Hidden just east of Cobb Parkway, a complex of low, slate-blue warehouses shelters a community of textile workers, sculptors, and graphic designers intent on refining their art. Beads by Design's shop and atelier contributes to this creative wellspring, and today the Southern Flames—a society of glass-bead makers—gather there for their monthly meetings. The shop opened in 1998, displaying a wealth of Japanese Delica seed beads, fire-polished and pressed glass beads, pearls, gemstones, and glittering Swarovski crystals under the high, exposed-metal roof. Visitors can pick up notions or tools, or stick around for jewelry-making classes. These begin with the basics of knotting wire rings and stringing necklaces and expand into the creation of broad, beaded cuffs inspired by Ndebele jewelry and macramé techniques for braiding copper wire. To give students complete creative control of their work, instructors provide propane torches attached to work tables, and safely teach how to fabricate glass beads and intimidate nay-saying critics.