It's time to come clean and admit it. I'm hopelessly addicted to bead- and jewelry-making. Oh, it started innocently enough. While my studio was under construction earlier this year, I needed something I could do to keep my creativity alive while being without a space for making art (poring over paint chips just wasn't enough). So I started making paper beads. It was great fun, and I found it was possible to roll beads on a surface as small as a TV tray as I sat in the living room at night.
At first the beads were made from found images taken from old magazines. This upcycling resulted in many beads with fascinating patterns on them. Such as a series of beads created from a full page photo in an architectural magazine that showed lots of angles. You'd never know what the original subject was by looking at the beads, but the angles produced very graphic-looking beads with lots of zigzag patterning.
Next I tried using some of my own hand painted papers originally intended for collage. Some of these papers were textured; beads made with these papers exhibited a wonderful tactile quality. Collage papers made from deli paper painted with acrylics also yielded excellent results. The deli paper (bought several years ago at Sam's Club) was super easy to roll and took the adhesive and varnish very nicely. Another source that worked well for making beads was a museum calendar printed on heavyweight, glossy paper. Its smooth, lustrous surface made the beads look as if they were glazed ceramic, even before high gloss varnish was applied.
Now I'm experimenting with beads that combine solid color, text, and images, all on different kinds of paper used together on a single bead. These beads are more labor intensive to make, but worth the extra effort. I'm combining them with glass beads, fabric beads and semi-precious stones to create necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Photos of these latest creations will be posted here next week. Be sure to check back then for a sneak peek!
©2013 Lynn Edwards