We often hear the word “organic”…what does it mean? Natural, not processed. Usually we hear that word about food or crops.
I’ve recently read it in a beading pattern book, describing man-made beads as “organic” and the finished patterns would have a more “organic” look than if machine-made or die-cast beads were used. The “organic” look is good for retro or boho jewelry styles. It doesn’t mean the finished product will be sloppy, it just means the beads will not always nestle as closely together as they would if they were machine-made or die-cast.
The word “organic” is also used in online marketing to describe human clicks versus robotic clicks. So when you read something online about “all organic” traffic, that’s a good thing.
Now back to beads, machine-made beads such as Czech SuperDuo 2-hole beads, and Miyuki Delica seedbeads will produce designs with uniformity.
Non-machine made 2-hole twin beads, and lower quality rocaille seedbeads (not Miyuki Delica) will produce more “organic” designs with some obvious non-uniformities if you look closely. Beadweavers are always looking closely as we create, and trying to use beads of approximately the same sizes when working with rocailles, or at least try to keep the work symmetrical.
That doesn’t mean the jewelry will look bad if some beads are a fraction of a millimeter different, the finished product will just look slightly more casual because of the compilation of the fraction of millimeter differences in dozens or hundreds of beads, not as slick as a design made completely from all uniformly sized beads.
Beading is a worldwide endeavor, not just among the artists, but among the actual bead makers. Some of the most recognizable brands are from Austria (Swarovski), Czech Republic (Jablonex and Preciosa), and Japan (Miyuki).
Competition is also an issue among bead makers. Swarovski uses a certain facet design on it’s crystals that’s different than the facet design by other lead-crystal makers, so buyers can be able to know they’re getting Swarovski and not some other brand.
Lead crystal contains 35% liquid lead mixed into the liquid glass, then when hardened, the crystals reflect full prism colors.
Glass does not reflect full prismatic color when held up to light, not even if coated with aurora-borealis coating.
Clear aurora-borealis is one of the most popular bead colors, maybe THE most popular. Aurora-borealis creates an iridescent rainbow effect on the surface of the bead, but still does not compare to the sparkle of lead-crystal.
There are lots of other bead-coatings which give beads the effect of stone flecks, or gold/silver flecks, or different colors of iridescence, or an aged antiqued look.
“Iris” coating gives a multi-color metallic effect, people love the “iris” coated beads, they look like oil-slick rainbow colors, there are usually 3 or 4 different color variations in one “color” of iris coated beads. Such as if you get Purple Iris, there will usually be purple, gold, dark blue, and possibly burgundy, all with a metallic sheen. Used all together, they look great. If you’re a bead-sorter, you can sort out several colors by buying one color of iris coated beads.
If you’re using man-made beads and not machine-made, using beads with a coating such as “iris” will most likely bring more audience appreciation to your “organic” designs.
Thanks for reading, I hope all your online traffic is organic! 🙂
Sincerely, Kathleen VanBeekom