Saturday, January 22, 2011

flower links

I've been having great fun with my "embellished" links. lately. This one was a big step for me in a way. Up to now I've been fairly subdued, and fairly limited in my color palette in the beadwork. This is just the opposite of what I've been doing in my rugs. The reason, mostly, has been that for the rugs I can dye my own colors and so create whatever I want. When I first started beadwork, I'd go online and pick, say, 4 colors for a piece I wanted to make. But when they arrived, they'd always be not quite what I had pictured. Either I'd feel like 1 or 2 didn't work at all, or 2 of them would be almost indistinguishable from each other. So I got in the habit of de-emphasizing color. That was good because it forced me to concentrate on the forms.
I took a crafts design course at the local community college a while ago and the teacher, a metalsmith and jeweler, told a story that stuck with me. She was working with another jeweler, who asked her what she could do to take her work to the next level. Pat (the teacher) said "Make some pieces without stones." She said "But I love working with stones." Pat said she knew that, but her work was too dependant on the stones, and if she worked without stones for a while, her other skills would get better, so that when she put the stones back in, the work would be stronger. I immediately thought "Damn, I'd have to leave out color." I was thinking mostly about rugweaving then, so I thought about making a series of black and white or neutral rugs, but I couldn't make myself do it.
So my problems finding the colors I wanted forced me to do just the sort of thing the teacher was talking about. Meanwhile one gradually acquires alot of colors of beads. I really like the pieces in the muted and metallic tones. And they can be worn with lots of things, which is good. But it was really fun to put lots of color back in the work. My favorite beadworker is Yael Krakowski(if you don't know her work, check out and I love her use of color. This piece has a somewhat similar feel, I think. Anyway, I'm pleased with it.