As I bead, I tend to focus on technique and construction. It’s only natural, I suppose, since as an editor my focus is on these aspects of each project. I often ask myself several questions. How is this made? How can we best explain how this piece is made? How can this piece be made better? I tend to take a very analytical approach to beading.
But I know many of you see beading as a form of self-expression. The colors, lines, and shapes are the way you tell your stories to the world. I love hearing about someone choosing a color because it reminds her of a favorite flower, or seeing a piece in the forum and then realizing that the designer wrote a story to go with it.
Most of all, I love seeing almost-over-the-top creative pieces that turn up in shows and exhibits, like Bead Dreams or our Convergence exhibit. Sometimes I’ll spend a long time just staring at a piece, trying to see the connection between the name and the finished product. I particularly love the names of some of the Convergence pieces featured in our upcoming special issue Jewelry Designs with Art Glass Beads. Maggie Roschyk’s “Tidepools Reflecting Prometheus” (featuring beads by Kristen Frantzen Orr) and Ronnie Lambrou’s “Santorini Eruption” (featuring beads by Jeri Warhaftig) are two of my favorite titles. They’re creative, and you can see how the designers were inspired by the bead makers’ creations and the movement from inspiration to design to completion.
I think that’s why I enjoy doing our Spotlight pieces so much. It’s really an opportunity for the editorial staff to let loose and get creative. We don’t have to put as much emphasis on construction — instead we can let our creativity drive us. I’m already having a lot of fun exploring the options for the April Spotlight (you can also enjoy Anna’s piece in our October issue, Julia’s in December, and Tea’s in February).
And, if you’re committed to your own creativity and self-expression, I just heard that Robin Atkins’ Bead Journal Project is about to start registration for its third year. Participants create one visual piece each month for a year, as a beaded expression of their thoughts and feelings. What a great way to concentrate on creativity!
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