Today we have the rare treat of seeing beads through the eyes of not one, but two talented designers. When beaders collaborate, one might think that similar tastes bring them together, but a little variety can also go a long way.
Tina and Tammy of Entwined Vines Jewelry work with gemstones, lampwork beads, fresh water pearls, Swarovski crystals and pearls, and intricate wire work like the intriguing Viking knit technique. Though they work together to create a single jewelry line, different tastes make for an interesting dynamic.
Inspirational Beading: What is your all-time favorite bead? Why do you like them?
Tammy: Tiger’s Eye gemstones are my all time favorite to work with. Luminous luster captures the imagination and I would have to say that is why I like them. From simple to complicated, the design possibilities are endless. Currently, I have about a dozen projects in mind with the tiger’s eye in my stash.
Tina’s favorite is Jasper. There are currently 10 different varieties in her bead stash begging to be created with. Currently we have several varieties, not limited to Australian Jasper, Brown Snowflake Jasper, and Mustang Jasper, incorporated in pieces available through our online shop on ArtFire. I like Jasper because they have a feel that is amazing tactile, as well as so many shades, colors, and variegations to choose from that blend well for versatility.
Although Tina and I have beads we are drawn to most, we both really have a mild (alright, probably closer to huge) fixation on lampwork glass beads. It is the versatility in shapes, styles and colors in which you can create the beads that is the biggest draw. The dichroic lampwork are a favorite with the added metal shimmer in the pieces. We both love these beads so much that we have been working on expanding our skill sets to include creating our own lampwork beads in the future. Currently we are at the learning stage and cannot really claim proficiency yet.
Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite technique or method to use them?
Tammy: Going to have to say that we both enjoy the Viking Knit technique; Bracelets and torques lend themselves well to being embellished with lampwork and gemstones both. Versatility in color and look turn each design creation into a one of a kind masterpiece.
Inspirational Beading: Of all the creations you’ve made with these beads, which one is your favorite?
Tammy: For Tiger’s Eye, the Copper Swarovski Pearls and Crystals Tiger’s Eye Gemstone Necklace. It is such an earthy elegant piece, with the chunkier random tumbled tigers eye gemstones paired with the more elegant look of pearls and sparkly crystals. And this Jasper and Vintage Viking Knit Bracelet has one of the most striking jasper center pieces we have ever found, and we really are thrilled to be able to say we made this piece.
Inspirational Beading: Do you have any tips for making the most of these beads?
Tammy: Don’t force the designs. If the design just isn’t working and you continue to force it because you’re set on it’s going to work, if you’re like us, you will not be happy with the end result. Art isn’t about perfection, it is about expressing yourself and sometimes that means listening to the elements you are working with. No, we are not crazy, just experienced.
Inspirational Beading: If you were stranded on the moon, and you could have only one kind of bead with you, would you choose these?
Tammy: Hmmm… That is a hard one to answer, as there are so many to give up. We really love all the variety that is out there, that challenge yet inspire both of us. When we run low on any one type of bead though, it is always these that we start to get “that” feeling and have to restock as soon as we can, so yes, these are what we would have to have no matter what.
Inspirational Beading: In your opinion, what is the best source for these beads?
Tammy: There really is no single best source for us. We love going to shows and we do order online on occasion although it may be cheaper, it is not always worth the savings and you really never know till you have already spent your money and are “stuck” with what you got. I suppose we really love getting supplies that we can see and touch from people we can talk to most of all, wherever we may land.
You can see more designs by Tammy and Tina in their ArtFire shop, Entwined Vines Jewelry, and on Facebook. To learn more about what’s happening around their studio, and see new designs, check out the Entwined Vines blog, or follow Tammy and Tina on Twitter. You can also find them on YouTube, and get a quick lesson in making your own wirework swan clasp.
Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading and Entwined Vines Jewelry
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