Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beading: Tedium or Gratification?

Someone told me once that beading is to art as bowling is to sports: neither requires innate talent; the results improve with repetition, and they both can benefit from a bit of luck. Easy to say, when you’ve never strung a bead (or rolled a perfect game!)
4ZNNZCYRHHFH True, if one never goes beyond the patterns and techniques that are taught in the classes and books, beading can become tedious. The real enjoyment comes when we begin to view beadwork as art – painting with beads, as it were. The use of beads to create texture and shape in addition to color offers infinite possibilities.

After I had ‘paid my dues’ by learning the basic beading and weaving techniques, I began to look for ways to design beadwork for maximum visual impact. This required the addition of texture. I looked for unusual shapes and finishes that could be bound into tight, yet flexible, helical patterns to achieve an appealing symmetry. The goal was to create artistic pieces that are elegant enough for a wedding, but casual enough to pair with blue jeans.

Beading, like life, gardening, fitness (or bowling), becomes gratifying when we go beyond the tedium, always seeking ways to convert repetition into art.

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