Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Create your own pattern - Free Form Beading

Beading is an art form.  Using this medium you can create exquisite pieces of wearable art.  There is no "wrong" way to bead, just as there is no "wrong" way to paint or draw.  You should let your imagination go unchecked and see what you create.  Think outside the box and don't be afraid to experiment!  

I recently experimented with 3-drop Peyote and Rocailles.  Before now, I'd only done weaves and loom work with Delicas, so I wanted to expand my beading repertoire and I wanted to create my own piece.  I wanted to play around with three different sizes of Rocailles, increasing and decreasing as I moved from one size to the next size.  I started out with size 15/0 Rocailles and 12 beads in an even 3-drop Peyote stitch.

When I increased to the 11/0 Rocailles I first tried to do 1/2 of the row at a time, but still keeping the 3-drop similar bead grouping.  This is not the look I wanted, it is choppy.  So when I increased from 11/0 to 8/0, I tried to soften the transition a little more....

For this one - I broke up the 3-drop in the transition row to have only one of the larger beads, in the center of the 3-drop.  This is still too much of a transition from one row to the next.  So for the migration from 8/0 back down to 11/0, I tried to soften the transition even more.....

The first row of the transition has one of the three beads with the new size, in this case the reducing 11/0 bead.  Then the next row, I use only one of the larger 8/0 bead and two of the 11/0 beads, to further transition and it is a much smoother transition.

Here you can see how much smoother the transition from 11/0 to 15/0 and back to 11/0 is when I do the moderated transitions like this.  It is easier to see too, because the 11/0 beads are matte and the 15/0 are shiny.  Now that I've gotten my technique down, I'm ready to stitch a bracelet!  Stay tuned for the finished piece!

So don't be afraid to experiment.  Just pick the beads that you like and see what happens.  You might have an idea in your head of what you think might work, like I did.  But when you put it to the test, you realize that adjustments need to be made - and the finished piece will be even better than you imagined!  

Happy Beading!



  1. That is very pretty Betsy. I am glad you posted this because I have been looking at free form and was a bit intimidated. When I was growing up the right and wrong way to do things was how I was taught and that never has been my style. Finally, with these times I am free to express myself as I always wanted to without criticism.

  2. LisaD in upstate NYApril 22, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    I just found this page. Your beading technique is brilliant in its simplicity. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. nice job, thanks for the hints.....