Bookmark and Share
Bookmark This Page  Tell Your Friend
Jewelry store - custom jewelry, gemstone jewelry, beaded jewelry
Start Search
Bead artist Douglas Johnson
click to enlarge

I'm Douglas Johnson, I live in Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA. I first came into contact with seed beads in 1970. At first I strung them into necklaces using different patterns of color. I loved the colors and was soon shown how to weave them on a loom.

Being a guitar player at the time, I decided to make a guitar strap out of beads. I built a long loom and started weaving a strip of beads to be sewn onto leather. As I was weaving this long strap, I thought it would be nice to get wilder and make a scene out of beads. Imagine, a house, a barn, or even a village.

Bead artwork by Douglas Johnson
click to see gallery

Soon, I built a loom that could hold four strips in a row. Each strip was twenty five beads wide, like my guitar strap. I ended up with a piece 100 beads wide! I wove each strip separately, and wove them together when they were done. It was not until 1990 that I figured out how to connect the rows on the loom ending up with a solid piece when taken off the loom.

I started with about a dozen colors available and could not find much more for years. I only made a handful of pieces over the years. Then in 1986 I found an ad in a magazine for the Garden of Beadin in California. They offered hundreds of colors of beads which got me into beading steadily, it was the beginning of my journey.

Bead artwork by Douglas Johnson
click to see gallery

I built a bigger loom and started making pieces of 40-50 thousand beads. As time went on I found more and more sources of beads, built a larger loom and started making pieces of 100,000 beads. Now I am making pieces of two to three-hundred-thousand beads.

I stayed exclusively with size 11 seed beads. They are the most common and offer the largest selection of colors. I now have close to a thousand shades of beads, offering me endless possibilities to create works of art that span from Fenway Park in Boston to a city skyline of New York!

As I wake each morning, I look forward to going to my bead Bunker, working on my loom to finish what I have started and ponder what my next piece shall be.

My gallery on

About author:

Douglas Johnson, Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA

Follow us on:     Zoya Gutina on Facebook     Zoya Gutina on Twitter     Zoya Gutina on Pinterest     Zoya Gutina on Google Plus     Zoya Gutina on Blogger     Zoya Gutina on YouTube