Thursday, July 3, 2008

Exit the Wax Era, Enter the Bead Era

I have been beading for a couple of years now. How did this happen, this obsession, this addiction? How does any addiction begin? With a moment. In a split second. True, I had dabbled in jewelry making many years ago but I barely remember it. I suppose it just didn’t ‘click’ because it came and went with out leaving a mark on my life, just a few boxes of odds and ends.

My obsession at the time of the ‘moment’ was candle making. That particular hobby came from my joy of reusing, never throwing anything away. I began to make candles out of the stubs of old candles. Eventually I learned that you cannot control the quality of your candle if you don’t know what wax it is made of, what scents have been used. So I just used the old candles as chunks. I made some really cool chunk candles if I do say so myself. And lots of nonchunk candles as well. Eventually I had too many candles so I tried to sell them. But candles carry a lot of responsibility. What if someone buys your candle and they burn their house down? So you gotta have insurance. And to make a really fine product you must test each wax with each scent with each mold. Well, frankly once I made a particular candle I never wanted to make another one just like it again,so forget the testing. And if you go to a craft show in the sun and don’t have a cover, they melt and they fade. Argh.

It was at one of these crafts shows when we happened to be in a spot next to a jewelry maker. . We started chatting and I admired her stuff and when I left that day I had a craving to make jewelry. I started stringing, then I fell in love with lampwork beads. I searched high and low for a teacher of lampworking in the Las Vegas area. Before my quest was complete I happened to take a class at a bead store on making a peyote stitch ring. The ring reminded me of the mesh Tiffany ring I had always wanted but hadn’t treated myself to. I took the class and I have done NOTHING but peyote stitch since. Definitely an obsession. It replaced my desire to learn lampwork (for now) which is just as well as lampwork would mean buying a kiln and lots of pricey stuff. So that’s on the backburner for now.

I do still make candles from time to time to give as gifts and will continue to do so until I run out of supplies which should be around...never.


  1. My beading obsession began when I bought a beaded watch while waiting for a table at Cracker Barrel. I decided to try and make a few more bands for it, and I was off and running. It's turned out to be the most expensive watch I've ever owned!

  2. LOL thanks for sharing that. I imagine most of us started with a moment.

  3. Mine started at a home show where I first saw broken china jewelry. I thought it was the neatest idea. So I just had to make some of my own, didn't I? Now I have a room filled with cracked dishes, cups and vases and a mess of wire and beads. How quickly obsessions can take root.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. Hi ChezChani-
    Great to meet you, thanks for adding my blog. You are very talented, your work is wonderful.

  5. Oh Marjorie, I know I will pause next time I see a piece of broken plate and I don't even do wire wrap (yet.)
    D, thanks and ditto on your work!

  6. It is an instantly addicting thing once you make jewelry! I made one bracelet and it was over for me!