Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ignition: My First Beads

Well, I've not participated in a blog hop before, but this sounded like too much fun to pass up! So here, I am participating in the Art Jewelry Elements Blog Hop - follow the link at the bottom of this post to see all the other great blogs!

Everyone, no matter what they make, had to start somewhere. And often it seems we don't get much beyond the start- frustration, lack of time, no matter the reason, I can't even remember all of the things I have started to learn and just never gotten anywhere with.

But lampwork beads- that's another story. Like so many others who have tried out this wonderful craft, it seemed from the start that I couldn't get enough. First I think it was the pure determination of trying to make a bead that was- well, sort of round. And then there were so many other shapes to try. I actually gave the kit to my daughter for Christmas when she was 16- about 13 years ago- but when she went off to college a little over a year later, it was mine, all mine! For some strange reason, they didn't allow torches in dorm rooms- who knew! I had a book, a torch, some tools, some glass and some time; add an empty nest to all those supplies and what else was I to do?!

Anyway, these are some of my early beads- I don't remember how long I had been making beads, but I know these were from my first year. The only reason I still have them is because I gave them to my mother when she was first falling into dementia. She used to worry them and restring them all the time. Now they have sentimental value. These beads have been well loved- covered with food, licked, worn- I like to think my mother understood that they were made by her wacky daughter even after she could no longer speak.

The mask is from a year or two later. They have progressed a lot since then, but this one has a little something that still makes it dear to me.

And today's beads? Well, I would be mortified if I made beads that were so wonky with jagged ends these days. Those babies generally get tossed into the nearest body of water for some later archaeological midden fun!
Here's a 'modern' mask and a pendant.


Jennifer Cameron said...

I am so excited you joined this hop as your first ever. It wasn't too painful I hope :-)

I love the story about your first beads and your mother, seeing an early mask and seeing where you've come since then. Thank you for sharing!

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Your story is so touching... how amazing that these beads were so special to your dear Mum, and you still have such memories when you hold them! I'm certain your Mum was soothed by the unique touchstone you gave her.

I love blog hops that attract new participants. I am only starting this blogging journey, so I am thrilled to discover your blog and your work!

Kashmira said...

Oh my! The healing power of crafting! Its amazing. And that mask is gorgeous!

Rachel said...

Isn't it interesting how important those first beads can be? Thank you for sharing your story, too!

Sharyl said...

Thank you for sharing the special story of your early beads. My mom had Alzheimers and that influenced my jewelry-making too, especially in terms of design and ease of use. She wasn't allowed to take expensive jewelry with her when she moved to a nursing facility, (not that she had much of that), but she was so happy should could take mine with her! (I wasn't making anything out of expensive materials at the time). She loved jewelry! She was my best model, co-designer, and marketer ever!

Islandgirl said...

For some reason on my monitor the mask picture is posting on top of text.. wish bloggers preview was what actually posted! Great story about your mother and your early early beads. Haven't we all come a long way. Of course learning on my own I didn't realize that nice ends were even desirable... and my aquarium gets all my rejects... Poor Fred Fish is going to run out of room one of these days!

glassbead, isinglass design said...

Aquarium beads - what fun. Shoot. I'll have to go try and fix that photo. I forgot to check if it was really doing that. And I don't know why! Thanks to all of you for the great comments.

risa said...

I also love beads. I like those with colorful streaks as they add more life to my getup. Beaded accessories will certainly add oomph to any dull clothing.

Erika said...

Wow! love your work just found your blog & look forward to following you, I have taken 1 lampwork class & absolutely loved it! I would love to do more of it but space & $$ prevent that right now, so I will live vicariously through you lol!