Thursday, December 2, 2010

Is There a Market for Selling Beadwork?

There's always a market for pretty much anything. The only hard part about selling bead work like this is finding the right people to buy. I live near a reservation so we sell by word of mouth, pow wows or the museum will buy our work. But for the people who live in the city the best bet is eBay or forming your own website. When I search for Native Bead Work its rare that you find anything good, so when you do come across something worth while online people are usually willing to buy. I dropped a few examples below if you were interested<---antique regalia for sale

What would I Bead?

A lot of times people bead to make their regalia more flashy. They bead their outfits, their moccasins, headbands,wristbands. On the other hand, women like to just wear bead work as jewelry. My mother is very successful at making bracelets, earrings, purses and sometimes just pictures. I personally make pendants and necklaces, they seem to be more simple and less time consuming, but every once and a while I'll challenge myself to make a big piece. Not in the pictures below that everything in color was about hard work!

Finding a Pattern to Use

Sometimes finding a pattern can be very simple, sometimes it can be a pain. The easiest way to get your idea down is to either draw on the burp blanket, or if your not too great a free hand you could use rice paper to outline a picture and pin it to your piece and start beading!

Maybe you like to Loom, check this site out

What do I bead on?

Gerber Flannel Receiving Blanket, 5 Pack, Neutral

I learned from my mother how to bead and we've always used the same thing,baby burp clothes. Though you bead on them they way you bought them. Do not wash them then try to bead on them, the bead work will not hold tight, it will turn out very sloppy. However the cool part about sewing on burp blankets is, it the bead work gets wet, it will stay the way you stitched:) Be aware, they do sell white burp blankets,  but even if they are colored, you WILL NOT see the color through the bead work. So don't run around trying to find what is necessarily needed.Some are brave and stitch on hide (its very thick and hard to push through) then before putting the backing on they cut out a piece of cardboard to hold the bead work stiff. For backing I use hide, it looks nice, smells good and lasts a long time. here's a picture below

Choosing beads

When choosing beads to use for your piece, its best that if your using different colors, that all the beads be the same size. It won't ruin the piece if they aren't all the same size but it looks very clean as finishing result. Also, if your a beginner large beads might be easier to use, but keep in mind a bigger needle will be harder to push through the fabric! Where might you find beads? there's several places to purchase beads on the internet. I posted a few links for you to check out. Crystal beads are more expensive, I personally only use them for detail/accent work. None of these site are "better" than the other, it just depends on what your looking for, they differ on supply from site to site, I also included a book for beginner beaders!
Jewelry & Beading Designs For Dummies