Snippets from a bead artist.

4.15.2012

Seed



The other side of nature; away from the blooming flowers and emerging buds. The darker side, where spores are spreading, insidious and creeping, rooting in anything they can, overtaking and blighting. Alien and strange.

I have never, in my entire beading life, had such a hard time creating a piece. Not only struggling with the concepts and the visuals, but fighting with the beads, the Fireline, the stitches... broken beads, tangles that would not come undone in the thread, false starts, ripped up edges... but it's finally done. To be honest, I have really disliked working with the long magatamas - but I think it is because I use my beads as building blocks in a lot of ways, and the long magatamas only seem to work as toppers for me - not as a place to begin. Many of the artists asked to participate in The Beadsmith challenge came up with lovely, flowing, graceful pieces that made me drool, and I think that some artists would have a lot of fun using them - but for me, they acted awkwardly and did NOT want to be where I wanted them to be. Lisa Peters provided another lovely focal cabochon, handcrafted with incredible skill. I also gave myself more of a challenge with this than I could have, choosing to bezel with matte Delicas, which are notoriously thin walled due to the process they go through when manufactured, so I shouldn't have been surprised by a few broken beads.



No matter how much I disliked, or downright hated this piece, it ended up meaning a great many things to me during the process. Which is perhaps why it was as hard as it was. Lisa's focal is fabulous, but when I looked at it I saw spores... and everything came from there. The more I worked and struggled with this, the more I realized what I was 'journaling' about. Not just the focal, or showcasing the magatamas, but things that are happening for me and around me. This month marks the anniversary of my mother's death 13 years ago; today, in fact - we had a difficult relationship, and I found her when we went to investigate when she hadn't answered her phone. My friend, and inspiration, and more to me than I know how to express, is suffering from an aggressive form of cancer, which came in as one tumor, then two; and then more and more, spreading itself wide. Rooting, if you will, sporing, taking over. I hate Auntie C as much as I love you, Linda. There are places in my life when a seed was a lie; and of course that lie leads to more, and more - and spreads. One deceit is enough to plant that seed of distrust, which will overrun a relationship and smother any love or respect it finds growing there. Then there are the seeds that are planted in us, early on, bringing self-respect and self-image issues, anxiety and depression, which can grow to huge, overshadowing things.


Now done, I am exhausted. I need to find something to play with, something light hearted and beautiful.

Out of all of this... came this. I hope that someone, somewhere, will find something that speaks to them more positively with this necklace, and that it finds a home. I'm thinking it won't stay with me for long... or maybe that's just more hoping.



22 comments:

  1. Nancy, this is a breath-taking beautiful piece. I love your fringing, and the asymmetry of it. It sounds like a complete journey of a piece for you. Take it easy and do something fun, and remember there is a lot of good in life.

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    1. Thank you, Becs - I am remembering as best as I can today, and tomorrow will be easier, I know. :)

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  2. Wow - so much in that - and some of your responses to working it mirrored some of my initial responses to seeing it - it's beautiful, but in an edgy, slightly sinister, shadowy way...
    As well as seeing spores in the focal I see an event in space - maybe a supernova or an active galactic nucleus.
    I hope working on this has been cathartic. Now go bead a dodecahedron in lilac Swarovskis - you know you want to. x

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    1. Mary, you can make me smile no matter what - thank you - and I'm going to play like mad!!!! Love you!!!

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  3. Yes. This is a piece with much depth to it - and I think it will speak to someone who needs to hear it. Go play, you've earned it.

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia. For so many things.

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  4. Yes, it's dark and edgy. It also has beauty and grace, the very things that help us to deal with the dark times of our past, and help us to live through the difficult parts of our present life. Particularly in the last photo, the center looks like a large pearl, with the grime being slowly polished away.

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  5. Well gorgeous we once again have another thing in common but I have to tell you knowing what you are going through and knowing the struggles you had in creating this I can tell you that this piece is beyond priceless for me. Reading this post I had chills and am full of love and friendship for you.

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    1. Thank you, Kristen... big hugs to you...

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  6. The colors are stormy, and although this piece was difficult for you some else will see the silver lining in what you created.

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  7. I love this piece, especially the fringe. But it does have a dark quality to it, like the sky before a tornado.

    I'm sorry it gave you so much trouble emotionally and physically, but it sounds like it was good art therapy. I agree with Mary about the lilac Swarovskis, and I also recommend cuteoverload.com.

    And if you still feel out of sorts, let me know -- and I'll send you a link to a video of a man being attacked by cuddly puppies. Cutest thing ever. :)

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  8. Well, it may have been a struggle, but you've created a gorgeous piece! Love it!

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  9. I could almost feel the sense of Doom in the piece, and yet...and yet it still to me has hope in it somewhere, and a beauty of its own. Perhaps it is like a secret that once aired can be released and is no longer such a burden. Hope the heavy feelings lighten and fly away too Nancy xx

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  10. beautiful! colorful and elegant, I love it!

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  11. I REALLY like it! And even more, knowing how your process went and how your felt about the piece as you worked it. How perfect when something that we struggle with can find its way to being beautiful in our hands. The ones we struggle with are worth more in the end. They stretch us, and pull on us, and we are forced to give birth to some new ideas and ways of thinking. BRAVO, my friend.

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  12. Nancy, I think it's a beautiful piece, and the more so for knowing that it represented a struggle for you. I think it's a perfect example of the way the creative process can often be difficult for an artist. Not every piece is formed in a smooth, even flow, from thoughts, through hands and into reality. Thank you for sharing your feelings as an artist and the pictures of this lovely necklace. And now, it's time to rest and play!

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  13. This piece is just incredible, Nancy. Your hard work paid off.

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  14. While this piece carries a heavy burden, I hope you found solace in the journey. Now that its done, you can relax, play, and make something super shiny, sparkly, and i dunno- orange & turquoise !!
    Sending hugs... <3

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  15. Es realmente precioso, fantástico....!!!
    Me encantan todos los trabajos que tienes!!!
    felicidades!!!!
    Hasta pronto.

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  16. Wow Nancy, it seems you weren't just creating a beautiful necklace but working through a lot of painful stuff. It's not surprising the birthing process was so difficult. Many hugs for your aching heart.

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