While in between projects, I decided to learn some new beading techniques. I recently came across some amazing beadwork on Instagram by Julie Mars (@jamfinearts) and got inspired. I have a ton of multicolored beads that I don’t use for my main projects, so I decided to use them for learning how to bead around a vase.
Our apartment is covered with old knickknacks that my husband and I have accumulated over the years, so I found a little vase to practice on. Here is my work in progress. It is quite a slow process and a bit more difficult than I expected, but I am hoping to finish this project by the end of the week.
While working on this project, a few things came to mind. One of the reasons I make art is because it gives me a sense of flow as described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I can tune out the daily worries and just go through rhythmic activity that serves as a meditative process. Of course, a lot of projects require extensive planning and thinking, which I usually do ahead of time; but once I begin, most of my decisions are made on the fly. It gives me a sense of freedom, which counterbalances the much more structured scientific process that I go through during the day.
But the sense of artistic flow can be severely inhibited by creating work that requires a pattern to be strictly pre-calculated. Several months ago, I tried my hand at creating crocheted beaded bracelets. Some examples can be seen on Instagram at @handmade_by_karina_turchina, @tatiana_garkynova and many others.
While their work is gorgeous and deserves to be emulated, drawing out the precise patterns and calculating the necessary number of beads kind of killed the creative process for me. Here are a couple examples of how I attempted to merge their technique with scientific topics.
On the other hand, I also listened to a number of podcasts where professional artists talk about their process. These include “Art Side of Life” and “The Savvy Painter”. In a lot of the interviews, artists talk about putting down the key aspects of an idea and then letting the art guide the process. They like to see where it takes them if they let go of all reservations. Sometimes mistakes can lead to the greatest discoveries (this applies to both art and science).
I have also been following several Instagram accounts focused on embroidery projects. These include @laurabundesen, @lia_pas, @embroidology, @kayra.handmade and @jessica_merle_art. Embroidery is a difficult art. If a painter dislikes something about their work, they can cover it up and restart a section, even if it means temporarily losing an element that worked well. Unfortunately, embroidery and beadwork are not as forgiving as canvas and paint. This potentially means fewer “happy mistakes” if you had a certain pattern in mind.
Nevertheless, after seeing Laura’s recent project that turned out beautifully despite her doubts, I feel inspired to bring this project to the end and see how it comes out. I will show you the results of this experiment soon!
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