Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Proud to present

Last week I finally got around to finishing the 3D-beaded necklace I wrote about earlier. I am very contented with the end result and got nice comments from my husband, my children and a co-worker! In the previous post I stated a lot of thou-shalt 's and I-should 's ... I can't say I have completely let go of these notions, because they are so deeply ingrained into my being, but I have to say that posting about this necklace and thinking about the witnessing comments brought me closer to being able to go with the flow.  So now it is with great proud I present to you (note that in the pictures the colours seem much redder that they actually are):

It was made in tubular peyote stitch using 11/0 Miyuki delicas only, one bead at a time. It was a growing proces, and as with the jewelry I have done before, I am sure I will not repeat it. That poses the question: why? What does this tell about me?

I am a person that in normal day life thrives best on regular routines that have proven to work. I am not the kind of person that likes to change her schedule just on a whim and without preparation, although I do like evolving the skills I need to do the things I want. A steady, sturdy flow is what I need to feel at peace and comfortable. In my work I sometimes have to repeat the same answer over and over again, still being patient with every customer that calls in. And I can say (without becoming too arrogant) that I manage to do these things quite well.

Apparently there is another side to me that is not that steady, that does like change at least to a certain amount. A side that likes surprises and new things, that is eager to learn, experience and has the ability to stand in awe. And somewhere the two fall together, as I think is the case in this project. Let's call them the woman and the artist for practical purposes.

Before I started this project I was totally overwhelmed by the possibilities of 3D-beadwork as I encountered them on the website of Jean Power. I fell in love head over heels with her Collar For A Rangoli Girl (a rangoli is a colourful design made on the floor near the entrance to a house to welcome guests in the Hindu tradition). The artist screamed out at the top of her voice: "I want that!" She sometimes can be a little child wanting to touch everything her eyes see. It took some time for the woman to find courage and order the whole set of geometric patterns. Being more practical she thought: "Oh, why not all. You might never know when it comes in handy." Thus satisfying her own needs, and the needs of her friend the artist. The woman built a bridge knowing that learning new skills would make them both happy, no matter what the outcome would be, as would holding a beautiful piece of jewelry. All in all, it was the artist that initiated this project, but is was the woman who finished it.

So it is safe to say that I need both. One for inspiration and initiation, the other for patience and perseverance. As I come to think of it this way, it sounds quite beautiful. Still I haven't answered the question of why I don't think I will redo this project. In fact the answer is quite simple: I started beading to give the artist a chance to find her voice and be able to express herself. When following a pattern, even if it is my own interpretation, the woman takes over the minute the artist gets bored. And she does get bored as she is constantly looking for new insights, new possibilities, new anything... Maybe one day she won't be as dependent on the woman to bring her ideas into reality, but as of now: if it hadn't been for the woman I would have had just unfinished jewelry projects lingering around. On the other hand, so far I have experienced that when I do have a bead embroidery piece at hand, working on that prevails above any other beading project that I have left unfinished. It somehow calls to me and feels free. That is what I intended to find when I opened that chest of possibilities called beads&beading. That is what my artist is looking for: freedom of expression, letting her own voice be heard and giving way to all that she is. Today I can safely say that I have come one step further on my beading path and it sure feels good!


  1. This is another delightful post, Dees! I love the concept of and dialog between the woman and the artist and how you've allowed the woman to build a bridge between them while doing this project. You've honored both parts of yourself and now can move toward a place where the artist is less dependent. This will be a great starting point for your BJP work and I'm sure more dialogs will happen as you bead through the year ahead.

  2. I have figured out I don't mind change as much as I used to think I did. What I mind is change I am not in control of. Such as, if my husband decides we are going to move, we move. I have to adjust and I don't always like it. In my art I can try things because I choose the comfort level, pace and everything. Now it becomes an adventure.

    I only occasionally do things over again. First, they have to be quick projects and there has to be something different about them. Look at the BJP pages. They are all the same yet different. I think I do get bored by the end of the year and then like you, woman has to push artist along!

  3. I got caught up in your post and forgot to say that your necklace came out super. I haven't worked with delicas too much myself because of the price plus I like a little irregularity but they are beautiful little beads and you used them quite well.


Thank you for reading my blog and joining me on my voyage into life with and without beads. I hope it brings you new thoughts and inspiration.
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