…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.|



Selling vs. Keeping

It is so difficult to part with pieces you have made. There is a natural attraction. You have pored time, money, and effort towards completing them. You put off other things you could have done, in order to finish them.

I remember submitting an entry to a Swarovski Create Your Own Style contest. First, all I had to send was a picture and a write-up. This was exciting – the anticipation of winning, connecting on some level to Swarovski – like connecting to a celebrity.

And I waited and waited to hear from them. And I did. One day an email popped up on my computer, indicating that I had made the semi-finals. The next step was to send in the actual piece.

My initial elation soon deteriorated into a type of grief. I had spent over 150 hours and over $1500.00 creating this piece. I did not want to let it go. Once sent, Swarovski kept them. I knew I wouldn’t get it back.

Although I could have wrapped and packaged my piece in a part of a day, it took me a week. I’d wrap and unwrap. Put it in one display box, then decide that wasn’t good enough. Another display box, and didn’t like how it sat in the box. Some reconfiguring the positioning, and then I had to close the box. Wanted to see it one more time, then closed the lid again.

I put the display box into the shipping box, but couldn’t seal it up. I left the shipping box open and sitting on a table in my studio. Had to see the piece several more times.

Then, I didn’t like the way the display box sat in the shipping box. Changed shipping boxes. Tried setting the display box several different ways.

Finally closed the shipping box. Labeled it clearly. Ran the shipping on UPS. Felt I needed more documentation and insurance, should the box get lost.

Took a deep breath. Drove the box to the UPS office. Dropped it off.

And felt like I had lost my best friend. I was scared. Empty. Totally disconnected from the excitement of getting selected as a semi-finalist by Swarovski.


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