Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What's New Wednesday? Beginnings


What's newer than a beginning? I think one of the best things in life are new beginnings, and always the chance for new beginnings. Every day we have a chance to start over again on many things, not everything mind you but enough to keep life interesting. But there are some beginnings that take awhile to develop.

New beginnings for those with a creative soul can be quite different than others. Sometimes there are those who are born with that soul and it is pushed aside for schooling for a 'job that will pay the bills, a career', a family, and other pursuits, but soon that spirit cries out for attention and outlets are sought to answer that need.

For Beaders or Jewelry makers that beginning most likely started long ago as a child looking through Grandma's button box, or better still, if you promised to be careful, her Jewelry box. Treasure upon treasure could be discovered there. Strands of pearls, sparkling crystals, earrings and pins of all shapes, colors and sizes, some elegant, some kitchy, some whimsical, something to fit every whim of a woman, but all a feast for the eyes.

The Love Affair begins.........

Sometimes if you got to look when Grandma was in a generous mood you might be allowed to have a bead from a broken necklace, or bracelet, or an orphaned earring, to play with or even better, to keep! These things you would hold in your small hand, the light catching them and flashing back in your eyes and holding all kinds of mystery. You put it in your pocket and carefully take it home with you. When you get there you rush to your little jewelry box and tuck it in a place of honor. It stands out among the little trifles you have and each time you open your jewelry box there it is, shining out like it has a light source of its own, whispering of things not yet known to you but you know, are full of wonder.

But that never truly ends, does it? We all have a treasure box that contains jewelry we wear regularly, then there's the special occasion pieces and then there are those that just don't fit into your wardrobe or style any longer but you just can't part with them no matter what.

The Love Affair continues..............

What began as a small child is a love affair most women will have all their lives. And those with that creative spirit that has been squelched for 'more important things' will gravitate to that treasure box of long ago. She can show you her first ever 'real' bead, or necklace, and that mystery and attraction is still there. Many of these woman will look to find a way to fill many treasure boxes full. First it is justified by , 'I'll make gifts', thus assuaging the guilt that buying all the makings one has to when beginning a lifetime fulfillment of treasure making entails. But soon, those strands in the store or bead show beckon more and more and after all your friends and relatives have been gifted with your makings for so long and your treasure chests are overflowing, the guilt returns and many look to sell what they make.

And another beginning begins. Sharing the love affair with others. By now you have graduated from what every craft store holds that looks basically like what you could find all put together and much cheaper at your local K-Mart or Wal*Mart and start wanting more. Wanting something special, seeing jewelry transform from an accessory to an adornment to an Art form. And when you reach that stage you seek out specific pieces we call focal, or Art Beads. This is what takes you up from the hobby jewelry maker to a investor in art. And not only art, but art that can actually be shared with the world wherever you go.

I have been making Art Beads before I knew that they were Art beads. I used many different mediums but in the last 8 years or so I have been mainly concentrating on Polymer Clay beads. Polymer Clay is known as the Chameleon Clay because you can really make it do just about anything you want. If you want a certain kind of bead and can't find it or afford it, you can probably make a great reproduction in PC. Each artist has their own style and can give the jewelry artist a great focal place to start with their creation. I can't say I have a certain style because that's what I love about PC, I can duplicate a natural stone, or make impressions of organic materials, or use the clay to make 'paintings', or come up with something totally new!

But art beads can be made of so many other materials too: Silver, Ceramic, Lamp working, Bronze, Wire, wood and even multi-media creations.

I think what makes Art beads so special is that they are small works of art that can be held in the hand, yet intriguing enough for more than a casual glance, they are a tiny treasure that takes you back to that beginning of the love affair when you first held that pretty plastic 'pearl' in your hand. Small enough to gather a large collection from many Bead Artists and still not cost a fortune or take up too much space.

I think that having an Art collection that can fit in a box and can go with you anywhere is better than one masterpiece hanging in your home. Art should be appreciated, shared and most importantly, touched and held and treasured. All those things can be done with Art beads, and who says you really have to make something with them? They are treasures to be displayed how ever you wish, it's your collection!

Remember that Love Affair that started long ago, and if you haven't taken it to the highest level of Art Bead collecting or designing with, do so now, you won't regret it!

Instead of showing you my beads which can be seen in my Etsy shops, I have chosen to show you the works of some fabulous Art Bead makers. You can click on each photo to take you to more information about each bead. These are the works ( in order) of Cindy Gimbrone of Cindy Gimbrone Beads, Jennifer Haynen of Jangles, Tari Sasser of Creative Impressions in Clay, Heather Powers of Humblebeads and Patty Lankinsmith of PattyLankinsmith

But I will leave you with one of my focal Art Beads that came as a great surprise to me, a bit of spring today on a wintry day!

Impressionist PoppY Fields Focal Art Bead -from Studio Art

Please stop by ART BEAD SCENE to see all the other posts in the Carnival. Also please take a moment and read my post for today, Feb 17th on The Carnival blogging and to see my entry into Art Bead Scene's February Challenge, LUNA PARK.



  1. that was beautiful and such a great reminder... i like to have visuals around me, triggering right thinking, bringing me back to center... your '3 things' list is going up... anticipation is such a great feeling... thanks!

  2. Nice post, I need to get myself a good focus piece...I do get lost :-)

  3. What a beautiful bead! Thanks for the writing. It reminded my of my little niece, she's only one, but is already walking around the house with my jewelry around her neck, laughing and reaching for more! Thank you.

  4. I can still piture my grandma's jewelry box. It had three big drawers and I thought it was treasure chest! I couldn't wait for that time during each visit when she would say I could try on her jewelry. My other grandma had buttons, 4 jars of them. I would play with them for hours, sorting and playing. I never thought of that as the beginning of my beady life, but there it is! Thanks for sharing and thank you for featuring my beads.

  5. What a lovely reflection on how beginnings change over time!

  6. Fabulous! I loved this!!! I was back in Mississippi, digging in my mother's jewelry box...not the stuff she wore but the sparkly goodness she kept hidden in a closet!

  7. Fun blog post! Full of wonders and excitement!

  8. What a wonder-filled post in many ways!
    "seeing jewelry transform from an accessory to an adornment to an Art form" that really tugged at my soul. I do believe that what I create, you create, what all we artisan jewelry designers create is an art form. It comes from our heart (and there is art in heart you know and no art without heart!). You have me recalling my grandmother's treasure box, which I do have. Some of her pieces too. And no, I cannot part with it. One of my specialties is using my clients' treasures and turning them into new wearable works of art. I love to tell their story. And I am humbled that I have been entrusted with those treasures. And they often qualify it with these are not very expensive, or they are just old, but they are treasures nonetheless. Thank you for such wonderful inspiration, Kate! Enjoy the day! Erin



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