My love for beaded jewelry began many years ago, when my sister worked in a bead shop. Susanna and I would pick out beads together and then she would make bracelets and earrings and necklaces for both of us. I don’t think it ever occurred to me to try beading myself; I’m not crafty like my sister is.
But my jewelry collection kept growing. The bead love intensified when I moved to South Africa, where beadwork is everywhere.
I was recently invited to a beading class at piece, a beautiful African arts and crafts shop in downtown Johannesburg. (I wrote about piece in my #Gauteng52 post on Ellis House earlier this year.) The classes are led by Beauty Maswanganyi, a master beading artisan and long-time staff member at piece.
I did not excel at beading. (Learning to bead is hard for left-handers. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) But it didn’t matter because this class was so freaking fun, and I went home with my own beautiful bracelet that I (kind of) made myself. Also piece is a beautiful place to spend a Saturday morning, drinking good coffee and gazing at well curated arts and crafts.
Beading with Beauty, in Pictures
The beginning of my bracelet. I learned a lot about beads during the class. Proper glass beads are only manufactured in a few places around the world and most of South Africa’s glass beads are imported from the Czech Republic. Plastic beads are much cheaper and more ubiquitous but lower in quality.
Beauty’s beading classes are a steal at R350 (about $26) for a four-hour class, including snacks and coffee/tea. And of course you go home with a beautiful bracelet. There’s another class coming up on 22 July, which you can sign up for here. Follow piece on Facebook for updates about future classes.
My beading class at piece was complimentary. (Thanks Eugenie!) Opinions expressed are mine.