Saturday, November 20, 2010

These Beading Workshops Let You Learn From Top Crafters Online

Have you ever been to an “art museum quality” craft show where the nation’s top craftspeople sell their work? Last week, I was lucky enough to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and meet some of the most talented jewelry makers from around the world. What I saw at this show went far beyond what one would find in a boutique. Each one-of-a-kind piece was like a work of art, and was priced accordingly.

When I returned home from this show, I was determined to learn the techniques that would elevate my own beadwork to this level. After searching for “crafts online” and “craft courses”, I found a treasure trove of video instruction on beadwork at

Here are three of the videos I’ve watched so far, each one teaching a different technique in bead art. To see a complete list of classes, check out the Bead Art Classes at

Draped Loop Collar Necklace – This video is by Margie Deeb, author of the Beader’s Color Palette, and it instructs viewers how to make her famous Draped Loop Collar necklace, which uses faceted, checked beads by adding fringe loops to a foundation medallion. Even people like me, who are relatively new to seed bead weaving, will be able to follow Margie’s simple instructions.

Mosaic Chain Cuff – In three different sessions for varying skill levels, Margie Meister shows viewers how to make a unique mosaic-themed bracelet. Inspired by motifs found in mosaics, sculptures and textiles, this bracelet shows how to switch back and forth between brick stitch and peyote stitch while combining components and bezel stones with the beadwork. Instructions and supply lists are included on the video and in PDF form.

Peyote Buttons – In this well done video, Jean Campbell starts by showing viewers how to make a basic tubular peyote button, and then how to make several unique versions of this using your own designs. The design originates from the Native American peyote cactus plant. This spineless desert cactus is a very powerful symbol throughout many Native American cultures and its six-chambered motif is often seen in tribal artwork.

If you want to learn the skills of America’s top craftspeople online, then start by checking out the Bead Art Classes at

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