Friday, November 19, 2010

The Transformational Nature of Beading

On a whim, I started a new piece, with the much-enjoyed netting stitch. I think it's going to be a cell-phone pouch. Or perhaps something less practical...a place to keep secrets, maybe.  

In the process, I learned something new. For some reason, although I've seen it before, I never understood, until this piece, the difference between beads-in-a-tube, and beads arranged as I've conceived them to be.

I'm not expressing this well. Perhaps the pictures will help.

The beads I'm talking about are short bugle beads, of a translucent rosy ruby color. They are unique among my current collection in that they're straight hexagonal beads, rather than round or twisted.  The first photo shows them in the flip-top tube I use to store them.  I hope that the other photos communicate the texture of the beadweaving. I know they can't transmit the sensuous feel of the netting as it moves in one's hand. That's where the real-world experience of a piece is invaluable. 

In the store, I thought the color of the beads was unique. I got these at Beadiak, in Agoura Hills. It's one of my favorite stores. Their selection of stuff just seems to coincide with what I want at the moment. The bugles in question came in a hank, for a very reasonable price. Then I brought them home, logged them in my software, and stored them in a tube.  I thought the color was lovely.

But it wasn't until I'd woven the netting bag that I saw their true nature. The hexagons reflected the light in coordinated yet individual directions. The flexibility of the netting enhances this property as it bends and moves with manipulation.  

I had taken something pretty, and made it into something beautiful. I created beauty. A raw material transformed into more than the sum of it's parts. It's not just bugle beads and thread. It's art. 

And in transforming these materials, I transformed myself. 

Not bad for a slightly gloomy Friday afternoon the week before Thanksgiving, huh?

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