Monday, June 08, 2009

Glossary - Advanced Bead Shapes

Last Monday - I reviewed some basic bead shapes - shapes that are essentially round, oval or rectangular, and their various names.

Today - let's tackle the more, for what of a better term, "exotic" shapes. ;-)

s15139 Cubic Zirconia - 4 x 6 mm Pear - AAAAA White (1)In defiance of all logic, "pear" shape is rounded at one end, and pointed at the other - much like a raindrop or tear drop. This, came, I think, from the same shape in gems. A pear can be flat or 3-D. And sometimes you will see it referred to as a pear drop - to emphasis that is droplet shape. s16313 Glass Drops - 6 x 9 mm Pear Drops - Turquoise Green (30)27629022 Stone Beads - Large Pear - Turquoise (Stabilized) (1)

27629025 Stone Beads - Thinner Flat Pear Drop Tablet - Green Turquoise (Stabilized) (1)When we want to talk about the holes that have been put into a bead to string them on - we talk about how they are drilled. Top-drilled means that the hole is near one end of the bead - the end that will be the top once it is strung. So it is fair to say that most "pear" shapes are top-drilled. That hole may run from one side of the bead to the other, or from the front to the back. Occasionally - they will be "vertically" drilled - with the hole running the length of the longest axis.

27802604-00 Glass Fruit - Butlet Pears (10)One might have expected a pear to be shaped, well, more like a pear, which is to say - more rounded on the top. But then, we used to carry these "Butlet Pears." Which I thought were fairly hideous. Butlet wasn't actually a typo. :-P

27415802 Preciosa Machine Cut Crystal - 9 x 15 mm Briolette Drop - Crystal (1)A Briolette - is also a pear shape - but tends to refer to crystal beads, and is always faceted. This too - harks to its roots as a gem-stone-cut name.

Drop beads - beads shaped like drops of water - are a large category, and are great for texture - although tricky to calculate in advance how many you need. When you string them side by side, they snuggle together and create a great look, usually quite organic.

They also look elegant on their own, and so can used alone for earrings, etc. Plenty of other styles of beads are designed to hang down, so the term "drop" also gets used to indicate a bead that is designed to hang - as opposed to being oriented horizontally.

These beads also look great in any fringe-y application, such as those little amulet bags, or a purse or jacket.

27801472-05 Glass Daggers - 5 x 16 mm Dagger Beads - Matte Smokey Topaz (25)Daggers are their own category of "drop." These flat-bladed drops can be scary spiky if used all together in bunches (although they do not feel sharp - they may look uncomfortable, but they aren't!)

27801598-22 Glass Drops - 4 x 6 mm Tiny Tims Drops - Blue Iris (strand 100)We also have a line of beads known as "Tiny Tims" - cute little drop shaped beads. When they arrived in a larger size, I felt we had no choice but to call them "Monster Tims." ;-) 27801497-01 Glass Drops - 5 x 10 mm Monster Tims - Jet Matte AB (50)

27802232-04 Glass Beads - 8 x 9 mm Baroque - Aquamarine (strand 25)Baroque refers to an irregular, lumpy shape. 27617642 Baroque Rice fresh-water pearls - white - 4-6 mm 15 strand

s20068 Stone Beads -  Faceted Nuggets - Matt Black Onyx (1)Nuggets are also fairly hard to define, irregular shapes (faceted or smooth). Chips usually reserved for stone beads are smaller and flatter. As we got into more shapes of stone beads, Nuggets morphed in to pebbles, chunks, boulders, and the like to indicate differences in size and cragginess.

s18643 Stone Beads - 20 mm Faceted Nuggets - Seafoam Green Chalcedony (1)27699850-00 Stone Beads -  Chips - Fluorite (strand)s16692 Metal Beads - 1 inch Chunky Nugget Boulders - Bright Copper (1)

27001616-03 Firepolish - 8 mm Lanterns - Light Mint AB (25)

A Lantern is a faceted bead with the ends coloured and textured differently, usually metallic. I've also seen these referred to as "Cathedral" cut.

s19933 Window Beads - 11 x 10 mm Flat Square - Aqua Haze (Strand 15)Window beads are a technique, as opposed to a shape. Window beads are made with a core colour, with a different outer layer encased over the entire bead, which is ground and polished away in some places. It refers to there being a "window" cut into the bead.

27898000-174 Glass - 16 mm Puff Heart - Pale Pink (1)2709550903s8 Window Beads - 8 mm Beveled Flat Heart - Fire Engine Red (strand 25)Hearts are, well - heart-shaped - although there are a lot of liberties taken with the double-curved-top, pointed-bottom shape. Some "hearts" are only in the ballpark of heart-iness - so to speak.

34760150085515 Crystallized - Swarovski Elements Bead - 13 mm Faceted Polygon Drop (6015) - Burgundy (1)Swarovski, of course, names it's own shapes, some of them with non-obvious names, such as Polygon, Graphic, and Cosmic. 27755201001001 Crystallized - Swarovski Elements Bead - 12 mm Graphic (5520) - Crystal Golden Shadow (1)27755231001001 Crystallized - Swarovski Elements Bead - 12 mm Cosmic Bead (5523) - Crystal (1)

ltd006 Pink Spheroids (10)By the same token, we invent our own names to describe shapes - trying to be as descriptive and evocative as possible. Hence these mostly long gone: Squooshagons, Spheroids, Lumpies, Squashies, Squops, and other ill-defined shapes. ltd029 Lapis-Like Lumpies (1)ltd034 Tortishell Squashies (1)ltd637 Mango Squops (1)ltd714 Jadite Mini-Squoosh-Squares (10)

27801025-05 Glass - 9 x 4 mm Wave Nuggets - Dark Olivine (10)Oh, and wave nuggets - at least we still have those!


Anonymous said...

Well, That was fun,,, but I need to know the shape name of some beads I have. Shaped like the "Booda" Toy for dog, red, in which you stuff peanut butter in order to keep the dog occupied. And I have a strange geometric-shaped. What is that?! I'll keep lookin'.

dragonjools said...

Kong shaped? ;-)