Design Spirals


I’ve spoken before about how beads and their designs go in cycles, the evolution of an idea, the journey of the bead. In fact its much more of a spiral. I haven’t decided yet whether thats an outward spiral of picking up more ideas, trying out new techniques and skills, or an inward one of refining and editing and honing those skills and designs down to a point. Perhaps it is the neverending layered spiral of a spirograph. (speaking of which…you should totally have a look at Mangobead’s facebook page, she is running a fun little spirograph challenge over there, also her beads are beautiful!)

The fastest and most exciting evolution happens when you do something I call ‘Design Fusion’
where you take two or more of your best ideas/recipes/motifs/designs/themes and fuse them, and then see where that journey takes you.

Really good ones just keep going, there are neverending ways to use them, they bounce off eachother, feed eachother, there is always something new to try, and as you progress, and your skills improve, you can make them more complex, more involved, but more than that, in deciding to make this item a different way, to take it a step further, you have to try out new things, to learn.

For instance, I mentioned in my other post that bunnies as ring tops came about by chance of my bunny beads being mentioned in the same sentence as ring tops, I had to go away and think about how exactly I was going to make that happen, I had to try some things and I had to learn.

Design fusion is something that happens often in my beadmaking life, sometimes its planned, sometimes it just flows that way, and sometimes its by accident.

I have spells where I don’t quite know what I’m doing or where I’m going

Its not because I have no ideas.

Its because I have too many partly formed, vague and incomplete ones all trying to get out at the same time and causing a traffic jam. Every now and again one begins to make itself heard, blaring loudly, if briefly, but the frustration at the inability to move forward is tangible. it makes itself noticed in the lack of beads that I’m happy with coming out of my kiln, even less being shown online, and generally makes me pretty grumpy, until one of those many ideas can take shape, and emerge like a bubble bursting on the surface, and sometimes when you can let one of them out, more will follow!

so let me take you on a little bead journey with me…

Turn the clock back to April,  for Flame Off, I came up with a new way to make my flower design as a ring topper:

Later I worked out a way to make them into a button or pendant with a bead back

Just recently I discovered a new recipe or two for my silver glass flower beads, they are variations on treasure map and rainbow garden bases, with some different shards I’ve been making.

New recipe beads
New recipe beads

The beads were quite pretty colours but also…somehow lacking something, something I felt should be obvious to me, but somehow it wasn’t. Wig wags and fancy murrini just weren’t doing it for me, they weren’t enough, and they weren’t ‘me’ enough.

Then…dur! of course, Design Fusion!
I realised what it needed, was my 3D flowers:

I’ve been making owls in opaque colours, I was about to make some more like these, since I only have two left

and then…I wonder if…

flower bead with silver glass + owl = silver glass flower owl!

I’ve been meaning to fuse my silver glass beads with a more sculptural bead for some time now, just never quite had the right idea, one that would actually work, and this one did take a few attempts, but here it is and I really like it. There will be more soon, these first two have fluttered off to Tavy Bead Gallery.

So I’m messing about with my blog hop goodies, trying to come up with a design, and it comes to me that I need some sort of clasp or button, out comes this bracelet again:

Flower Button Bracelet
Flower Button Bracelet

So I made some, in more earthy colours and purples. These may or may not feature in my final designs.

Flower Buttons and pendants
Flower Buttons and pendants

The transparent ones are fun too (unless you are my camera, which hates them!)

clear flower button
clear flower button

Some of these are a bit big, so just how small can I make them?
pretty weeny actually! so cute! and even at this scale I can do it with silver glass.

and then it occurs to me, that new flower bead recipe…wonder if that will work…

oh yes, yes it definitely does!

Silver Glass Flower Pendants
Silver Glass Flower Pendants

and some individual shots:

so there you have it, a little snippet of my personal bead journey of late.

**update** 15/10/2013

silver glass chickens, Oh yes I did!

Silver Glass Chickens
Silver Glass Chickens
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6 thoughts on “Design Spirals

  1. A lovely journey and a thought provoking one too Madeline – you have worked so hard at being you have got it just ‘spot on ‘ !!!

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