Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Favorite Beads: Faceted Glass

Amber Verdigris Necklace by Dark Ride
Amber Verdigris Necklace

Today my guest, Caroline of Dark Ride Jewellery, shares insights into one of her favorite beading materials.

Inspirational Beading: What is your all-time favorite bead? Why do you like them?

Caroline: You’d think this’d be any easy question. Well, I can’t choose! There are too many glorious beads out there! I’m crazy about translucent faceted glass beads, though, with Picasso finishes and/or a fire polish. I like the rusticity and the diversity among beads of a similar type. For example, the beads in both my Amber Verdigris Necklace and Amber Verdigris Earrings are from the same series, but they really exemplify the range within one series.

Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite technique or method to use them?

Caroline: Most often I embellish with either a very simple bead cap or just a wrapped loop. I hate to cover even a millimetre of them! I also tend to use them as charms, so that they can move and catch the light.

Pond Drops Bracelet by Dark Ride
Pond Drops Bracelet

Inspirational Beading: Of all the creations you’ve made with these beads, which one is your favorite?

Caroline: I really like the Pond Drops Bracelet and would probably wear it everyday if it wasn’t in my shop. For nighttime glamour, though, I’d choose the Moss Green Choker. Actually, these two pieces also display another aspect of Picasso finishes that appeals to me -- on one hand they can be appear rustic and earthy, and on the other they can be glamorous and elegant.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have any tips for making the most of these beads?

Caroline: I’m a relative newcomer to jewellery making, so I feel I’m in the taking tips stage, not giving them! I tend to follow my own design instincts.

Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite bead or material to pair these with?

Caroline: I work almost exclusively with antiqued brass or bronze chains and findings. I’m drawn to vintage or period styles, and these materials, combined with gorgeous glass, allow me to access those vibes.

Inspirational Beading: If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could have only one kind of bead with you, would you choose these?

Moss Green Choker by Dark Ride
Moss Green Choker

Caroline: I’d definitely choose a Picasso finished and fire polished bead so I could rearrange them and pretend they were different everyday. Some of them are even translucent enough that they could be rigged into a signaling device (like, if the island was boring and I wanted to leave).

Inspirational Beading: In your opinion, what is the best source for these beads?

Caroline: Etsy! I do occasionally purchase beads from a local store, but this is generally the result of a beading emergency, and not the norm. I have a couple of Etsy shops that I return to over and over again, and I have always been more than satisfied by the quality, the value and the speed of delivery. Two of my favourites are Arte Bella Surplus and Treasures by Karen.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and Dark Ride


  1. Lovely feature! And your design instincts are very keen!

  2. Lovely aesthetic. And you make me see fire-polish in a new light!

  3. I like the brass and bronze chains and findings. They are really different and combined with the glass beads create a a special piece. I find them very earthy. Thanks


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