

LOVED seeing this -- and can't wait to get that in the club!!!

Bead-Mused said...

I love seeing your process and am in awe of your patience (and Jesse's).

Spirited Earth said...

your beads are absolutely delicious looking.

Erin Fickert-Rowland said...

Wow- you explained your process so well, and yet I still have NO IDEA how you make these gorgeous beads (that whole cane thing throws me). Thanks for letting us peek into your studio and your process- love the new designs!

Brandi Hussey said...

The colors are so dead on, Heather! And the beads are exquisite!!

Thanks for the shout out!

Kim said...

I loved seeing your process, it amazes me how dead on you get the colors. Your beads are gorgeous.

sasha + max studio said...

wonderful to see all the work that goes in to making your glorious beads, Heather and Jess. Great colours too!

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing this process. It still looks more difficult than anything, but I understand some of the process now. You must get such joy out of the process.

jenna said...

I love process pics! How does one get into this bead-of-the-month club?

Marie Cramp said...

Those are amazing! I so wanted to join the bead of the month club this year, just not in the budget. Hope that next year will be different!

Hugs!

keep up the good work!

Lupe Meter said...

Your beads are awesome! I have always wanted to know how you come up with such beautiful beads! It all starts with color! I really need to spend more time on color mixing. Thank you for sharing your process!

TesoriTrovati said...

That does it. I'm in! I know how much love and heart and soul goes into each bead. I have witnessed it! And these designs for the monthly ABS are superb. Can't wait! Enjoy the day!
Erin

Beaditi said...

what a fascinating world - love how you are using the color palettes and creating beads in response to paintings!

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Thanks for sharing your process Heather! It's neat to gain an understanding about how an artist works!

ladynoble said...

I'm totally with Erin Fickert-Rowland! She stole the words out of my comment.

Gaea said...

AH! FREAKIN! MAZING!

Kathy Lindemer said...

Thanks for sharing your technique. I had no idea that a paper is applied to the clay to give it the design.

Karen Williams said...

Very nice! The colors are just yummy!

I've made polymer clay beads in the past, but mainly onesies, twosies; never in any real quantity. I love your second photo with the table full of beads, such abundance!

Rebecca said...

Absolutely fascinating! I love seeing the process behind the beads - they look so beautiful at every stage. And I love that even though you have shown us the whole process, (without your experienced artist's hands and eyes),they would definitely come out looking like little blobs of plastic if I tried anything like this!

Barbara Lewis said...

Very cool! Love your drawings, too!