Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Here's to a simple 2009

Well, it's been a while since I posted, hasn't it? And so much has happened. I've been to Florida for Christmas, with my lovely husband and very cuddly son, and managed to nab a lesson with the fabulous Rocio Bearer in the process. Although we both make flowers, they are completely different (bearing in mind mine are sculptural and hers are 'painted' on glass). She also does work with dichroic and cubic zirconias, neither of which I have dabbled with much. As a result, I felt like a beginner. The educator in me couldn't help but notice ways in which Rocio 'assessed' my skill - rather than asking me what I could or couldn't do, she demonstrated a bead, then suddenly said 'oh, I need to do x - could you just keep that warm for me?' - and before I knew it, I found myself twiddling a mandrel. Next on the list was 'could you just finish shaping that bicone for me?' quickly followed by 'could you just finish encasing that bead?' Her studio was buzzing with visitors, so she really was running back and forth, but I'll remember this approach (whether deliberate or not), as it certainly helped me getting to be 'at ease'.

As a result of the lesson, I've come out of my comfort zone a bit - I've only made one rose since coming back and quite a few lace sets, but also some painted flowers, pulling cane, etc. I have started thinking about new shapes, and I've started to be confident in 'simplicity'. I think this is important. When I started out, I always wanted to do one more rake, one more swirl. However, I did not have the techniques to create beads like some truly gifted artists, whose beads brim with twisties, murrinis and dots - all I made was an ever-growing mess. And to be perfectly honest, I'm not very good with colours. I admire beadmakers who can use 10, 15 colours in a bead, and it comes out looking like a coherent whole - my mind does not appear to work like that. 
That's why I like the sculptural beads, I guess - few colours, focus on shaping. My lace beads - one base, black trails. Simple. So is the new design I thought of, which I'm hoping to try tonight. 
But simple is okay. Simple is good. Simple means others can add the embellishment. 
One of my favourite beads of all times is simple, and look what the lovely George of www.designedbygeorge.co.uk did with it for me. 
'Creation' does not have to be complicated - if it had to be, it would be called 'complication'. And who in the world likes complications? 


  1. Your lesson with Rocio Bearer sounds wonderful! And I'm totally with you in the celebration of creation, not complication :-)

  2. Thanks Julie - it was. I just found out I'll be in another brilliant beadmaker's hometown in July, and have contacted her about a lesson - fingers crossed!!!