…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.|


Unfinished Projects

Some people kindly refer to their unfinished projects as UFOs (unfinished objects). Others less kindly refer to them as abortions.

You’ll find you have a lot of unfinished beading and jewelry making projects. They might be waiting for more supplies, or finding the right color or clasp. They might be waiting for you to learn or re-learn a particular skill or technique. They might be waiting for more time or motivation. You might have discovered another more exciting project to do in your most recent issue of Bead & Button magazine, and want to get to that immediately, even though you haven’t finished your last project.

You might begin a project, and then as you get into it, put it down, pick it up again, find that you forgot what you were going to do in the first place. You might have inadvertently cannibalized some of your other UFOs to help you finish a particular project on hand, and then not be able to find these very same UFOs you intended to come back to and finish, having forgotten you cannibalized them.

People do funny things with their unfinished projects. One woman I know puts them in a clear jar, and let’s them stack up as an artwork in progress. Some people work on them in rotation, with some kind of system, lazy-susan-tray or otherwise. Others take the time to tear them up and reclaim the parts. That’s definitely not me. I leave them laying around, piled up on bead trays. Many people swap them.

I hate people who finish each bead project before starting another. How can they? How much true-grit can anyone person have, or be allowed to have? Getting a grip on one’s beadwork – Is that really possible? Can you really weed out your unfinished projects, and reclaim your beads, and make clear, definite, timely decisions about which projects you will start, which projects you will finish, and which ones you won’t? Is there a pill for this? Either a stimulant or a cure?



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