Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Bead Table Wednesday

Even when you don't want it to....

Are you one of those people who can take a random selection of beads and findings, apparently unrelated by way of material, colour, size, shape or whatever characteristic; and then defy natural laws to turn them into pieces of seemingly disordered but beautifully balanced art? If so I admire and envy you because I it appears, cannot.

A quick flick through my portfolio will show work that is ordered, balanced, even, symmetrical, matching - need I go on...? There's nothing wrong with this of course and I'm very proud of the work I do but, I do long to break the shackles sometimes and be a little adventurous. If I try and do asymmetrical designs my brain says no no no - messy girl! and yet I love this type of work from other designers. Maybe it stems from a long career managing marketing campaigns where order and control where the watchwords.

Anyway, having finished my Bead Soup projects yesterday my bead table was clean and tidy this morning (there you go again, more order...) so I decided to have a go at making something a little out of character. Rather than pour over my bead stash for ages deciding what to use, I just deposited some random things on the work table and set to without really thinking about what I was doing.

Well that's what I thought anyway....

Appalling weather/light today so apologies for poor pictures

As you can see my random selection did include different materials and textures and there are plenty of shapes and sizes visible - that's good. It did included different colours but I think it's safe to say that there is a definite overall nod to autumn/earth tones. Ah well, it was a good start and off I went making my asymmetrical, mismatched but beautiful bracelet - well sort of....

Yes the beads are all mismatched... but I still managed to put them together in as symmetrical a pattern as could be achieved! Link ring in the centre, larger beads directly opposite each other, colours balanced and of course, it won't have escaped your notice that I picked all round beads! My brain is obviously not going to give up this order and control thing easily.

Fortunately it's not a problem because I really like the bracelet and would wear it myself and that is one of the key criteria I use as to whether I put something up for sale or not. In them meantime I will just have to work a bit harder trying to coax a little chaos out of the order of my design.

Bead Soup Blog Party 17 September 

I just want to add a quick note about the Bead Soup Blog Hop if you're not taking part yourself. It starts this coming Saturday September 17th, and I say it starts because with 362 blogs to visit, this is no 'one day only' event! I've made sure I have as few commitments as possible over the weekend and will be stocking up on lots of goodies to help see me through. I have no idea what will be on show, other than my own recipes of course...but there's sure to be be some great eye-candy so don't forget to pop along - you can start here or at any participating blog.

Now I'm going to get back to nurturing my random designs and pray that the supremely random weather will provide me with an opportunity to photograph my Bead Soup pieces before the big day - otherwise chaos won't come close to it!!!



  1. I'm exactly the same, I just cannot give in to random - yet, as you - love it from other people - just can't pull it off myself. I think I'm a bit more 'engineer' than 'artist'. It's a lovely bracelet, but it certainly has a degree of order and balance to it. But that's no bad thing, just the way you hang. ;)

  2. Hi Lesley,
    I have that very same problem with being symmetrical and non random, but I may have a solution to this problem we have. I read about this trick in a quilting article about choosing random strips of material and I think it could be used in making jewelry as well. Get a brown paper sack, or a container that you can not see through, put the a bunch of items, like what you have on your work table, into the sack shake it up and then take out an item. You must use the item you pulled out of the sack, no putting it aside and choosing another. LOL! when you have put everything together and got it the length you want then you can choose a clasp to finish it off. So what do you think, do you think this will work to be more random and less symmetrical?

  3. Oh and by the way I love that bracelet you made it is a beautiful attempt to be less symmetrical!

  4. Ooh - it's worth a go Therese - I'm curious to see what happens...I guess you'd have to be strict about making sure what you put in in the first play varied. Did you try it with the quilting? I might give it a try next week once the blog hops off my plate - Still need to tweak my post a bit but nearly there.


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