…A Guide For The Aspiring Bead Artist
by Warren S. Feld

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.|




As someone once told me, “I bought some beads, dumped them all out on the table, and I was hooked!”

She began making simple bracelets and necklaces, and was hooked some more.

And then she learned wire working, and made wire bezels and bails, wire clasps and ear-wires, and wire-constructed bracelets, and yes, she was hooked some more.

She sold several pieces, and now, even her husband started getting hooked.

And she learned bead weaving and some silversmithing, some polymer clay and metal clay, some kumihimo and micro-macrame, and now, not just herself and her husband, but her three children and her mother and her next-door neighbor were hooked.

She spent hours and hours organizing her beads. And organizing some more, as her beads and her ongoing projects took up more and more room in her house.

She was overwhelmed by choices. And was very hooked. And, although she kept buying up bead after bead, and learning technique after technique, and organizing workspace after workspace, she allowed very little time for “design.” She was deaf to the sounds of her Rogue Elephant. In fact, she was blind to the fact that there even were Rogue Elephants somewhere out there, wandering along the horizons, waiting to be beaded.

Yet, we need to give her a chance to get started. To catch her breath. To learn how to learn. To learn how to organize and work. To learn how to manage all the emotions and anxieties which come with so many choices, and so many colors, and so many parts, and so many different ways to go about making jewelry and beadwork. Before she is ready to wander that path. And bump into her Rogue Elephant.



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