In the 21st century, beadworkers have been blessed with an abundance of new bead shapes, innovative designers, sturdier threads and stronger needles for working the craft. From the exciting and groundbreaking work of Kate McKinnon and the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork folks, to the stunning work of designers like Mikki Ferrugiaro new ways of seeing and working with beads are evolving. Social media abounds with groups dedicated to one or many types of beadwork, and the craft seems to be picking up interest in the mainstream again. When I 'play' with my beads, I come up with designs that please me and are often valued by others. The little gallery below gives a glimpse of some of my own attempts at making something new and different, as well as some of the techniques of the new innovators. I love learning from the giants in the craft and trying out the new techniques and materials.
The pictures above show examples of the new playful and thoughtful approaches to using beads as a form of adornment or as a form of geometric expression. Some of the works were of my own devising and some of the more geometric forms come from studying the work of Kate McKinnon and the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork movement. All were invigorating and fun to work on.