Mysterious pod bead saga

In trying to describe how I made the pod  bead , I began to wonder what was the thing I picked up on a walk last fall, and of which I made a silicone mold? How do you Google something that you can see, but you can’t name?  I tried to remember where I picked it up. It was from a dried plant stem, so I Googled “bumps in plant stem,” which only netted me information about tomato plants.  I know I found the bumpy thing in a place where heliotrope grows wild in July. My next search term was, “large round bumps in stem of heliotrope.” Plenty of heliotrope information, but nothing about bumps. Hmmm…how about, “insect caused stem bumps?” Bingo!

The bumps are called galls. More specifically a goldenrod stem gall.

I’ve seen them many times, but never knew their name, and never paid much attention to them. Once I had the name, I Googled images for the stem gall and looked at over 13 pages. None of the images had a triple gall like the one I used to make this bead, so I think I picked up quite the unusual gall!

I have tried to pair the bead with other beads I have on hand. I switched out the reddish glass beads I bought from SueBeads. (Although just now, looking at Sue’s Etsy shop, she is selling Pod Beads that may be the perfect match with my pod bead.)

I strung it with some patinated copper beads from Miss Ficklemedia. I love the color of these beads with the silver, but I am unsure about others of my own beads I used in the necklace.  Hmm, Sue’s pod beads will look lovely in between mine and Shannon’s….

Below: The triple goldenrod stem gall, the silicone mold, and the fine silver pod bead.

For the many times I’ve considered how I want to use this 2″ bead, I have also wished I had a mold of  a single “pod” so I could make smaller beads with this texture.  Now I know to look where the goldenrod grows (next to the heliotrope) and I also know the name of what I’m looking for.  I think I like saying “stem gall” and I know I like like saying “pod bead.”  And the cool dark pod beads with a metallic finish from Suebeads? Just bought ’em.





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7 responses to “Mysterious pod bead saga

  1. so incredibly cool!


  2. Barb Fernald

    If you hadn’t asked, I never would have looked it up!


  3. Barb, thanks so much for the mention and purchasing those beads – I can’t wait to see the finished product! I also love Shannon’s work and just received something from her in the mail yesterday! It’s interesting how you finally found what you were looking for. I know there’s a google thing where you can look up “what insect is this” too.


    • Barb Fernald

      I can’t wait to get your pod beads and try them with my gall bead. Though, gall bead sounds gross, so I’m going to keep calling it pod!
      I just finished a whole different necklace with a mix of your red beads and my PMC beads and some rocks. Too gray for photos today.
      I have some copper and brass bits and pieces to try with Shannon’s patina. I’ll wait for a nice day though, and make my first attempts outside.


  4. crnbrycst

    You are amazing. I’ll have an eye out for stem galls in the fall. We have loads of goldenrod and I don’t think I ever noticed a stem gall before.
    Stem gall
    in the fall
    bead pod.


    • Barb Fernald

      Thanks for the poem!! I will be keeping my eyes out for the stem galls too. Maybe I’ll come over to your house to look!


  5. Pingback: Waiting for bunchberries | Barbara S Fernald Jewelry

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