Hand shaped beads

I thought I would briefly explain my definition of hand shaped beads. This will give people some insight into the process as well as explain the difference between hand shaped and machine made beads.

My beads are all hand shaped. This means I shape and polish them individually. I don’t use spherical grinding wheels or a bead mill. Most beads these days are machine made. You put in a rough shaped piece of stone and the machine shapes a whole lot of them exactly the same.

Hand shaping means that because the beads are made individually. This means each one is a different width and size.

You can see some of the process below. It starts with cutting little bead blanks out of a piece of jade and then slowly shaping and refining each one.

When I have enough for a strand (around 60 – 80 beads) I measure each one and string them up by size so they taper from the largest at the front till the smallest at the back.

Then its onto making the silver clasp, loop and stringing the whole strand together.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


siberian jade beads
The beginning, bead blanks cut out of a earthy Siberian jade (Nephrite)
jade beads
Beads blanks from Canadian (Cassiar) and Northern American (Wyoming Honey Olive) Jade.
jade beads
Blanks, cylinders and rounds (Canadian Jade (Cassiar)
siberian jade beads
A Siberian jade strand in progress. All these beads were cut out of the same small block of jade.
jade beads
A strand showing bead rounds in different stages of being cleaned up and finished.
flower pounamu
Flower Pounamu beads
jade beads
A mixture of beads from Guatemala, Canada, USA and New Zealand
jade beads
A finished stranded of beads carved from Canadian (Cassiar) Jade. Notice the difference in size and shape. This is a characteristic of hand shaped beads.
jade beads
This strand is made from jade from all over the world with carved cicada and beetles.