HOW TO BEAD A ROGUE
…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.|
CURRENT ROGUE ELEPHANT BLOG ARTICLES
Coming Out As A Jewelry Artist
Coming out as a jewelry artist is similar, though not exactly the same, as someone coming out as “gay”. It’s fraught with fear and dread. It means very visibly presenting yourself with a new public identity. It means preparing your ego to receive some negative comments, perhaps doubt or disbelief, and in some rarer instances, rejection or denial. It means asking others to accept and support you in your new role as Jewelry Designer.
There is a betwixt and between aspect to this coming out process – a rite of passage. And the unknown time and feelings and situations, between the before and afterwards, is often a span of uncertainty too great for many an artist to transcend. Many who want to be jewelry designers, are somewhat afraid to present themselves as such. These “closet artists” tell their family and friends such things as, “I dabble in this and that, including jewelry-making.” Or, “I consider myself a ‘bank teller slash jewelry artist’” (and you can substitute whatever profession you are in for the words ‘bank teller’). Or, “I’m making some things for fun or gifts, but not selling things.”
There is some hesitation. “I am a jewelry designer.” Can’t quite get the words out. “I am a jewelry designer.” Keep wanting to say “but” or add some qualification, so other people don’t say, with mocking and astonishment, “You’re a what!#@?” “I am a jewelry designer.” You whisper to yourself over and over, but don’t tell anyone else.
When you step out of the closet, however, you show others you want respect. As a jewelry designer. You demand from others an understanding. As a jewelry designer. You present yourself as someone with self-esteem and confidence. As a jewelry designer.
So what does it take to manage the transition before and after? What does it
take to show that you can confront your rogue elephant, not only privately,
but publicly as well?