Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Igniting the Flame

It is interesting to talk to some people who really think of Jewellery making and beading as something for the children to do. Their first thoughts and visions are of plastic beads being strung on to stretchy cord - I see it all the time when telling people that I teach beading classes and make jewellery. This is more prevalent in NZ as beading, jewellery making and Glass bead making is still a relatively new concept here. Not enough people have been exposed to the wonders of bead stitching, bead embroidery, lampwork, wirework - you name it - there are many factions to the artform and creative pastime.

I remember only too well the first beading class a friend and I did. We had asked another friend to join us but she kept hesitating and you could see she definitely had the thought pattern above. She didn't even go into the bead shop and have a look before the class to get an idea of what we were talking about. Needless to say she did not take the class. We did and the result was my multistrand necklace in the previous post - which we were so excited about. Our other friend did enquire about our class afterwards and when we showed her what we had made she was certainly quite impressed.

For me this was the first spark in fuelling my interest in the world of all things beaded. Another basic wirework class (earring making) was undertaken with more friends and then came my first stitching class. Oh my - this opened up a whole new world to me that I just knew I had to persue.

Above is the first stitched piece of jewellery I ever made in this class. In case you didn't already know I am a huge fan of GREEN particularly this shade. The Czech Class faceted beads, Green & Gold Japanese Seed Beads and of course Peridot Swarovski Crystals - not to mention the gorgeous Czech button was more than enough to Ignite the Fire. I still have and wear this piece particularly in summer, and have made a fair few for brides over the years.
It is interesting to think back on the path this one bracelet has led me to follow. There is definitely more than just stringing plastic beads on elastic in this game and I look forward to being able to share this passion with more people and changing their perceptions.

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  1. I guess we start with the plastic beads as children and some of us evolve into adult beaders. My daughter had trays and trays and more trays of plastic beads when she was younger. Now she is nearly 16 and uses the same beads I use (and pinches my lampwork beads out of my stash). We are like-minded when it comes to creative outlets although she also loves to draw and paint. I find New Zealanders to be conservative and bland in general. We don't like to experiment with colour or design, and mass produced, cheap from China stuff out-ways the quirky, unique, handmade creations that can be found in New Zealand. Come on Kiwis get with it!

    1. Hi Bobbie - I love it how you comment on my posts - thanks so much.
      Wow you have a 16yr old daughter - wouldn't have guessed. Mind you I was a very late starter, my goddaughter is 20 and my girls are 6 and 8. My friend gave up waiting to have a friend for her daughter years ago. Haha. I can imagine your daugther wants to steal your lampwork beads. So very worth Stealing that is for sure. Good on her for having the creative gene. My 8yr old does too - she loves the stitched jewellery and has been making her own flat peyote bracelet joining a whole lot of different designs from a book I have together. She loves anything arty in general, including writing. My 6yr old is getting a bit more of an interest but she is more into fashion and beauty. Both are big into sport. I so agree with you re NZr's, the majority ( me in the past included - but not now) can't think outside what the standard shops can provide them at the cheapest price. I think more people though are starting to come around - albeit slowly.

  2. Isn't this perception funny (as in odd?). I am still working on the perfect wording to describe my jewellery making passion and what I make when someone asks. Jewellery Designer, Jewellery Artisan, Wire-worker. I might yet google it and see if I can find the perfect phrase .... I'll get back to you if I find it Diana!!

    Love your beautiful green bracelet btw :D