About Our Guild

Guild Description:
Our guild represents a wide variety of jewelry artists with unique talents and techniques, as well as the suppliers of beads and beading supplies.
Guild Mission:
To gather together Jewelry Design and Jewelry Supply Studios for the purpose of sharing information, ideas, techniques, and strategies for promoting our Artfire Studios.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Featured: Beads, Beads, Beads, and yes, Beads

A bead is a small, decorative object that is usually pierced for threading or stringing. Beads range in size from under 1 millimetre (0.039 in) to over 1 centimetre (0.39 in) in diameter. Beads can be woven together with specialized thread, strung onto thread or soft, flexible wire, or adhered to a surface (e.g. fabric, clay).

Beads have been around for as long as anyone can remember, with the first beads ever made dating back at far as 100,00 years ago. Beads were even used as a type of currency at one point in our history. Since that time, beads have progressed into an entire culture all their own, with many people creating their own beads out of various materials, selling them, or creating jewelry with them.

Beads have had very important meanings for many societies in the past. Some believed that beads brought great fortune and wisdom to those who wore them. Some were used as prayer beads, or as we more often refer to them, rosary beads, to help people recite their prayers in the order they are supposed to be said. Many believed that beads offered protection from evil, and carried them around to stay safe.

Through history, beads have been crafted from various different types of materials. The first beads were made from stones and pebbles, shells, and teeth. Later materials that were used to create beads include clay and glass. To this day, most of our modern beads are still made from clay and glass materials. However, some of the other materials that are also used today to make beads are plastic, acrylic, lucite, fabric, natural gem stones, metals, shells and even paper.

The way we make beads now has not drastically changed since the first beads were made, and most of the materials used throughout history are still the exact same materials we use today. While we have advanced the tools and methods we use to make our modern day beads, they are still reminiscent of the originals methods and tools that were used thousands of years ago. The end result of our work today on beads closely resembles historical beads, as well.

Now, we don’t necessarily believe that beads have any special sort of powers as our ancestors believed. But they do have the power to make us feel stylish when we wear them. We do still use beads in similar ways to create beautiful pieces of jewelry, for religious reasons, and for many other decorative purposes. Though our designs may be a little more bold and intricate, there are a vast amount of similarities between our beads and beads throughout history. Modern technology may have changed the way we do many things, but the art and culture of bead making will probably always stay true to its roots, even as the technology we used in our bead making continues to advance.

The following Ajdjss Guild Studios have provided the beads showcased in this feature--starting from top left:

1. SWbeadshop, LAJewwelryDesigns, LaDeDaCreations

2. DeStashNotTrash, SupplyShop, RougeRiverBeads

3. BeadsbyHaffina, VintageBeadlady5, DeStashNotTrash

4. Ariel'sDad, VintageBeadlady5, AllEarringsandSupplies

5. SWbeadshop, SWbeadshop, PickleValentineVintageBeads

6. RoyalMetals, SWbeadshop, PickleValentineVintageBeads

7. FiredanceBeads, bwdesigns, libertydoll

8. kitschbeads, RiversEdgeGlass


Ajdjss Guild said...

Where would we be without our beads--OMG, what a horrible thought--


Mountaindreamers said...

there seems to be no end to human creativity. I especially like beads because they are an outlet for women to express themselves. Have a great week!

Stacey said...

Wonderful post and beautiful pics. The variety and styles out there constantly amaze and inspire me.