Friday, August 07, 2009

This one's for Regan!!!! (imagine me waving hi to Regan here)

Regan's request was that I blog about how I got into beads. Well, as Regan knows, I do NOT write a short story, so I'm going to TRY to be as brief as possible here.... TRY being the operative word!

I grew up surrounded by arts and crafts. My mom dabbled in lots of different crafty things when I was a kid... knitting, weaving, latch-hook, crochet, fabric-wire flowers (remember those mom???)...lots of stuff. My dad painted and did pen and ink drawings as a hobby... so there were always artsy things in the house and it was normal to DO something. I remember my mom saying something about people who don't DO things being boring... and I still think that's sort of true (sorry you non-"do"ers out there.... find something and PLAY! Create!)

I always loved fashion and designed my own clothes and forced my mom to sew them for me. When I got old enough to sew them myself, I tried that too... but I wasn't great at it and mom still ended up doing any of the difficult designs. I just had pictures in my head of what I wanted and she'd find a way to mix patterns and make it work. (thanks mom!!)

When I went to college, I thought I'd be doing something having to do with fashion. I started out at a liberal arts college first because it was small and safe and I knew people going there. I started with just basic classes that all freshman take plus a studio art class. I LOVED that class. It was a painting class and I'd never really painted before. I was TRULY BAD at it, but I loved the class. I decided that I'd take more art classes, which meant that I had to go to the state school that was close to the college where I was because there wasn't really an art department at my college. I took basic design there. When I was in the class, the instructor kept saying "do you know this looks like fabric" about almost everything I did in the class. She talked to me about studying fabric design, which I'd never even known was a possibility.

Back at my own college, I had a talk with the art professor there (he taught art history and humanities even though he could have been a GREAT studio art teacher as well... they just didn't have the department for it). ANYWAYS, I had a discussion with him about art and stuff and he pretty much told me that I needed to stop being a wuss and decide if I wanted to study art or not. If I wanted to do art, I needed to just do it and not worry about the "will I have a job" part of things. SO I decided, for that and some personal reasons, that it was time to go home and look into art school.

I ended up going to Georgia State because they had a Surface Design department (fabric design, but more inclusive... wallpaper, carpet, etc.) I started art school and loved it. I got married while in school and rushed my senior year.... and got a B.A. in Studio Art instead of a B.F.A in Surface Design. I wish I could have a do-over, but you can't.... and it is what it is.

While I was in art school, one of my surface design classes was dedicated to painting on silk. I absolutely LOVED it. I liked it better than learning to design production fabrics/wallpapers. I loved the one-of-a-kind fabrics... but that wasn't really a JOB (in my mind), so after I graduated, I did administrative/clerical work (because I wasn't brave enough as Mr. Knocklein had said I should be) and painted silk scarves on the side and sold them here and there.

Some time during that period, I was talking to someone about jewelry. I told her how much I loved her earrings, but that I couldn't wear things that weren't real gold or silver...that they bothered my ears. She clued me into Beadazzles, the bead store in Atlanta where I could go and buy beads and make my own jewelry. Shazaaaaam!!! I was hooked!!!!!

My first earrings were all tiny little ones.... 2 little swarovski crystals with a silver bead inbetween. I made tiny necklaces that matched tiny earrings... all very delicate.... all very NOT artistic, but very wearable and they made me happy!

and this is a good place to stop! More on my history in beads on Monday.... please leave your requests for other topics or I'll have to start coming up with more on my own... scary!

no coffee today
no music today

quelle horreur!!!


DGranna said...

I love being mentioned in a blog. We did make a million of those calico flowers. And you went to my weaving class that we all made fun of. Good memories.

rosebud101 said...

Sylvie, that is so interesting. You can tell your mom that she has a great daughter, too! Glad you went into beads!

Sylvie said...

Yes... I remember the fuzzy weird yarn round weaving thingies.... UGLY (sorry) 70s craft-o-rama.

And what did we DO with a million calico flowers?????

It's funny, after I wrote this yesterday, I was in a store today in Virginia Highlands that sells really funky artsy craftsy stuff and they had a pen covered in flowers almost just like those!! (but cooler, less 70s)

Regan said...

*waving hi back* Glad to hear some back story! Can't wait for the rest!

DGranna said...

We stuck the flowers (with wire stems wrapped in florist tape)into little funky vases and cups and gave them to shut ins and nursing homes.
Those round weavings were Mandalas, well, they were supposed to be. :-)

CreekHiker said...

I LOVE reading how an artist I admire got to where she is. The journey is fascinating!