Handmade: Tiny seed beads make big bold statements

Jocelynn Brown, The Detroit News

Cori Duff of Hamtramck grew up being an “artsy kid,” who discovered stringing tiny seed beads at a young age. She later gave up the hobby, only to revisit it about 20 years ago to help relieve the stress caused by her day job.

“When I started working, I noticed that the repetition was relaxing because of the pressure points on the tips of my fingers,” said Duff. However, this time around, she wanted to create something far more challenging and “artsy” than a single or two-strand necklace. The art of bead weaving was calling her name. “I started looking to books and magazines, and then of course the internet for ways to weave and (do) different stitch patterns.”

In recent years, she’s been successful at teaching herself to, not only create, but design pieces of woven jewelry made with interesting and colorful arrangements of seed beads. “I really love color and texture, and I love mixing colors that you wouldn’t think would necessarily look right together,” said Duff. For the past five years, she’s been bead weaving unique body adornment and selling it under the name Script C Designs.

But as someone with a strong sense of creativity, Duff, 42, wasn’t satisfied with just weaving designs that were basically flat. She wanted to create larger and more three-dimensional pieces that would make a bold statement, so she taught herself the technique for making beaded tubes, and discovered she could use them to design neck loops, a wire-based necklace worn hooked around the neck.

Duff said, “I realized we don’t ever reuse the dry cleaners hangers, so I snipped the hanger part off and shaped the wire into a neck loop.” She then covers the hanger with a beaded tube, adorning it by adding hand-beaded tendrils and other embellishments, including crystals, and vintage glass flowers and leaves when she’s able to find them. The result is a beautifully crafted piece of jewelry that lends itself to the look of a vine wrapped around the neck of the wearer. (Talk about a stylish accessory!)

She said, “I also do a lot with chains, where I’ll take little pieces of chain and make it a long necklace with beadwork in between the chain. It’s a long necklace that can be wrapped around the neck several times.”

About every year, or so, Duff comes up with the idea for an entirely new design. The “neck loop” is one of her more recent designs, and, so far, has been her biggest selling item. “Women who buy the chains tend to be a little older, and people who buy the loop necklaces tend to be a little younger,” she said of her “varied” customers. She also weaves beaded bracelets, some of which compliment her neck loops. Both are sold separately. Overall, Duff’s prices range from $50-$100 per item.

Duff will be among vendors at the St. Margaret Women’s Club Art & Craft Fair, set for Nov. 5, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, 21201 E. 13 Mile, in St. Clair Shores. Admission is $1.

In addition to shows, Duff also sells her work on under coriamazon. She accepts special orders, sometimes with an extra fee, depending on the amount of work involved.

Detroit News Columnist Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150,, or

Contact Script C Designs at, or coriamazon on