Saturday, 6 July 2013

Strung piggy beads

I've had my piggy beads for some time now, got them back in April, but as other things have gotten in the way, I haven't really started playing with them. But at least now I have tried stringing them.

Stringing might sound boring, but first of all, the shape of the bead makes plain stringing interesting -- and stringing a new bead shape in different ways is a good way to learn how the bead shape behaves. Better to start by stringing and learning what the bead itself want to do than to sketch on a design only to realise that when you bead according to the plan, the new bead wants to do something completely different because of its shape and hole placement/direction. By stringing like this, you learn how the bead wants to curve and position itself. You also learn another very important thing: how rigid or flexible a row of beads will be. That's important to know when planning a design as you sometimes want something flexible and supple, e.g. for a bracelet, and sometimes something that'll keep its shape well and act as a support, e.g. for a large pendant.

As I only have a small handful of beads, I only got to these two variations. Now that they have been documented, I'll pick up the sample and try something new. First more stringing variations, then adding more of other beads such as seeds and druks. And when I've done that it's time to create a few designs. Which sounds like a very linear process, but of cause in reality the different phases melt together and you work on designs in your head the whole time you experiment with simple variations and explore all the "what ifs".

I'm thinking about buying enough beads to make a bracelet in the first variation (the not curved one), but this sample is already heavy so it'll turn out to be quite a heavy bracelet in that case. Scrap the idea -- or just use it for one section of the design? Some ideas are bad ideas (or at least ideas that doesn't work as well in real life as on paper), other ideas just need to be tweaked or combined with another idea in order to work.

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