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Bead artist Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

I've been called a "bead engineer," and while it is true that many of my pieces to require a good bit of engineering, I prefer to think of myself as a "bead explorer." I have been beading for most of my life; I started as a very young child. I can't remember my fist project; I feel as though I have always played with beads. When I was a very small child, I loved to string beads in different patterns; I remember enjoying how the beads appeared to change colors when placed next to different-colored beads. I also remember the great satisfaction it gave me to unstring the beads and put them away so that I could make new things with them.

Beadwork by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel
click to see gallery

That's pretty much what still motivates me; though now, I am fortunate enough to have lots of bead beads. I don't have to take things apart any more in order to make new ones! I bead nearly every day for several hours a day, and I never get tired of it. I am still exploring color; I marvel at the effect that different finishes have on color relationships.

A matte finish bead reacts very differently to its neighbors than a transparent bead; the same bead can look completely different when combined with beads of varying finishes and colors. I like to try out various combinations; some of them are wonderful, but others end up being taken apart and put away. I am often surprised by what works, and what doesn't.

Beadwork by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel
click to see gallery

When I start a new piece, I start with a very small piece of the puzzle. I don't design a piece from the ground up; my process is more organic than that. I usually start with a small thought, "I wonder what would happen..." is the beginning of pretty much everything I have ever made. Once I have satisfied that thought, I look at what I have made; if I like it, I begin to wonder what would happen if I did this, then that, and then, before I know it, it has begun to be a necklace, or a bracelet, or some other piece of jewelry.

If I don't like it, I take it to pieces.

I love the freedom of being able to change direction and start over. In beading, nothing is ever wasted except thread; luckily, thread is cheap and easy to replace. Although I also enjoy metalwork, I don't find it as creatively satisfying as bead weaving; with beads, there are an infinite number of possibilities. And color. Did I mention that I love color?

My gallery on

About author:

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel, California, USA
Blog:Jewelry Tales Blog
Etsy Shop:Jewelry Tales Tutorials

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