I imagine that almost everyone on the planet has heard of the major players in the ‘Big Holed Bead’ market! What a clever idea….so silly of me not to think of it! What am I talking about you may ask? Pandora, Troll, Lovelinks, chamilia etc – they came up with the idea of putting whacking great holes in a bead, so it can be threaded onto a decently heafty bracelet chain. The different companies all use a slightly different guage of bracelet so beware when buying as you could get stuck with a bead that won’t fit (gorgeous but alone on the dresser intead of snuggled with it’s compadres). So, Great idea! The only problem is, that most people are under the misapprehension that the aforementioned companies sell hand-made, unique items….which they most definately do not!
PS. The following pictures are of my own unique, hand-made OOAK Big Holed Beads, just in case you wondered!
So, what would you regard as unique? I know that my definition, in terms of my beads, is that there is just the one. I can make a few in the same style, but each one will be slightly different from the next because of the hand-crafted nature of the items! I guess OOAK (one of a kind) can be interpreted differently, for example, there is a ‘kind’ of bug, each one that belongs to that group is different but looks the same as the others. In my book, one of a kind means that only one of them exists! I specialise in OOAK jewellery!
My beads, and those of other lampwork artists, are truly OOAK, unlike the bracelet system companies mentioned above. Their beads are commercially produced and then hand FINISHED…not sure what that means but you can guarantee that they get a good polish! Now you may think that I am saying that I don’t like their beads. That would be incorrect – they produce some lovely items, but each bead is not unique. It may be possible for someone to have a unique bracelet using those products in that they choose different beads from the catalogue to string onto their bracelets but that is as far as it goes. Credit where credit is due, they came up with the idea of the big holes and I am not knocking that, after all, I make beads to fit those systems, so it can’t all be bad! I think that what I object to, along with many other lampworkers, is the idea that if you purchase from them, you are getting a genuinley unique item – which is just plain wrong.
I have heard people say ‘they are lovely but they are not genuine P*****a’ – well that is correct, my beads are not commercially manufactured, they are hand-crafted, unique hand-finished beauties – I know which I would prefer to have!
Ok, so after studying science, designing and making jewellery as well as lampworking, I know I now need to study photography….!