Many jewelry artist use a design notebook and sketch out their ideas before they start the actual beading. My design notebooks end up with notes about colors I like, supply lists, future shows, or special orders. Designing on paper is very hard for me – I have to see and touch the real materials. My designs have a tendency to develop as beads meet beads.
I’ve just finished a bracelet that I’ve been working on for days and days and days. Working with seed beads is a bit of a challenge, especially with the tiny beads, but the immediate emerging of a pattern and the relaxing flow of the stitching, emits a calming, hypnotic effect on me. My mind tends to wander as I begin to bead, but eventually I relax and become totally focused on the routine of stitching as all other concerns slip away. For me, the creativity kicks in abstractly, because I don’t plan a pattern for the free form pieces, so the final design is not revealed until the product is finished. I like that! Take a look at this bracelet – it started out as a tubular peyote and transformed into this:
The official name for this type seed bead stitch is “free form.” Although, I want the balance and pattern, the asymmetrical designs and the eclectic choice of materials pleases me more. Uniformity in this piece comes from the gray pearls, crystals and seed beads and the clear crystals and seed beads.
The final design is just what I wanted – and I only know that when I see it completed and the look feels right.