…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.|


Confronting Your Rogue Elephant

Sometimes, it seems, as the sun rises to the highest point in the sky, and slowly transverses some imaginary curve down towards the dimming sky’s horizon, you lose yourself in the colors and shadows of the jungle. You walk and walk and walk. If there’s a bend in the road, you follow it. You lose yourself in thought. You contemplate what next. And if a sudden fear chills you from heart to bones, that a mad, marauding elephant might come charging down the highway, the fear is temporary. You let it leave you. The tension evaporates. You seem relaxed.

Some people walk their whole lives through the tranquil jungle without coming across a Rogue Elephant. They may be indifferent. They may think it’s a government job to corral Rogue Elephants. They may delegate the responsibility to some other individual or private organization. They may have difficulty identifying the Rogue Elephant from the rest of the herd.

But for others, their walk in the jungle is not always so tranquil. The trodden pathway is full of underbrush, and overbrush. There are pathways that seem to go nowhere and everywhere forever, and there are pathways that abruptly come to a dead end. And there are smells and sights that confuse and clarify in ways you can’t simply describe.

When all of a sudden, a deafening silence. No flash of light, no stirring of leaves, no movement of branches. Yet, not ten feet from where you stand, is this brute of a mad elephant. Nearly 11 feet high to the shoulders. Tusks menacingly extending 3 ½ to 4 feet in your direction. You look at this elephant, at first with indifference, then with a certain amount of interest, and alas, with full concentration. You’ve heard that this elephant has claimed innocent lives. You see that it has a broken tusk and a gory mark on its side.

“One needs rifles to kill dangerous elephants,” you say to yourself. Do you have a rifle?


You think, “I have two guns”.

Then you realize you have no bullets for them.

“Should I scream and make a lot of noise to scare the beast?”

You ponder.

“But what if it doesn’t run away?”

You ponder some more.

“I’ll light a fire.”

You quickly conclude.

“Is it afraid of fire?”

You quickly question.

“What can I light a fire with?”

Again you wonder.

You stare at a box of matches. You look at the ground. You move your head slowly in the direction of the elephant, until your frightened eyes meet his. It doesn’t move. Not towards you. Not away. Its eyes squint a bit. It stands there, as if to challenge you.

Your fear dissipates as you realize this Rogue Elephant’s intent. You are more at ease. Your mind is less foggy. You feel grounded. You feel a renewed strength circulate through your veins. You confront him. Then creative impulses pore out from every part of your being. You are here to bead and be-jewel him. In his environment. On his terms. For his milieu. Yet, with your talents. Your designs. Your artistry. Your understanding of design fundamentals of functionality and durability and wearability and usability and context.

How evolved you have become!

India Targeting Whole Herd in Rogue Elephant Killings

Indian hunters may have to kill an entire herd of wild elephants, not just one rogue that has killed 44 people, officials in the northeast state of Assam said today.

They said the herd, from which the rogue became separated, killed another six people Friday in a stampede in the Assamese district of Sonitpur.

Assam’s Chief Wildlife Warden, Robin Hazarika, said the herd was between 17 and 25 strong.

A wildlife specialist said he belived diminishing forest cover from encroachment of human settlements was largely to blame for the killings.

- The New York Times, 6/20/2007



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