Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Beaded Bottles – A History

[caption id="attachment_63" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Autumn Leaves - closeup"][/caption]

I took a class in how to create a beaded bottle a few years ago and fell in love with the detail work and intricate patterns I could craft and how endless the possibilities of color, style and design were. The straps were always a challenge. I experimented with chain (too plain), beadwork (took too long) and silk cord (needed beading to match the grandeur of the bottle). For a while it was one of the greatest challenges to creating each bottle, but I didn't give up, and one day discovered that yarn stores were my answer. I have two sources - one in Studio City and one in Morro Bay. They both provide a veritible playland of colors, textures and styles I had never dreamed of before setting foot in their doors. Now I create color schemes inspired by their endless parades of shades and hues and never run out of ideas!

Many think the netting is the hardest part and sometimes I have a couple of false starts, but once the first top rows are done, it actually goes very smoothly - until I get to the bottom part, that is. Since every bottle is one-of-a-kind, the dangling crystals and drops on the bottom often take more time to get just right.

Another part, sometimes harder sometimes easier (but usually harder), is choosing the color scheme and finding the right beads. I have lots of complimentary color combinations running through my head (what artist doesn't?), but not every bead is the right size or the right shade. I try to work with what I have, but once in a while have to go hunting for that right size and shade before the netting can begin. Often the timing is just right to find what I need at that special store or show and I am off and running.  That's how I know the project is meant to get done. The ideas and materials have a way of falling into place when they should.


  1. I sometimes think that actually deciding what colors to use is the hardest part in beadwork. Not in not knowing which colors go together but deciding which of many beautiful colors I want to work with at that moment. Next hardest part is naming the darn thing! lol

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  3. Where did you go to school?

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