Friday, August 12, 2011

A Matter of Preference

Beadmaking is my passion and my delight. When I started to make what I like instead of what I think other people might like, beadmaking progressed into jewelrymaking. Here's today's question: shiny or mattte?
I like matte finished beads. The colors do not pop quite as much, but individual colors tend to blend with things you wouldn't normally choose when the finish is unglazed. The beads have a more earthy feel and are smooth as silk after sanding.

Glazed beads, on the other hand, have that great light-reflecting quality that makes you notice jewelry. Glaze deepens the colors and makes them stand out more. Glaze also fills in and strengthens the surface of a bead.

Designing a piece of jewelry using both glazed and unglazed beads works in most compositions, but most of my newest work cries out for diversity and a large variety of beads from which to choose. I envy people who have huge bead stashes to pick from when designing. I want to create all of the beads in a piece myself. Perhaps years from now I will have built up a backlog of beads. Perhaps I'll be making something else altogether. Robots, maybe.


  1. I don't know, but I like the fact that you make the beads just for one project at a time. It makes that piece one of a kind and the person wearing it will know that no one else in the world will have anything like it.

  2. Good point! I hadn't thought of it that way.

  3. I love the idea that you make all beads in your jewelry. And I have to say sometimes a limited stash brings out a lot of creativity, if you have limited resources you have to think outside the box and that is always a good thing:-)

  4. those beads are stunning! love the colors!

  5. beautifful beads!

    I tend to ssand and buff all my polymer clay work unless I give it a texture. I like to mix shiny beads with textured ones, give the piece more depth of interest.