French Beaded Flowers,
Or, the folk woman's approach to wire-wrapping

Though I don't subscribe to the theory that words absolutely control one's thinking, they certainly influence it. ‘Wire-wrapping’, as a medium, generally refers to the technique of using square and round wires, with cabochons or crystals, that became popular, oh, I don't know, perhaps the 70s or so. The square wires are often twisted for visual sparkle, and most of the guys I saw doing it back when I was on the art fair circuit were just that—men. Oddly enough its greatest practitioner, or at least the person who inspired me, was Mary Lee Hu, whose early work using inexpensive wire and beads (garnets) are still my favorites.

French beaded flowers, on the other hand, are mostly made by women. (And, for the record, its most inspirational [known-by-name] artist is a man, Mario Rivola.) Unlike ‘wire-wrapping’ I never saw french beaded flowers at art fairs. The craft was evidently nearly lost, at least in this country, until one woman, Virginia Nathanson, revived it. We're evidently on the second wave of revivals now.

But both are wire techniques, and I've been struggling, off and on, to incorporate them in my work since at least the early 2000s. (I'm a slow learner). So here are some pieces I've made using this technique.

File created 8apr08 (& finally posted 24apr14.)

20180918

notes on an original beaded flower design. 18sep2018

 
20180917

Mixed loopback frame & spoke technique 17sep2018

 
20180731

Tombo, a french beaded dragonfly pin 31jul2018

 
20180530

8/0 french beaded flower in blues 30may2018

 
20180529

My first, large, Mario Rivoli inspired french beaded flower features a muselet center 29may2018

 
20180406

french beaded flowers exploding, as documented on pintrest; dark patterns 06apr2018

 
20180525

French beaded flower in blues 25may2018

 
20140416

This post about 2 french beaded flowers I made as a gift collects together the french-beaded flower (and leaf) pages. 16apr2014

 
20140421

In which I circle back to blue french beaded flowers, and for much the same reasons... 21apr2014

 
20140430

Collects the howtofrenchbead pages. Stub created 05jan10, finally posted 30apr2014

 
20090209

Another french beaded flower featuring my new midrib technique. Originally posted 09feb09. 09feb2009

 
20090205

I made this flower to demonstrate frenched beaded flower construction techniques during my class at Glassact's retreat. Originally posted 05feb09. 05feb2009

 
20090123

French beaded flower class for glassact . Intro'ed 13feb12, though posted 23jan2009

 
20081014

First in a series of my own style of fantasy wire-wrapped and french-beaded flowers. Originally posted 14oct08. 14oct2008

 
20150921

First wirewrapped/french-beaded leaf incorporating fine red wire . Includes images of 4 other green leaves. 21sep2015

 
20080930

Second in a series of fantasy style french beaded flowers. Originally posted 30sep08. 30sep2008

 
20080520

Margaret and I got together to make a french beaded flower, lavender, together. Originally posted 20may08. 20may2008

 
20080517

French beaded morning glories , aka spoke technique practice. Originally posted 17may08 17may2008

 
20080509

In which I make a very large and complicated flower, to use up a lot of beads & get in some practice. Worked like a charm. Originally posted 9may08. 09may2008

 
20080508

This post explores some technical issues in traditional french-beaded flower making. 08may2008

 
20080417

2 peach french-beaded flowers, more or less in the traditional technique . Originally posted 17apr08. 17apr2008

 
20080423

2nd in the series of peach french-beaded flowers, this time featuring a pea flowers . Originally posted 23apr08. 23apr2008

 
20140424

I made an index page for french-beaded flower pages on 8apr2008...finally got around to posting it some 6 years later... 24apr2014

 
20080408

Series of 4 wire and bead leaves using the french-beaded technique as a starting point . Originally posted 8apr08. 08apr2008

 
20080405

Hodgepodge experimental fantasy flower, originally posted 5apr08. 05apr2008

 
20080406

Experiment attempting to mix beads and wire using french beaded flower techniques as a basis. 06apr2008

 
20080404

Oak style leaf made with a variant of the frenched beaded flower technique. 04apr2008

 
20140423

Part II of my heart shaped leaf pattern. 23apr2014