Monday, August 16, 2010

Creative solutions in beading

Sometimes I get set in my thinking, imprisoned by expectations about how a piece of jewelry 'should' look. I'm working on a necklace or bracelet or something, and I realize that it needs something that I inevitably, don't have, like a big fancy clasp or a certain kind of bead. And since we're all trying to spend less these days, I don't just go out and buy it. But occasionally, my creative process manages to muscle its way past the 'gag reflex' of preconceived notions of what's 'supposed to happen', and that's when magic can happen.

I once made an asymmetrical necklace design using multiple strands of quartz crystal connecting to a single strand of larger crystal beads, by what was a large round clasp as a focal point in the original design.  Well, I didn't have a large round clasp, and the clasp I substituted wasn't working as the focal. Then I realized, the necklace doesn't need a large round CLASP, just a large round ELEMENT to be the focal point! So I pulled out a frosted black glass ring to contrast with all that icy quartz.

Another time, I had some leftover beads strung, but it wasn't long enough to be a whole bracelet. Instead of letting it sit in my 'unfinished jewelry' drawer for months or years, waiting for inspiration to strike, I had inspiration just then: I attached a large double spiral in wire to each end, with a matching clasp end hooking to one side!

A few nights ago, I pulled out some beads that had slightly broken tops. I'd been intending to stitch some beaded bead caps to cover the broken bits and make them usable. They'd been sitting in my drawer for a while because I don't LIKE beaded caps; they're much more bother than they should be, and I'm rarely quite happy with the result. Suddenly inspiration hit: instead of gluing a tiresome beaded cap onto the bead, I could glue on bits of chain wrapped around the top! Much more elegant and far simpler than messing around with bead pattern decreases.


jamberry_song said...

These are brilliant solutions! So creative, and they look GREAT. :D

Heather Beading said...

I really like you solution on the beads for your bracelet. Not quite enough but your don't want to split them up. The end result looks really nice. I think there are many times that you put beads and findings aside knowing that in time you will come up with a design that they can be incorporated into and look beautiful. The trick is not to use them until you find the right design. Thanks

Bright Circle said...

Yeah, you gotta strike a balance between using the right beads at the right time--and not letting the wait for 'the perfect project' cripple one's creativity.

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Flowers said...

Thank you. I have so many "orphans and discards" this give me hope I might be able to use them!

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