As a jewelry maker, many can understand that desire for a unique, fresh look. We often scour the ends of the earth looking for beads or other items to help make our pieces one of a kind. While we can still find a bead store here or there that holds that perfect item, that bead is still the result of another person's imagination. Unless we invest in equipment or specialize in using something like metal clay, there are not a lot of readily available options for creating a custom bead quickly.
Perhaps those days are soon to be behind us! By partnering with a laser etching company, you can create some interesting ideas. With the proper software, you can come up with quite possibly an infinite number of options for beads. While these are not the seed bead or even a round bead, you can make great focal beads utilizing a laser. (You can also customize round beads in some cases.)
Some examples of custom beads include customized crosses, making cube box jewelry, and even Egyptian themed beads. Utilizing traditional images, one can create some interesting wooden focal beads at various sizes. One of the wonderful things about wooden beads (they leave the laser unfinished), is that you can customize the bead even further by staining it your favorite color, or using different paints. Instead of paying high prices at a specialty store for custom colors, you can head on over to your local hardware store and work with them to get an in-stock color or even mix a color you create (subject to the hardware store).
How can you create your own custom bead? Partner with a local laser owner and ask them for rates to cut the product. They may require you to know a particular software program and ask you to come up with the pattern/design, or they might just say bring in a hand-drawn or picture of something you like and they will work something up. Not a lot of laser owners are used to this idea (yet), so you might have to shop around. If all else fails, drop us an email and we will see if it is something we can handle. Keep in mind that wood is not the only option. Many lasers can cut acrylic, cardboard, various plastics or even old vinyl records! Metal is not typically an option for most laser owners, especially on a minimal basis, but perhaps even that day is not too far off in the future.
Kimberly A. Christian is the owner of Eason Creations. She specializes in jewelry, beads, and home decor items in partnership with a laser company. Partner with a local laser owner or contact us for help creating your own beads: http://www.easoncreations.com/