Beads

We have an extensive variety of hand-selected beads from all over the world. We work only with suppliers who meet our standards for quality and fair labor practices.

At Let’s Bead! you will find traditional beads as well as the newest styles, cuts and shapes on the market.

Choose from our ever-changing selection of gemstones and pearls, crystal, Czech glass, seed beads from Japan, lampwork glass, ceramic, metal, and wood and bone beads. We have beads with large holes, cabochons with no holes and Czech glass with 2  or more holes!

Whether your project is basic bead stringing or one of the many other jewelry-making techniques, we have the supplies you’ll need. From designing to finishing, we have the materials and the expertise to help you complete your projects. You’ll never run out of choices to feed your creativity!

Cabachons

A cabochon is a gemstone which has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted. The resulting form is usually a convex top with a flat bottom. Cutting en cabochon is usually applied to opaque gems, while faceting is usually applied to transparent stones.

Cabochons come in all kinds of geometric and asymmetrical shapes, such as oval, round, and teardrop. Most importantly, a cabochon has a flat side to secure to some sort of backing – like wire, metal, or beads. Cabochons, or cabs, make great focal points for bead embroidery. Surrounding a cab with rows of seed beads draws the eye to the stone, and makes the colors of the gemstone pop!

Clay & Porcelain Beads

We carry raku and other handmade clay and porcelain beads, pendants, and a variety of pieces from other artists.

We also stock Kazuri beads; Kazuri, the Swahili word for “small and beautiful”,  are just what these beads are! Made in Africa by Kenyan women, these beads are painstakingly made by hand in a small workshop. Kazuri Beads was started in 1975 with the social mission of making work for a few women – since then the workforce has grown from 10 to 100! Our support of Kazuri Beads empowers women in Kenya, and makes a difference in their lives and the lives of their families.

Swarovski Crystals & Crystal Pearls

Swarovski has been the premier manufacturer of Austrian machine cut  glass  since 1895.

Swarovski pearls are faux pearls made with a unique crystal core and an innovative pearlized coating. They have the realistic color, luster, weight and feel of genuine pearls, but they are washable, not susceptible to damage from perfume or perspiration, and are resistant to scratching. These simulated pearls come in a variety of sizes and colors.

Preciosa Crystal

Preciosa is the leading producer of Czech machine-cut crystal. The crystal beads are durable and precisely cut, will not wear down or lose their brilliance.

Chinese Crystal

Chinese crystal comes is a huge array of sizes and colors.  Although the quality is not considered as fine as the European crystal, it is a good affordable alternative.

Artist Beads

We believe in supporting artists and designers in the beading community.  We are fortunate to have many talented artists in our area and are proud to feature the artistry of Anne Lichtenstein of Gardanne, Lucinda Storms of Belvedere Beads and an expanding collection representing local artists.

Furnace Glass Beads

Furnace glass beads add color and design to your bead creations and are made using traditional glass-making processes. Colors from soft to intense make interesting focal beads or components to your bead stringing projects.

Lampwork Beads

Lampworking is a type of glasswork where a torch is used to heat rods of glass until molten, then the glass is wound around a coated steel mandrel to form a base bead. The bead is then embellished using a variety of techniques and materials. When finished, the bead must be “annealed” [slowly cooled in a kiln] to prevent cracking or shattering. Early lampworking was done in the flame of an oil lamp, with the artist blowing air into the flame through a pipe. Artists today use torches that burn propane or natural gas.

Raku

Raku is a pottery technique that originated in 16th century Japan. In most other types of pottery making, pieces are loaded into a cold kiln and fired slowly. In raku, the pieces are preheated and loaded into a hot kiln, and the firing proceeds rapidly. The pieces are then treated to a ‘post firing reduction’ phase. The pieces are put into a container with combustible material such as sawdust or leaves and smoked. The smoking imparts unique effects and surfaces to the clays and glazes.

Enamel

Enameling is the art of fusing glass to metal. Liquid or powdered enamel is applied to the metal and heated in a kiln or with a torch to a temperature of 1500F.

Freshwater Pearls

Pearls have long been valued for their rarity, color and luster. Natural pearls are very rare and difficult to harvest, so most pearls are created on pearl farms where pearl formation is artificially induced in mollusks. These “cultured” pearls fall into 4 categories: Tahitian or South Sea, Akoya, Saltwater, and Freshwater pearls.

Tahitian or South Sea pearls are the rarest and most valuable of the cultured pearls. They have the highest quality, color, and luster.

Akoya pearls develop in saltwater in the Akoya oyster. Originally cultured in Japan, these pearls tend to be small and uniformly round, and white or cream in color.

Saltwater pearls are made by oysters one at a time. They are generally round or semi-round and have a soft white color. They are rarer, more lustrous and more uniform in shape so they are more expensive than freshwater pearls.

Freshwater pearls develop in mussels in lakes and streams. It takes 3-5 years for the pearls to develop, but up to 50 pearls can be grown in one mussel. The size of a pearl is determined by the size of the nucleus implanted in the mussel. Freshwater pearls have a thicker layer of nacre than saltwater pearls, so they are not as lustrous, but they are more durable. A pearl assumes the shape of its nucleus as it is developing, so cultured pearls can be found shaped as hearts, stars and a variety of other designs.

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Lets Bead • 349 W Commercial St • East Rochester, NY 14445
P: (585) 586-6550 • E: info@letsbead.com

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