The Business of Crafts

Bailey's Beads (& Crafts) was founded in 1995 as the vehicle through which Sherry Bailey markets her crafts, particularly polymer clay art.

With an undergraduate degree in Art Education from Western Michigan University, Sherry Bailey has taught art and has been involved in crafts for many years. As one of the co-founders of "Gallery Upstairs" in Grand Haven, Michigan in about 1973, Sherry sold her fiber art, mainly hand woven tapestries, wall hangings, and toss pillows, as well as some masks and collages. Always eclectic and experimental in her pursuit of art, Sherry ruefully admits to never having created "a line" of items recognizable as her own. Every piece is unique unless part of a series, and Sherry seldom repeats designs. She vows to "settle down" and make an effort to develop a recognizable style... someday!

Bailey's Beads & Crafts currently mainly includes work done in polymer clay, an amazing sculpting medium which can be made to resemble almost anything else. The items are each individually handcrafted with the "clay" being manipulated by color, texture, shape, and the inclusion or addition of various other materials (like metallic powders, faux gold leaf, paint, wire, etc.) Then it is baked at around 275 degrees F. in a convection oven which sets and hardens the "clay". After that, the item may be sanded and buffed to a high gloss, antiqued with acrylic paint, drilled for stringing, combined with other modules, or otherwise developed somehow into a new work of art.
Sherry is a member of the National Polymer Clay Guild, and the Southern New Hampshire Polymer Clay Guild.

Beads and Jewelry


Handmade from polymer clay, Bailey's Beads range in size from about .5 inches to 3 inches in length. Each is designed individually, sometimes as part of a set, sometimes as a unique creation, perhaps to be used as a pendant. Prices are based on the complexity and expertise required for the design, materials used, and final success. (This is true for all of this work.) Beads range from $.50 to $25.00 each.


Blue mosaic bead
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Pendants are made from polymer clay, sometimes with embellishments of other materials such as sterling silver or brass wire, found materials, or other art media. They are sometimes oversized beads, sometimes more of a "dangle" in shape. Pendants may be suspended on cord, chain, or sometimes a string of beads, either handcrafted or commercial. Prices for pendants range from $10 to $150.


Green and silver basket-weave pendant
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Necklaces are fully assembled creations of polymer clay and other materials, often including commercial sterling silver or glass beads, cords or chains, and other findings. They are designed and created as a unit, sometimes with matching earrings. Prices for necklaces range from $50 to $500.


Grey, black and silver mosaic choker
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Bailey's Beads pins are crafted using a wide variety of techniques in polymer clay. This material makes somewhat large pins (perfect for suit lapels) which are light in weight and often more interesting in design, texture, and color than more familiar materials. Sizes and shapes vary widely from small scatter pins about an inch across to elegant lapel pins up to six inches long. Prices for pins range from $15 to $300.


Grey, black and gold mosaic lapel pin
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Polymer clay is ideal for earrings since it is very light in weight and durable, as well as beautiful. Earrings can be made with clip backs, posts, or earwires. Bailey's Beads generally uses surgical stainless, titanium, or sterling silver parts, and these can be changed for you if desired. Prices for earrings range from $15 to $200.


Faux ivory and faux jade post style earrings
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Other Jewelry and Accessories

Bailey's Beads also produces a limited number of bangle bracelets, barrettes, and other accessories. Prices for these items vary.


Dolls, Sculpture, and Home Decor

Artist Dolls

Artist dolls are a fascinating mix of sculpture, portraiture, and miscellaneous crafts. Many many hours are needed to conceive of, design, and fabricate a figure out of nothing. Each doll has a unique personality ranging from the lifelike and "real" to the bizarre and abstract. These "dolls" are a long way from being playthings for children! This doll was made in a class taught by renowned doll artist, Jack Johnston. She is a shamaness figure. Other types of dolls include goddess figures, fairies, mermaids, family portrait dolls, bridal portrait dolls, etc.


Shamaness doll


Polymer clay is a wonderful sculpting medium. Figures can be built (using armatures) of great strength and detail. Bailey's Beads sculptures include dragons, gargoyles, and miscellaneous others. The main difference between these and the artist dolls described above is that artist dolls may be made only partly of polymer clay with other materials for the body and garments, but the sculptures are primarily polymer clay.




Boxes, bowls, masks, Christmas tree ornaments, light switch plates, tiles, lamp shades, desk accessories, pens, and unlimited other things can also be made from (or covered in) polymer clay. Although the material has some limitations in strangth and durability, it is amazingly versitile!


Christmas ornament, hollow filagree
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