22 May

What Beads to Use?

The question of what beads to use comes up often in the groups as it did in my shop.  So I started this project where I was going to replicate the same pattern in different beads.  Unfortunately that fell by the wayside, but I thought I’d post the bit I did complete.

This was one of the first peyote stitch pieces I did.  Quite a few years ago now.   At the time it was impossible to find Delicas in my area and someone suggested working with 2-cuts, so this piece was done in Czech 10/0 2 cuts.  The following picture shows the exact same pattern, bead for bead, worked in Delicas side by side with the 2-cut piece.


Here the difference in the 2 beads is obvious.  The 2 cuts (on the left) are edgier and I wasn’t careful enough with culling so there are irregular beads scattered throughout the piece.  The Delicas on the right are regular and fit beautifully next to each other with no gaps.  Also note the size of the completed piece.  The Delicas result in a rectangular piece, the 2-cuts come up square. The two pieces feel totally different, the 2-cuts are scratchy and rough and don’t ‘flow’;  the Delicas are slinky and fabric-like.

I haven’t reproduced the sunflower piece yet with seed beads, but here is another amulet bag I made using Mill Hill seed beads.  These are actually more expensive than Delicas.

Look at the gold areas where there is the most definition.  You’ll see there are gaps between the beads because they are rounded not cylindrical like the Delicas.  The edges of the bag aren’t straight either because the beads are round and the waviness increases as the piece gets bigger and translates into a wavy edge.  You can adjust for that by perfecting your tension, but I didn’t understand that when I made this piece.  This bag has a nice feel to it, but isn’t slinky and sleek like the delicas.

Choosing the beads to use for a particular project is part of the fun of beading and I don’t believe in following rules, but personally I don’t think I’ll invest the time involved in weaving a peyote stitch pattern in anything but Delicas (or equivalent) with the exception of 3D pieces where there is increasing/decreasing.