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From BOC Beads to BOC Bling: The Flowering of ceramic art beads into designer jewelry

When I first joined the Beads-of-Clay Yahoo group, which was in March of 2005, ceramic beads were a yet to be discovered art form. The founders of this group, Melanie of Earthenwood Studios, Andi of Mystic Spiral Studio and Tyler Hannigan have since lead us on the way to the public eye. In those days beads and pendants were seen as solo pieces of art. But now ceramic beads and pendants are being published in a variety of bead magazines, on Flickr!, and other places as part of a designer's jewelry creation. I thought I would would focus this article on some of these wonderful pieces that have been made with our BOC clay creations.
Stringing Magazine has been featuring lovely and very creative designs by Melanie of Earthenwood Studios for some time. Here are some examples:

Fairy Flight Necklace

Terra Treasure Necklace--above

This last one is a group project, entitled Pumpkin Harvest featuring the work of BOC artists Earthenwood Studio, Marla's Mud, Golem Studio and Captain's Clay.

Just yesterday I made a Treasury on Etsy which I called Clay Bling's The Thing and I had no trouble finding BOC artists who are making beautiful bling with their ceramic beads and pendants. Perusing the BOC Flickr! group I can come up with some great examples, as well:

by YolandasClay

by Embroidered Soul.

Joan Miller tells us that: "Robin Beam created this necklace with one of my flaming heart focals."

This piece entitled Ode to Marie Antoinette is designed by Norma Dalton with a Face Cab by Joan Tucker of Off Center Productions.

Another rich source of BOC Bling is the Art Bead Scene Flickr! Group.

There are so many wonderful pieces that I didn't show so I encourage you to look at the list of BOC Members and visit their websites, Etsy Shops and other places where their work is displayed. It is truly remarkable what clay bead artists can do.

The current issue of Bead Style Magazine has a piece from Tari Sasser of Creative Impressions in Clay. The current issue of Stringing Magazine has ceramic bling with work by Melanie of Earthenwood, Diane Hawkey, Jangles, Random Acts of Clay, Bag Lady Beads, and Tari Sasser all Beads of Clay members.

I realized as I was writing this that it was Beads of Clay's 4th Birthday December 31, 2007.

So I wish BOC a belated Happy Birthday!!!!

My wish for Beads of Clay is that it will continue to be a creative, inspiring and nurturing place for many more ceramic bead artists to come. And that Clay Bling will continue to proliferate.

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