Saturday, May 29, 2010

Where Do Beading Ideas Come From?

In there, somewhere, is the best I can come up with. 

The other evening, I had a sudden thought. It was really an instantaneous, complete design for an entire necklace. BAM!! Not to quote Emeril, of course. 

It included some really lovely 16mm carnelian rounds (for those who don't think in mm, that's about the size of a small grape) I have had for a couple of years. They aren't graduated, but all the same size, and pretty opaque for carnelian, so they're a brownish red color. 

The idea also included some intermediate beads that I have to construct myself. It was a mass of beaded fringe like Mary Darwall makes, with the fringe changed in proportion to be shorter and wider. Each fringe branch was ended with an amber chip, a rutilated quartz bead, or a small carnelian round.

Mary Darwall was at the Santa Monica Art Show & Sale last fall, and her work really inspired me. I purchased a pair of her earrings, so I could look and see how she did that fringe. I realize that there are plenty of other places on the web to find that out, but I'm actually glad I spent the money for the earrings. Just having them is inspiring, and they match my Christmas embroidered piece nicely. 

So this idea for the beaded beads to intersperse with the carnelian rounds just hit me. I spent the next couple of days musing it over, trying to figure out how to construct the beads. I went back and forth about an interior peyote bead to space the fringe evenly, vs a wire spiral that would just be worked full. The wire spiral is obviously a lot less work.

So I began today with a proof of concept on the wire spiral inner bead idea, and although I'm really liking the way the fringe is looking, I'm not as pleased by how it all flops toward the bottom. Stupid gravity. I'm going to have to make a small peyote bead with perhaps 5 or 6 rows and try that out.  Perhaps it will hold and distribute the fringe at the top of the bead more firmly.  I'll report on that later. 

The colors, and texture and assembly of the whole thing, though, is really cool. I didn't think, after I purchased them, that I would find a good use for the flattish amber chips, but this is working out well. 

I've experienced this kind of "all at once" inspiration before, with art quilts. Those pieces tend to be my best. Of course, the original idea tends to be modified in the process of making. Like they say, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, and no art design survives contact with the materials. But that's what I like about the process too, that it evolves under my hands. 

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