Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book Spotlight: Beaded Jewelry with Found Objects

Beaded Jewelry with Found Objects by Carole Rodgers

Found object jewelry isn’t a new concept. In fact, you could say that it is the oldest form of accessorizing. The idea of picking up something pretty at the beach, or taking the leftover bits from another project and turning them into jewelry, has been around since the time of cave people.

We are still using some of our ancestors’ favorite materials today, like leather, stones, shells and even porcupine quills. But the world of found object beading has grown into a beautiful art form that can incorporate everything from trash and scraps to everyday household objects.

Most found object jewelry uses assemblage methods like stringing, wire work, cold connections and mixed media techniques. So when I started flipping through the pages of Beaded Jewelry with Found Objects at my library, I was thrilled to discover that most of the book’s projects use beadweaving techniques.

You might be familiar with the work of author Carole Rodgers, who also gave us titles like Beading Basics. In this book, she has gathered up and combined a delightful variety of found objects and beading techniques.

Beaded Jewelry with Found Objects

The first few chapters provide in-depth descriptions of the beads, findings, thread and materials used in the book, along with design tips and basic beading information for the absolute beginner. Each of the bead weaving techniques used is covered in excellent detail, with easy to understand illustrations of the stitches. All of the essential weaves are included, like right angle weave and peyote, along with a few less common techniques like Chevron chain and Potawatomi weave.

An entire chapter is dedicated completely to beading with cabochons and irregular shaped stones, with ten gorgeous necklace and brooch projects to try out. Six more project chapters cover found objects like hardware, fishing tackle, and buttons. The game pieces chapter includes a Scrabble tile project that is so unlike the pendants that we’re used to, that it makes tiles-as-beads seem like a whole new idea again.

What I love about this book is that although the focus is on bead weaving, the projects are not so elaborate and complicated that only a beading expert could try them. Beaded Jewelry with Found Objects would make a great instruction manual for anyone wanting to transition from basic beading to more complex beadwork.

Each chapter finishes with an inspiration gallery, and includes some beautiful project variations, and designs using the suggested found objects. My favorites are some fantastic beaded dolls by Sigrid Wynn Evans and Cheryl Erickson.

Cave Girl Fire Clan Pendant by The Sage's Cupboard

Cave Girl Pendant

Today’s necklace-a-day design was inspired by these beaded dolls. I used some of my favorite ‘found’ objects - glass nuggets or globs. My current color choices are black, blue or green, and since I didn’t want to do anything too woodsy or aquatic to start, I went with some black nuggets, then added topaz and amber colored beads for a leopard print effect.

For the fringe hair, I wanted to do something wild, so I found some mauve lined topaz seed beads that have a delicious red color, but still blend in with the other bead shades. I like the overall look of the doll - even the little druk hands and feet have a charming quality to them. I think I will have to make a few more with different themes!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and Carole Rodgers


  1. Adorable!!! Love the wild hair!

  2. I love the beading with seed beads. I can't imagine how much patience you would need to do some of the more exquisite ones.

  3. I think the amount of patience you need depends on how much you enjoy the technique you're using, and how excited you are about the end result.

    Adding bezels to glass nuggets does require a little patience, though. You pretty much have to wait until all the rows are in place before you know if it'll take hold. But that's part of the challenge of using found objects!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Inspiration Topics

accessories amulet Ancient Worlds Modern Beads animals April's Army art ArtFire astrology astronomy autumn awards awareness bangle beach Bead Inspired Bead Shops bead soup bead spotlight bead stash Bead Trays beaded beads beading theory beads belt bezel birthstones black blog spotlight blue boho bone book spotlight bracelet Bracelet A Week branch fringe brick stitch brown bugles buttons cabochon ceramic chain maille challenge charity chevron chain christmas collar Collections color Color Ideas color triads conservation craft shows crafts crochet crystals cuff Culled Beads current events Current Faves daggers Daily Sets daisy chain Delicas Destash drops Dutch spiral earrings Egypt Egyptian Gods embellishing embroidery environment etsy exotic fair trade fantasy fashion Favorite Beads Favorite Techniques feminine fibers film findings fire polish fixtures Flashback Test flickr inspiration flowers food found object free form fringe Geek Jewels geekery gemstones geography giveaway glass gold gray Greece green herringbone hex cuts history holiday home decor insects inspiration tip inspired beader Inspired by... Inspiring Links ivory Jewelry Stash knitting ladder stitch lampwork lariat leaf fringe leather lights literature loomwork macrame magatamas Master Class Medallions metal free metalwork Mini Collar a Week mixed media mixture Mood Board MOP multi-color multi-strand music natural beads nature necklace Necklace a Day Nepal chain netting New Beads ocean ombre orange paint paper patterns pearls pendant peyote photography Picasso finish pink Pinspiration PMC polymer clay poster sketch purple quick inspiration rainbow RAW red resin ring Ring a Day rivoli Rome Russian spiral scarf science seed beads shell silver soutache spiral rope spring square stitch St. Petersburg steampunk stringing stripes summer tagua TBT The Elements thread Tilas Time Capsule tools trade beads triangle weave tribal tropical turquoise tutorial two-hole beads Ugly vintage Wear it Twice weather white winter WIP wire wishlist wood World Beaders yellow
Blog Home * About * Beading Tutorials * Advertise

Learn About Sponsoring Inspirational Beading with Project Wonderful
Affiliated With and