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Beading Blog - Beading thoughts part 5

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One woman's adventures in the wide, wonderful world of beading.
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Beading thoughts part 5
posted by Colleen Shirazi, December 24, 2009 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

I don't have much time to make jewelry any more...though it can be more interesting that way. It becomes less a matter of mass production, and It doesn't bother me now to spend a few days on a single pair of earrings. I'm not making them to sell, so it's not a matter of recovering my labor cost. It's more the thought: I want to make something useful, something special.

I started doing this September took me easily three years to feel comfortable with the mechanics. By "mechanics" I mean basic techniques like wire wrapping and creating components with wire. You don't want to be competent; you want to be sublime.

Pearl knotting was relatively easy--you just need to pay attention to what you're doing. Don't try doing it while watching tv...just because the knot feels right, doesn't mean it is right. The knotting tweezers I got from Bead Castle in Berkeley made the process easy. I go there--the owner can tell by looking at a pearl strand what thickness of silk to use. From there, you just need to choose bead tips or french wire.

I'd like to do more knotting in fact; there's more to it than keeping beads from rubbing together, or from scattering should the necklace break. It's also a brilliant way to cut the weight of a necklace, and to stretch out your beads.

If I invest more time in what I do now, I produce far less waste. It can be as simple as making smaller headpins...I make them as tiny as possible now...using less wire in a wrap, screwing up less frequently, using base wire to model a piece...choosing smaller gauges of wire in the first place, and being more versatile with the gauges/tempers of wire you have on hand. I have a place now with just pieces of wire on it, all mixed together. If I'm making something, odds are good I already have a piece of wire there and won't have to cut more off the reel.

I'm still not at the level I'd like to be, by any means; that would involve more capital and time than I have now. That doesn't bother me. I had to wait ten years to become a "real" programmer, but I never thought it wouldn't happen.

Ah! It felt good photographing the stuff. It was a rush job with an old camera, at the end of the day, but who cares. I'll try retaking the last picture, because it's beyond pathetic, but doubt I'll have time to do anything fancier.

I'd really just like to photograph where I am at this point--it's kind of fun, actually, to go back and see how bad you were before. I do that sometimes with this blog. :) Okay, I suppose it's more a comparison--you go back and see what you were trying to make before, and couldn't.


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