Feb 27, 2013

The Art Bead Love Tour and Wicked Good Art Beads

"We here at Love My Art Jewelry are always trying to think of new ways to spread the love of handmade, and the message to create handmade with handmade.  So we put our brains together and came up with this idea, the Art Bead Love Tour.

 -- Staci L. Smith

The Art Bead Love Tour could soon be stopping by a beading table near you! 

Begun by Love My Art Jewelry , the Art Bead Tour is a one and a half feet chain of art beads that travel from winner to winner, symbolizing the unity of the jewelry arts community and encouraging jewelry designers to create handmade with handmade.

"There are 60 beads on this chain, worth
 approximately $450.  It includes ceramic, 
glass, polymer, various metals and metal 
    clay beads.  It’s a true tribute to handmade
        in all its beady glory!  These beads are ready
       to go on tour…….the Art Bead Love Tour!
This tour is basically an art bead swap
which will go on and on and on. "
                                             -- Love My Art Beads

The Art Bead Love Chain is currently in the creative hands of my friend, clay artist and jewelry designer Marlene Cupo of Amazing Designs By Marlene. 

As the last winner of the Art Bead Love Chain, Marlene is allowed to remove and replace up to thirty art beads from the chain. She's posted pictures of her art beads swap, and whether you are an art bead creator or collector, you can enter to win a turn at loving the chain by visiting her blog  and entering to win.

Two amazing sites for learning about art beads is Art Bead Scene and Art Jewelry Elements. AJE is edited by Jenn Cameron, with contributions by a large collective of art bead and handcrafted jewelry artists. ABS also has contributions by various artists.

Creating handcrafted with handcrafted means learning about the incredible world of art beads! Art beads are made by an individual artist, and not mass produced. They include ceramic, glass, polymer, various metals, and metal clay beads. Recently, Jenn Cameron of Art Jewelry Elements sent me this gorgeous package of art beads! As you can see, art beads and art components are made up of diverse materials, techniques, and styles.

Fabulous art beads from the amazing and talented Jennifer Cameron of Art Jewelry Elements

Similar to the Art Bead Love Tour, Nicole Weltch's Bead Swap USA is an ongoing, national art bead swap -- and so much more! BeadSwap USA is home of the traveling bead boxes, with everything one could imagine, including art bead boxes, seed bead boxes, gemstone boxes, glass boxes, this & that boxes, and special boxes for high end beaders (who are lovingly referred to as "bead snobs" -- including me ;)

So whether you follow the Art Love Tour, explore travels with Bead Swap USA, or admire the beautiful work featured on blogs Art Jewelry Elements and Art Bead Scene, begin creating handcrafted with handcrafted. I promise the richness, depth, and energy of your jewelry art will increase and transform in beautifully unexpected, ever unique, and wonderful ways!

Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Fransisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning jewelry techniques. She is the host of Jewel School Friends, a community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and Jewel School. Join her on Facebook for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!

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