Saturday, April 20, 2013

In which we learn a little about beads....

"Hey, Maddy? What are these?"

Maddy looked around to see what Shel had. "I think they're quartz crystals, but I don't know what that coating is. I hope it's permanent. I got those at the bead show a few weeks ago."

"How long have you been making jewelry?" Shel, John-John and I were looking through part of her ginormous bead stash while she tried to find a bag of gunmetal lobster-claw clasps.

"I started in high school. I took a couple of classes there and loved it. It was a good foundation in the basics of metalworking," she said. "I started beading a few years later and I've been doing that ever since."

"How would you like a coral necklace like this?" John-John said to me.

"Those are polymer clay, not coral," Maddy said. "I learned the technique from a book by a woman named Tory Hughes. Her techniques are great, but sometimes she gets a little heavy-handed with the messages."

"Messages?" I said.

"She had this one part about, before you begin, sit down and consider why you wish to create this Art, right now. Is to answer your own spiritual muse? Is it for your creative spirit - something like that. I already know why I'm doing it. I like to make cool stuff." She shrugged. "I mean, nothing against introspection, but I'm just not introspective, I guess."

"Are these polymer clay, too?" I said, meaning a brown and green necklace.

"The brown beads are.The green wooden ones were, I think, a Bead of the Month selection a couple of years ago. My father said that was the ugliest necklace he'd ever seen. Then, two days later, he was making a big deal over the fact that all the beads were the same size and he couldn't figure out how I did it. I just eyeballed it." She looked thoughtful. "He was a craftsperson, but he wasn't creative. I mean, he could put together a train model or whatever and make it look exactly like the one on the box, but if it didn't have all the instructions including exactly what colors to paint it and what decals to put where, he was lost. He could recreate, but he couldn't create. I think he was a little bit jealous of both me and my mom."

"I think they're cool," John-John said.

"Did you make these?" Shel was looking at something else.

"No, those I got back in August, I think. They're decoupaged. They were made by a woman from the Philippines. I'm not sure who all the faces are on them."

"I like these," I said. Naturally. :)

"Vintage Lucite," Maddy said. "Moonglow, regular and textured. Those were really popular in the fifties and early sixties. I've got some glass beads dating back to the 1920s. Actually, I have some older than that. I like the older pieces. I always wonder what kind of stories they would tell if they could speak."

She thinks she knows what she did with the clasps, but doesn't want to go rummaging through the house this late at night looking for them, so the rest of the necklace will have to wait until tomorrow...

And if you're interested in Lucite or Beads in the Mail, here's the link: The Beadin Path

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