This lampwork glass bird is one of many whimsical beads Stephanie Sersich, Topsham, Maine, creates. Sersich today is 43 years old and introduced herself to the bead world at age 25 with a public lecture and an article in the legendary “Lapidary Journal.” Two big influences contributing to her success are her creative Mom and a major in metalsmithing and painting. As she says, “I learned engineering and color which led me to making my own glass beads.”
She then developed her own “Spiny Knotting” method to allow her to bind many of her colorful beads into a single bracelet or necklace. Check them out on her website sssbeads.com.
I have often wondered why I preferred the hunt for fabulous beads like Stephanie’s instead of making them. It has a lot to do with the fact that my youthful focus was on getting an English degree, living in Paris and Lisbon, and being a corporate HR professional. I didn’t buy my first bead until I was 50 and living in Hong Kong, entertaining myself while my husband organized his company’s South Asian footprint. But I loved the hunt! From the Hong Kong Jade Market to Beijing’s outdoor flea markets, Shanghai’s treasure-filled antique shops, from small entrepreneurial silver shops in Bali, to the giant pieces of turquoise I found in Tibet, and the amazing beads on small Indonesian islands of Sumba, Komodo, and Flores. For two years, I never thought of making my own beads. Just acquiring them.
And I can safely say that is true today, 25 years later. I was determined, however, to put my own creative stamp on each necklace. To balance color and texture, to be bold, chunky and fearless, but above all to never stop searching for the odd, eccentric, remarkable bead. And to do that, I expanded my search to fulfill the true definition of a bead: something with a hole in it which can be strung.
Stephanie’s bird and fiber dangle is 3.5″ and the pink Czech glass bead necklace is 24″. Featured in the necklace are molded glass pre-war German semi-circle beads plus glass flowers at the end of the necklace and in the earrings. $139.