Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A BIT OF BEADING HISTORY


Hi Everyone!

When I think of how far the beading world has come in the last 40 years it is truly amazing. In the early 1970s Bell Bottom pants, Empire dresses, clog shoes, and the beaded jewelry was mainly Native American or Hippie macramé with a single bead attached. Of course there was high fashion jewelry but that was far away for big named designers. The only instructional books were old time Native craft books. This book has everything from leather work to tanning hides and beading.


 
 The 1980s took a step up thanks to Deon Delange and her books on Techniques in Beaded Earrings and later More Techniques in Bead Earrings.  We also have Virginia Blakelock to thank for doing the research and writing, "Those Bad Bad Beads", and Loren and Donna Woerpel who wrote Beadworking.

                     


                 





These books brought beading to the forefront in the early days and from there the explosion began. At that time the Japanese seed bead was the worst on the world trade market, being very un-uniform and colors that came off on your hands as you worked. Czech seed beads were the beads of choice followed by French and Italian seed beads. By the early 1990's Miyuki was importing the Delica seed bead to the US,  known then as "D" beads. Bead n Button published it first all bead magazine and people wanted beads. Art schools across the country started teaching more on jewelry design and fashion. Several more beading instructional magazines popped up and before we knew it there were hundreds of instructional books available. Now those numbers are in the thousands. Toho stepped in with a computer to make their beads uniform and soon the Japanese seed bead took first place over the Czech. Bead stores, magazines, books, beads and every type of jewelry and bead art is now the art of the world. As I said in the beginning I am amazed at the industry a small thing like a bead has created.

Honor and Integrity in Life in Art
Nicole/Beadwright

2 comments:

  1. You're right--the growth and variety of beads and what to do with them is amazing!

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  2. Thanks for the history lesson, Nicole! It makes me so, so happy that there are so many awesome resources nowadays.

    I remember when Those Bad, Bad Beads came out. I thought it was the cutest title ever, and I still do. :)

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