I am a production artist. I do a several shows during the year that require "inventory". I usually pick out the gem stones or beads that I want to use, and make 3-4 boxes of polymer beads to match, then sit down and start assembling. Picking out the beads first is essential. I have, in the past, made up a batch of beautiful clay beads, and was unable to find any glass or gem stones to match! It's much easier to mix your clay to match the beads..... And although I am doing production work, I don't think I ever make two pieces alike. Right now I am 'stuck' on a bead shape, and need to move on from that. I have been making pillow beads for two years. And although I LOVE the shape and designs I can do with them, it's time to move on. Repeat customers want something different. I am SOOOO looking forward to the class from KLEW in November. Good things and fresh ideas have to come from that.
I generally go to 'fashion forecasts' for upcoming colors. It's amazing that they are so predictable! My hubby can't get over the fact that I have come up with my current colors for the year, and we walk into the stores, and there they are! Fire Mountain Gems is really good at cluing us in on what colors are in. Fire Mountain included a really nice beading booklet with one of their recent catalogs that included the following color forecast pages. This booklet was put together by beader, wire worker, polymer and precious metal clay artist, Tam Honaman. Hope everyone got a copy! OK. I don't know why these pictures posted so far apart. I need to read up on blogging for dumbies, or something!