HOW TO BEAD A ROGUE ELEPHANT
warrenfeld
…A Guide For The Aspiring Bead Artist
by Warren S. Feld
blog.landofodds.com

Excerpts From This Ever-Evolving Tale.....

I don’t mean to drag a poor Elephant by its tail, kicking and screaming, into our bead world against its wishes. Nor do I perceive the elephant to be a threat, like you might see an Elephant in the boudoir, or the fine china store. And I don’t want you to shut your eyes and pretend not to notice that this Elephant is here, standing shoulder to shoulder with every beader and jewelry maker around.

The Elephant is not a joke. And the fact that it is “Rogue” makes it more important than ever to figure out why it’s here, among size #10 English beading needles, and Czech size 11/0 seed beads, and Austrian crystal beads. It seems so worldly, yet other-worldly, our Elephant. It’s not our muse. It’s not our Cassandra. It has no secret plan or strategy. It does not depend on its size to make its point. It does not hesitate to stomp and chomp and clomp because the beads before it are raku or glass or gemstone or crystal or metal or plastic. But a Rogue Elephant in the middle of our craft room forces upon us a completely different logic, so that we can make sense of it all.|

CURRENT ROGUE ELEPHANT BLOG ARTICLES


Beading Calisthenics
#3: Composition in Gray and Gray

Beading – especially beading a Rogue Elephant – requires a lot of mind-body coordination. That takes work. It is work.

You have to be able to get from your fingers to the needle to the beads, back along the thread to the needle to the fingers, hands, arms, eyes, mind. And then again. And again. Over and over, one more time. You need to get into a rhythm. All these working parts need to be working. No time for cramping. No time to get tired. No time to lose concentration.

A rhythm. Needle, pick up bead, pull down along thread, check the tension, pick up a bead, pull down along thread, check the tension, pick up a bead….

I noticed that different instructors had various techniques and strategies for maintaining this rhythm. Yes, music was involved sometimes. Othertimes simple meditation or creative reading and discourse. Some people had some stretching exercises that they did. Others tested themselves before proceeding with their big project. Still others did small things to reconfirm their learning.

Here are some of the beading calisthenics that I experienced along the way.

MATERIALS NEEDED FOR ALL 10 EXERCISES
(SUPPLY LIST):
notebook, pencil
1 tube each of Japanese 11/0 seed beads in gray, 3 different colors of orange, black, white, any other 4 colors
1 tube each of Japanese 8/0 seed beads in gray or silver, black, white, orange, any other 4 colors
1 tube each of Japanese 6/0 seed beads in gray or silver, black, white, orange, any other 4 colors
5 gray-scale colors of delicas or 11/0 seed beads
Nymo D or C-Lon D thread in black
Nymo D or C-Lon D thread in yellow
two toggle clasps
.018” or .019” flexible cable wire
assorted 4mm, 6mm and 8mm beads in various coordinating colors, including grays and oranges in your mix, as well
big bowl and a bowl-full of assorted beads
Size 10 English beading needles
Bees wax
scissors
beading dishes or trays
any kind of graph paper
work surface or pad
colored pencils
a few clasps, (toggles are easy to work with)
some crimp beads
crimping pliers

BEADING CALISTHENICS #3: Composition in Gray and Gray
5 gray-scale colors of delicas or 11/0 seed beads
gray colored Nymo or C-lon thread, size D
yellow colored Nymo or C-lon thread, size D


You can use an existing peyote, brick stitch or loom pattern, or create your own. Try to use or create a pattern that is about 3 inches square. Assign your colors using your 5 gray-scale colors of delicas or 11/0 seed beads.

Evaluate your resulting bead-weaving:

To what extent have you been able to create obvious or desired boundaries between sections or forms within the piece?

To what extent have you been able to create a sense of dimensionality, or forward/receding qualities?

To what extent have you had control over the lines, forms, sections and other design elements, using only gray?

To what extent have you been able to achieve an energy/vitality within the piece, as if it had been multi-colored?

Additional Exercises:

1. Repeat the pattern, using your 5-gray-scale bead colors, and use a bright yellow Nymo or C-Lon Size D thread

2. Repeat the pattern, and substitute a rich colored blue or red bead for one of the grays, plus the other original 4 colors of gray, and the gray Nymo or C-Lon thread

 


 

 


COPYRIGHT, 2009, FELD
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