Everybody Beads and Everybody Makes Dichroic Glass

"Stephanie"

Animal Print 1

Like a child counting on a sleepover, I anticipate the joy of an art date with a friend: conversation, companionship, exchange of ideas and even materials.

Projects multiply, due in part to the synergy generated by more than one creative mind.

During a recent art day in my studio Maria said, “Everybody’s making dichroic glass these days.”

I recalled her comments as I toured a remodeled JoAnn’s, followed by a Michael’s store, and then Hobby Lobby. I felt inundated with beads and yet none of the beads I saw in any of those mass market stores made its way into my stash.

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Prada? No, I Made it Myself” by Elizabeth Holmes put the scene in different perspective, capturing the satisfaction of making it yourself.

“DIYing (do-it-yourselfing) has given a major shot in the arm to the crafting industry…”

“About half of all households crafted last year, and the average cost per project was $36,” according to the Craft and Hobby association.

Now I can assure you that I have more than $36 in my beads. Interesting.

Animal print 2

As I laid an assortment of Maria’s glass pieces on my workbench I decided to experiment with personalizing the glass.

The result?

Three of Maria’s similar dichroic glass pieces make different necklace statements, even when some of the same elements are used in creating them.

Consider:

Dichroic Glass #1: A treasured animal print bead (on the left as you face this necklace) complements the printed glass focal. Smoky quartz rounds, brass spacers and turquoise beads complete this choker.

Dichroic Glass #2: Turquoise and smoky quartz beads mix with copper elements in this single strand necklace. Once again printed glass is a focal, but a copper bail and square-ish presentation warrants a longer necklace.

Dichroic Glass #3: A smaller and darker background on this focal piece make its gold print seem bolder. Brass findings and spacers combined with faceted crystals to create a bling-y, holiday-ish piece.

Animal print 3

In the quiet of a studio, or the solitude of contemplation, an artist confronts self doubt. It’s all too easy to feel insignificant in comparison to an entire industry. Better to consider the difference a few beads can make, as in the difference between dichroic glass #1, #2, and #3.

Maybe there’s something to this general growth in the crafting industry. Maybe we’re all just finding ways to better express who we choose to be.

What do you think?