Wire Framed Beads by Barb Switzer

If you are anything like me, sometimes it's just not financially feasible to take jewelry instruction classes. They can tend to be pricey, and sometimes I relate things like this to how many beads I can buy with the same amount of money. Oh, am I the only one that does that?? K, pretend I didn't say that.
I don't know how familiar you are with the website Beaducation.com, but they offer a ton of online classes, AFFORDABLE classes, and this is a great alternative to taking a class in the flesh.  You can take the classes as I did, in your jammies in the warmth of your own home! Nothing beats that!

Okay so I took a class. I learned from the beautiful and talented Barb Switzer, how to make a Wire Framed Bead! At first, I watched the video all the way through, as suggested - and then compiled my components and sat down to put the bead together. I watched the first 3 steps of the class to refresh my memory (which is terrible, but more on that later) and began assembling my bead. 
One of the coolest things about taking the classes at Beaducation is, you can print the hand-out for a reference, and you can watch the steps one at a time and then re-watch the steps again, and sometimes 3 times (like I did) to really embrace each step. 
I loved the fact that they show nice and close-up footage of the steps so I can really see what is happening, where the wire is going, what Barb is doing with her hands, how's she's holding the wire and the bead. And if I missed something, I can rewind, and play back the clip again.

Now I must admit, Barb makes it look VERY easy, and I was really thinking after the first run-through- oh yea, I got this. Gonna be a cinch. But as I was actually doing it, I did struggle a bit with the wire. Okay, so when I went to the craft store to get the 30g wire that the recipe called for, I couldn't find any. I went to 2 local craft stores. Instead, I got 28g thinking, yea- that'll be good enough. This turned out to not be so true. 30g wire would have worked a lot easier when sewing the beads onto the frame. The 28g wire kinked up on me a few different times. and yes, there was cussing. That's the nature of the beast, as my husband would tell you.

Oh and remember how I told you my memory isn't very good? Well I watched the class initially a few days before I sat down to make the bead. I should have watched the video all the way through again before starting to assemble the bead but didn't. So I got a bit carried away and beaded all 6 sides of the bead cage (I was only supposed to bead 4!) and ended up having to fit the caps over top of beaded sides instead of nice empty sides.  Ahh well, it actually came out anyway and looks pretty cool. See?
Alright, maybe not. It kind of looks like a big wiry mess. Whatever you do, don't click the pic to make it bigger. ACK!

I definitely want to take another class- maybe a different genre, like metalworking, I have my eye on this Riveting class with Kate Richbourg. I mean, you can't go wrong for less than $20! These may be just the ticket to get me through the long Winter months.


  1. Great post Lorelei! Thanks for sharing. I love love love classes but I tend to "freeze" creatively when it comes time to do the application because I feel confined to a time restriction. Taking a class in my jammies sounds really appealing! I am definitly going to check out these links!!!

  2. Beautiful Bead. I love that site. Have taken some of the free ones too. Learned how to do metal stamping there. Great place. Good to see others are going there.

  3. I love their classes - and their blanks, stamping tools, etc!! (and Lisa's new book, too!) Great group and great website! Your bead turned out amazing, too! And you can't see anything wrong with it up close - it's still perfect - I checked! LOL!! :)

  4. I love Beaducation. That was really my first foray into video-class learning, and I found it so much fun. That's where I learned to fuse fine silver - I'd definitely recommend that class.

  5. This site is new to me. Thanks for sharing. I will definately look through their lists. I like to learn things from my own home.

    I am a bit keen on that particular class you took. That bead you made looks awesome. And yes I did enlarge it of course. What is wrong with it? I think it looks fab!

  6. I love Beaducation! They are amazing! Not only is a great resource, but the people who run the company are simply AWESOME!

  7. Thanks so much for telling us about that site - its sounds great. I found some good tutorials on youtube too.

    I think your bead is great (even enlarged!).

  8. Thanks for sharing, I love your bead looks great! Also, love the new banner with the tabs.

  9. Beaducation is awesome. I think your bead turned out great. I've taken several classes from them and have been very happy. I'm actually signed up to take a class with Barb when she comes to Chicago in March!

  10. Thanks for posting this, it's wonderful.


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