about Beads Without End

Q. What is this work made of?
A. BEADS, and THREAD. (“What’s inside them?” About eight yards of thread!)

Q. Tell me about your beads.
A. The beads we use are mostly glass beads made in the Czech Republic, Japan, or France; we sometimes incorporate metal or stone beads. We’re very fussy about our beads! Many of the gorgeous, sexy beads available these days have unstable, dyed finishes (either dye on the outside surface, or paint inside the holes)...which, alas, will eventually wear off. We avoid most of these beads like the Plague!!! We do use some beads with metallic finishes or metallic linings — these are not 100% permanent, but we choose the most durable ones that we can find.

Q. And the thread?
A. The thread is a strong, synthetic thread that will not rot — not elastic stuff that will go Poop on you!

Q. But the bracelets look so SMALL!
A. Our bracelets are bigger than they look. They stretch & flex to roll over your hand and onto your wrist. But if you need one larger or smaller, let us know, and we’ll make your bracelets in your size.

Q. But I’m afraid I’ll break it!
A. These bracelets are far tougher than they look. Treated with a reasonable amount of respect and care, a properly fitting bracelet should be good for years of wear. We guarantee the quality of construction and materials of our own work — if you do have a problem, contact us and we will make it right.
(Of course, “treating your bracelet with reasonable respect” doesn’t include exposing it to extreme trials (like sunscreen, or solvents other than water), or wearing it 24 hours a day × 7 days a week × 365.25 days a wouldn’t do that to a piece of clothing, let alone a piece of fine jewelry! And if you wear it a lot or get it sweaty or wear it when you’re gardening, you’ll give it a good bath occasionally, won’t you? Give it the honor of its own bath - dragging it through the shower isn’t really a bath, it only gets it wet. Work up a good lather of mild soap or dish detergent and warm water - you might even let it soak in soapy water for awhile if there are no silver-lined or color-lined beads in it - and then rinse it thoroughly, blot and shake the water out, and let it dry.)

Q. Do you sell your work?
A. Yes. We prefer to sell in person when possible — this gives our customers their best chance at selection and sizing. You can find us at a few craft fairs, mostly in the Boston (Mass.) area (check our homepage for current information). We also do business by mail or internet — contact .

Q. What is your price range?
A. Beadwork purchased directly from us (without a middleman) is priced very close to our wholesale price:
Bracelets are generally in the $38-$43 range; a few cost more than that.
Necklaces start around $45, most of them being in the $90-$150 range; some of our fancier pieces have not yet been priced.
Crocheted earrings usually run $25-$30; we make some other types of earrings too.
We offer a 10% discount for 5 or more bracelets purchased at one time.

Q. Do you have a catalog?
A. No! We’re constantly making new designs & color combinations, and we could never keep a catalog current! We do SOME repeating, but basically we are artists doing what we love, not “3rd world prison labor”, or even respectable unionized factory workers doing production line work. A very small sample of the kinds of things we do is shown in our GALLERY. If you want to buy our work, please help us keep it fun, by giving us some freedom of design (for instance, specify a color range or a pattern, but don’t lock us into repeating ourselves over and over and over and....)

Q. Can I find your beadwork in stores?
A. We do most of our selling in person. Currently we do not have any goods placed in stores.

Q. Do you sell wholesale?
A. Sometimes.

Q. Do you teach your crochet technique?
A. "It depends." We used to teach occasional classes in this technique, mostly in the Boston (Mass.) area, until the store at which we taught closed. R arely, we give private lessons. We prefer to teach the basic technique in two sessions, usually one week apart; we have done several one-day crash courses. Contact us for more information.
**Comment: While it’s easy to do this work once you know how, our experience (hundreds of students) is that most Americans find it very tricky to learn.
**Warning! It can also be addictive!

Q. Do you have written instructions?
A. Martha’s first article with detailed instructions was published in the pilot issue of Interweave Press’s magazine Beadwork (Fall 1996), pp. 38-40. This issue is now out of print.
Martha and Pat’s expanded article on the basic technique, paired with their article on a neat pair of teardrop earrings made using the same technique, appeared in the December 2001/January 2002 issue of Interweave Beadwork, pp. 30-35: “Crocheted Bead ‘Ropes’: Bracelets and Beyond”, and “Crocheted Teardrop Earrings”.
A lovely presentation of several patterns by Martha, Pat, and Kathryn Black is in Carol Wilcox Wells’s book, The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving (Lark Books, 2002), pp. 82-86, along with lovely photographs of some work by Pat and Martha on pp. 81 and 86.

And then there is “that book” that we keep threatening to write!

If there are other questions that you would like us to address on this page, please e-mail Martha Forsyth & Pat Iverson.

Visit our GALLERY.
Return to the Beads Without End HOMEPAGE.