What’s the biggest trend you’re seeing in the beading world today? And what’s exciting you most?

I posed this question to our Beadweaving Master Class panel. Some don’t watch trends, but those who do had interesting responses: see below! Each week on Monday (or, apparently, Thursday when I have too many meetings at the beginning of the week and lose all formatting from the draft of my post) I ask a new question of these wonderful author-teacher-beaders. I invite you to share what trends you’re seeing yourself in the comments section of the post!

Sherry Serafini, author of the Spring 2011 release Sherry Serafini’s Sensational Bead Embroidery, of Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania:

I’m seeing people mix beads with other mediums. It’s very cool. People are becoming unafraid to try just about anything, and that is exciting and totally inspiring.

I believe Laura McCabe’s use of eyeballs started beaders looking at things differently. I know it made me take a second look at what I was doing!

I recently taught a group of quilters to do beadwork. The fabrics with the beads was incredibly cool, and folks were lighting up with ideas.

Marcia DeCoster, author of Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence, of Lemon Grove, California:

I’m seeing a lot more texture and dimension in current beadweaving designs. This gives a piece so much more depth in terms of both the design aesthetic and the stitch complexity. It also brings a lot more color opportunity to the piece. I’m excited to continue to explore complex thread paths and component design.

Diane Fitzgerald, author of Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork, of Minneapolis, Minnesota:

I am very sorry to say that I think the hottest trend in beading today is not beading. It is working with wire, metal work, and things that can be produced quickly.

Those who are committed to beading (and when I think of beading I am thinking of off-loom beading stitches) continue their love of it. But new beaders don’t seem to be entering the pursuit.

We need another project like amulet bags, which is what got many people into beading 15 to 20 years ago.

Rachel Nelson-Smith, author of the Fall 2011 release Rachel Nelson-Smith’s Bead Riffs, of Santa Cruz, California:

Other than watching out for Swarovski’s color trends, I mostly steer clear of viewing much beadwork and jewelry by other artists. While I love to see what is out there, I prefer to avoid being influenced by it. So I’m not a good one to ask about trends.

I am into expressing myself, though, so I’m compelled to say that I’m most excited to see what I make next.

Maggie Meister, author of the Fall 2011 book Maggie Meister’s Classical Elegance, of Norfolk, Virginia:

You know, I’m always the last to know the latest trends. I learn about them from my students and the bead store owners when I teach. When I’m home, I’m always beading my own designs, so I tend to be out of touch with new trends.

Laura McCabe, author of Laura McCabe’s Embellished Beadweaving, of Old Mystic, Connecticut:

Hmm – this is so bad, but lately I haven’t much been watching trends. I tend to keep out of it and don’t read magazines or books.

I find it’s better to stay in my own dimension. It keeps me creative, original, and uninfluenced.

Now, go back and read earlier questions to our panel — and I invite you to answer them yourself in each post’s Comments section:

1. How did you get started beading?

2. What characteristics set beaders apart?

3. What inspires your designs?

4. What’s your favorite personal piece of jewelry for wearing?

5. What’s your favorite part of your job as a jeweler or beader? Least favorite?

6. What’s your favorite beading book?

7, What are your favorite bead colors?

*Also read great recent Lark Jewelry & Beading interviews with leading creative beaders, jewelers, and metalsmiths—please leave comments and let us know what you think:

Margie Deeb

Laura McCabe (with free project PDF)

Jamie Cloud Eakin (with bonus project PDF)

Sabine Lippert

Carol Wilcox Wells

Cindy Thomas Pankopf

Joanna Gollberg

Mary Hettmansperger

Lisa Slovis Mandel

Nathalie Mornu (with two free project PDFs)

Our Blogger Profiles have featured Carol Dean Sharpe, Lorelei Eurto, and Andrew Thornton.


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