Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday is HERE!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!

I'm planning a weekend of beads and friends! Perfect weekend!!!

I'm saying it here "out loud" so that I'm accountable to whoever is reading this... I'm going to make some more difficult beads this weekend AND start working on a new idea that came from the FYV workshop round 1 (when I made beads too... this time I haven't done that).

SO... I'm nervous and excited to try some new things. It's easy to stick with what I know and what I know I can be successful at, but I have a cool idea for a new seed-bead project and I need to make the lampwork to go with it.... so I'm going to go for it this weekend!

In other beady news, I want to copy a "short" (ha!) blurb from one of my FYV classes.

This is in relation to the first assignment that I gave my workshop participants. I had some hesitation in giving the 2nd round people the same assignment as the first round... because a lot of the inspiration images would have to overlap. Here's what I wrote to them...

"I just wanted to share something I've learned this past week with you all posting your assignment 1 beads.

When I did this assignment last round, it was the first time I've ever had 30ish people doing this workshop at once and I pretty much handed out all the Karl Blossfeldt pictures that I had downloaded.

SO when this time came around, I wondered... if I give people the same image... even with a different color scheme, will the beads look similar????

Well... the answer is no... which is SO cool. If you go and look at the "big group" pictures. You should see several pictures there of beads made during assignment one. You are bound to see a couple of beads (or more) that used the same pictures that were used by people in your group.

BUT I haven't seen a single thing posted here that, even though it might have had the same inspiration photo, looks like ANY of the other beads.

I think that is WAY cool.... on many levels.

1. it shows us that even if 2 beadmakers use the same inspiration... it doesn't mean they're going to end up with the same resulting bead.

2. It proves my point that when we look at beads for inspiration, it just causes INBRED beads!!!!! We shouldn't see a gallery of beads that all have a similar style if beadmakers are getting their own inspirations... it's just not going to happen. We've seen here that even when 2 beadmakers have the SAME inspiration, their beads turn out different... so the only way that all these beads are looking alike is.... THEY ARE ONLY BEING INSPIRED BY BEADS (thus my term "inbred beads")

SO... get out there and find inspiration everywhere BUT in glass beads and your work will sing your own song!!!"

I wish I could link you all to a gallery of all of the student work, but I can't. The new groups are private ones on Facebook, so the beads aren't visible. PLUS I want to make it the beadmakers choice whether their work is viewed publicly anyways. There ARE some photos from the first group posted in the facebook group "Finding Your Voice as a Glass Beadmaker"

Later, I was asked later about classes/tutorials and how can someone LEARN, but not have that effect their work. I responded that I really think it's possible. You have to make an EFFORT to separate the techniques you've learned in a class/tutorial from the design that they've used to teach those techniques.

There is a big benefit to learning from people whose style is SO different from your own... it makes that separating design from technique a little easier. You might learn techniques that you probably never will use , but you'll add some new ones to your "bag of tricks" and it's done in a way that doesn't cloud your own aesthetic.

When you're first learning to make beads... you probably don't HAVE a style... so take as many classes as you can, practice whatever beads you need to practice to hone those skills... BUT THEN start looking away from existing beads... stay away from the galleries for a while, give yourself "assignments" that keep you on your toes and keep your ideas fresh and unique.

At that point, when you return to the galleries online and look at the work being posted... you'll see the similarities of a lot of the beads there AND the absolute uniqueness of your own beads in comparison. It's amazing how it happens.

Taking 2 years off from beadmaking was good for me in a lot of ways... it really let me see this clearly when going back to the galleries and checking out stuff. It was like this huge OMG moment when I saw 15 postings in one day whose beads, though different (and very cool) were DEFINITELY from the same inspirational source somewhere. I have no idea from where (or who) they originated, but they DEFINITELY all had an uncanny similarity. And I don't know that people who had been looking at the galleries every day would have noticed it. It took stepping away from things to see it.

The beads that had been "flavor of the week" 2 years ago had all but disappeared... that aesthetic almost vanished and this new one took its place. Sure there were a few beadmakers whose work still was unique, but the majority had a very similar feel... and I could tell it BIG TIME....maybe the other beadmakers couldn't see it... even in their own work.

It kind of reminds me of weight loss. When someone loses weight and you're around them all the time (or if it's you), it's gradual and you can tell they've lost weight, but it's not as dramatic for you as for someone who hasn't seen them in a while... they see the person and it's like "WOW! You have TOTALLY lost a LOT of weight!!"

When we're immersed in the images of beads made by other beadmakers, we don't see those gradual shifts in aesthetics that are being taken by the MASS of beadmakers out there. There has DEFINITELY been a shift in the last 2 years and I hate to say it, but a LOT of the beads out there look alike right now... A LOT. If I hadn't been separate from bead images for those 2 years, I might not have seen it.

SO... personally, I'm staying away from the galleries. I need to focus on me right now. I know who I am as a beadmaker... I definitely have my own style, BUT I don't need this outside influence of the "flavor of the month" beads coloring my work... and it would be easy to let it.... even unconsciously.

ok... that's enough for today.

time for the tiny blah blah blah...

today's coffee is brought to me by ME!!!!!!! And since I bought my coffee, I bought the coffee sponsorship and can say what I want here.... oh wait! I already do that!!! :)

coffee - CDL and it's gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!!!!! (and cost me $4.25 if you need to make note of that)

music - my upbeat mix which right now is playing Otis Redding's Tenderness. I love that song! I found it through Pretty In Pink, but still love it! (and so do my kids!)

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