More Design Spirals


I’m rather fascinated with the ideas behind beads, people always ask me where I get my ideas from, I’m more interested in where they go to along the way.

Come on one of those Journeys with me…
(You may wish to go and get yourself a cup of tea, this is a looong post, but there are lots of pictures!)

We start way back in November 2009 with these:

Ziprose with Silver Rose
Ziprose with Silver Rose

a rose design in silver, from my drawings, partly influenced by the ziproses themselves. You’ll see throughout this post, how my drawings and beads influence each other back and forth.

Much later, a little after my class with Lorna Pixie Willow at MangoBeads (July 2011), I made this range, this is a picture of some I found in my experimentals bead box

some of the earlier butterfly and flower beads
some of the earlier butterfly and flower beads

Christmas eve 2011 I made myself this set, and I don’t think I ever took a picture, so heres one I took today:

Butterflies and flowers
Butterflies and flowers

I didn’t pursue this, possibly because I was not 100% happy with the quality of the dot application and raking, though you can start to see the assymmetric designs appearing. Possibly it was just that Christmas happened and I was distracted!

Later still, I was experimenting with dots and stacking, just for fun, like you do, and one led on to another…

dot pattern development
dot pattern development

so then it was not too big a leap to the rose with more outer petals:

dot pattern development
dot pattern development

especially when you add it to my 3D roses on the right.
also take a look at those little donuts, with a single side decorated with stacked and raked dots, we’ll come to them in a bit. I didn’t take these further for a long time either. but I sensed the potential, and kept them for when I had a bit more time to experiment and hopefully a bit more skill!

First, back to my sketchbook, I had been fiddling around with some ideas for drawn designs on shrink plastic, just for fun it turns out, as I wasn’t happy with the quality of the finished product, ah well, it kept me amused for a while! and as I have discovered, no drawing is ever wasted, it all adds to the melting pot of ideas you keep inside your head.

The last two were a few months later, relatively recent in fact, they were about July 2013. so we’re now nearly up to date, and as you know, I’ve been messing around with the 40 bead challenge, where there are many many dot patterns happening! one or two of them had re-awakened the above designs from my memory, and these happened:

roses round two
roses round two

then these:

Rose refinements
Rose refinements

and

and remember that drawing on the plastic, kind of had a tattoo feel to it…I never actually planned to make that in glass, but yesterday I just had this urge to try it out with the black outline

Tattoo Rose
Tattoo Rose

its not perfect, (and Im certainly not showing you the other side!) but not bad for a first go at using black to outline like this. also, reds and oranges tend to look the same as black when they’re hot, so kind of tricky to see what you’re doing!

and now, we’ll come back to those end-on designs, as you can probably tell, these were helped along rather a lot by my efforts in the 40 bead challenge, both with dot technique and design, and its so good to be ‘allowed’ to use tools, and different colours!

heres another shot of those, because I’m really rather in love with some of these colour combinations!

stacked dot designs
stacked dot designs

so I have some new designs from old, a kind of idea upcycling, the thing I like most is that most of these original designs never went anywhere, they clearly weren’t ready yet,  I still have plenty more experiments to do, and avenues to explore, and I’m having a great time doing it.

I’ve really enjoyed this little trip back through my bead boxes, my notebooks and sketchbooks, I hope you have too.
I’ve found all sorts of test beads that haven’t gone anywhere…yet, little doodles of ideas I had and have since made a reality, it makes me smile to see those, the little humble beginnings, scrawls I made on train journeys, on my tea break or in the middle of the night that I now see as a full colour, 3D item that is real, and not just in my head. Often its better than I imagined…and that is one of the many reasons why I love glass.

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