Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Doodling with beads


For a couple of reasons I haven't had much inspiration or energy to work with my beads for periods of time during this winter and spring. But then, some weeks back (or a couple of months, it's hard to keep track), I felt I had to do something. Try to kick myself in the butt and actually do something.

So I figured maybe this was the time to try freeform beadweaving. Something I've been attracted to for a long time, but never got around to try. One type of freeform technique in particular had caught my eye: NanC Meinhardt's freeform RAW. It looked just the thing for me and I find working in circles as one do with single-needle raw is easy and relaxing. And felt a technique that was like "doodling with beads", as described in her masterclass article in Beadwork magazine (February/March 2008), would be perfect now that I had no ideas or direction for what I wanted to make.

NanC used 11/0s only to make the base in her bracelets in the magazine article. I chose to work with a czech bead mix, featuring both large and small beads. It included some nice satin bugle beads too, but I put them aside. Save for one. Also she did extra embellishing with smaller beads which I haven't done (yet).

And how did I like it? Loved it. I was right in this being the thing for me. Both generally and as a way to fight my inactivity. I fully enjoyed just working without really thinking about what I did or planning ahead. Doodling is exactly the right word to describe this technique.

Others might just look at it and thing "eeh, is that some flattened seaweed?" or "that's not especially pretty and it's not even straight -- or even" or "is that a strip of perforated bacon the colour of bark?", but I like it. Not least for what actually picking up my beads again meant to me. Also I think it might make a nice background for further embellishing. I haven't finished this bracelet by adding a clasp yet and while it's just been laying around since I finished the base, I do think I'll do some more work on it. But for now it's just a first try that I'm very pleased about.

You know, while writing that last paragraph, I came up with another idea of what I could do with this bracelet. Not sure it'll work, but I'm writing the idea down. Will probably save it for my second freeform RAW creation -- because I will make more of these. Next time I'll probably try using 11/0 only or just sizes close to that instead of mixing such different sizes as I did here. My UFOs hang around for ages so I'm not making any promises to finish this one soon, but I will add a pic when I do finish it.


PS! If you don't have the issue of Beadwork I refer to above, you can see a pic of the Izzy and Lucy bracelet that was the project I learnt this technique from on NanC's website.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! This is what I do when sitting in the shade of a tree at a near-by lake. Actually there is a sandy beach too, but I prefer the cliffs and lawns. I just took a bead mix and and went ahead after having read your post. It is a nice way to relax and the beautiful view inspires me. Of course I read books, too, but this is something new. Milka

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