Do you want to learn how not to overpay for the glass beads or jewelry you buy?
Then you better know the differences between a “Production” & a “Fine Artisan” glass bead maker.
This can be tricky because the line is blurry!
Here’s what to look for…
Production glass artist:
They will create about 6 to 8 unique styles of beads, and then repeat these same beads with various color combinations.
Most of the bead maker’s energy goes into producing an abundance of beads, & not into the creativity of the individual beads.
How? They master a lampwork technique through repetition.
Why? This lets them make each bead faster, so they can produce more to sell and make more money.
What to look for:
Color variations & different usages of a similar style of bead identifies a production artist… Repetition.
Even though the lampworker may be an artist & call their beads ‘one-of-a-kind’, you need to look closely & judge for yourself if this is the kind of bead/jewelry you want.
They will take days or weeks to develop a sellable bead. This new bead, and each bead thereafter, will be a continuation of their artistic exploration. (Think original paintings!)
This artist spends a lot of money on glass & supplies in experimenting.
How? This is a bead maker who spends almost all of her/his time in researching new techniques & experimenting with new ways to manipulate glass.
Why? This lampworker is passionate about expressing his/her fine art visions. It’s not about how many beads are produced, but did she/he achieve her/his vision. Equally important, is she/he growing artistically with each new bead?
What to look for:
Look for each bead to be a work of art in glass. Each bead should be unique & original. The goal is to produce the highest quality in workmanship, bead uniqueness, & an exceptional expression of her/his personal artistic voice.
Decide what you’re looking for before you buy:
1. Do you expect quality, Master Workmanship?
2. Is it important to you that your beads or jewelry are a Fine Art in a glass form?
3. Do you want to own an Original piece of Artwork that, truly, no one else has. Do you see it as an investment to cherish for a lifetime?
1. Are you OK with other people wearing a very similar variation of your bead?
2. Are you OK with an artist who sells large quantities of similar production beads.
3. Do you buy jewelry/beads to wear a couple of times? Do you wear trendy beads/jewelry that quickly get forgotten in your jewelry box?
There is no right or wrong. Each avenue has it’s merits. Understanding the differences allows you to adjust what you pay for your beads/jewelry!
Things to Be Aware of:
Don’t be fooled by lampworkers with big price tags claiming to make ‘one-of-a-kind’ beads.
Even cheap, low quality beads can be called ‘one-of-a-kind’ when produced by hand!
Going to shows is a good way to compare quality & price of glass beads.
Look closely at beads for bad workmanship, amateur glass experience, & ill formed beads.
The length of time a person has been making beads does not necessarily equal the quality of their beads!
Check out my website for an idea of pricing on the finest quality glass art beads to help guide you.