beadwork, embroidery

On that bead show thing…

So…I’ve been saving (or trying to save) money for a bead show I’ll be attending soon.  As much as I would say “it can’t come soon enough,” I also have realized that I need to catch up on my studying beforehand.  Wasting time isn’t really a great option for me, right now.  (But I’m writing this…)

I just feel a need to get some part of this out, and reading 30 pages in my textbook?  …I’ve mentioned before (not here) that there are things that are pressing in my life now, other than classes.  And I’ve found that if I focus too much on things I don’t want to do (like catching up on my Marketing reading), it’s really detrimental to my health, because then I choose to do nothing, which advances nothing.  I’m sincerely considering not taking any graded, official classes during the summer so that I can focus on my beadwork and my health.

I’ve had, at the very least, 3-4 people ask me over the last 6 months as to whether I make jewelry, and then as to whether I sell it, who were willing to take a look at my backstock and possibly make a purchase.  However, I don’t really have a backstock at this time, because I’ve sold or given away most of it, and classes don’t leave much time to be creative.  This is Spring Break for me, and as nice as it is not to have to go to classes, my time is taken up with catching up…and dreaming of things I could be doing but am not.  I’ve largely been spending time in bookstores and online and — ! — sleeping.  Things that I normally don’t have the time to do (but sometimes do, anyway, this being why I’m behind in classes).

As I was telling M the other day, it feels like I’ve spent the vast majority of my life preparing to do…and as versus moving forward out of this stage, I just keep preparing, and preparing.  Maybe the time is right to stop preparing to do, and to start doing.

Anyhow.  Last night was actually the first night that I realized I should make some priorities for what I actually want to purchase at the bead show.  So far, I’ve got:

  • Cabochons
  • Seed beads
  • C-Lon
  • Lampwork focals

I wasn’t going to focus on seed beads so much, this time, as versus:

  • Stone beads

…which would be helpful if I were moving in a direction where I’d be making a lot of wirework jewelry.  I do have some stones that I want to make wire frames for, and I have invested a good deal of resources into beginning to study and commence wirework.  And actually, it does make sense for me to focus on stone, if I’m going in a metal+stone direction…which, until very recently, I thought I was going to do.

The thing is, cabochons can also be mounted in bead embroidery, which usually use seed beads (and to a lesser extent, Czech glass beads) as major components.  I’ve picked up a copy of a really good book recently, on this.  (It’s called Dimensional Bead Embroidery, by Jamie Cloud Eakin.)  I’ve also, for some reason, wanted very badly to work with needle and thread again.  I’m not entirely sure why or what’s behind it…but it’s what I wanted to do earlier.  I found an awesome library book on embroidery stitches, as well, which I really want to play with.  Because if I’m going to be working more heavily with fiber and weaving and knotting in my designs, why not move just straight into embroidery?

It could be an interesting direction to branch into, and it would take advantage of my Color Dynamics training.  I really love working with color; it’s the major reason I’m into beadwork, and seed beads in particular.  This then spills over into having multiple sets of colored pencils, colored markers, fineliners, etc.  I just haven’t so far been brave enough to use them in any meaningful way…at least, since I was young and idealistic (i.e. not concerned about the social repercussions of my creations).  And then, you know, I’ve been into braiding and macrame as well, and really see potential in those areas — magnified, if combined with embroidery and beadwork.

Both of these directions focus majorly on design.  The differences lie in the actual processes of making.  Metalwork is a completely different animal from beadwork, however, they both can result in the production of jewelry.  The major problem I see with metalwork is that there seem to be some problems with elitism, to be to-the-point.  This ranges from my being at one time forbidden to construct a beadwoven chain for my metalworked pendant in my Jewelry class, to people claiming that if one has seen a design before, they’re forbidden to make anything like it, to people claiming that jewelry made with PMC (Precious Metal Clay) looks “fake.”

Of course, though, in Beading, there are a limited number of ways of connecting beads, and most people who are into it have probably done plenty of tutorials to teach themselves how to get started.  This is to the point that it’s hard to find any books at all which focus on the process of design in beadwork, as versus publishers distributing patterns to follow which have been produced by others, and several techniques which are probably so common as to be public domain.

I’m thinking that maybe — maybe, I shouldn’t be giving the Jewelry communities (by this they would mean what I’d call “metalsmithing” communities) so much sway in my mind.  I’ve just recently decided to go private as regards my Jewelry classes, in pursuit of a higher quality of teaching.  Does this mean to lean off of the wirework, too?  Probably not — but I can see that I’ll need to understand where my priorities lie.

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