Seed beads are those “itty bitty beads” ranging in size from less than a millimeter to several millimeters. The sizes are expressed as the number of beads that fit into a standard unit, 15/0 (fifteen/aught), 11/0, 8/0, etc. which means the higher the number, the smaller the bead. They are the most commonly used beads in jewelry and the decoration of garments. Primarily made of glass and produced in the Czech Republic or Japan modern seed beads are available in a several shapes such as Bugle, Charlotte, Cylinder, Delica, and a much broader assortment of colors and finishes from opaque to transparent. Some beads are lined either with a metallic material or different color, while others are treated with a coating to produce a lustrous surface, providing more visual interest and variety.
The techniques of seed beading are as diverse as the varieties of beads available to execute them. Peyote, Brick, Right Angle Weave RAW, Ndebele, Herringbone, are the foundation of bead weaving with variations to create tubes, ruffles and sculptural dimension. Supplement these basics with Netting, Daisy Chain, Picot, Crochet, Embroidery, Bead Lace, Bead Looming, Beaded Beads and the possibilities are staggering.
I am always astounded by the magnificent creations the “Sensational Seedies” of the SATeam exhibit and awestruck by the talents and creativity of this group. I can only imagine the amount of time that goes into the designing, bead selection, preparation and fabrication of even what may seem to be the simplest of seed bead creations…my mind is boggled by what it takes to produce a more complex, prize worthy work of art.
Kudos to our gifted seedies.
The SATeam blog features artisan handmade creations by the etsy starving artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current Etsy shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com