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History of Design

January can leave people exhausted from the holidays, the weather, and the dark days. It seems this time every year my muse deserts me, and I am left looking for ways to find inspiration. I know a few things help me get inspire, like nature, but when everything is white, gray and black that won’t work for more than a piece or two. So what else do I do?
Figure 1
Figure 1
figure 2
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 4
I find organizing my stash and the bead store helps a lot. I find a strand of beads that I meant to use to create a new design, or findings that are beautiful and have yet to be used in a piece. I look at pictures of other designers’ work and my older work as well and notice design features that could be synthesized into a new combination that might work. Or, I refer back to classes I took and see if I can put something together.The last class I took was at the fall retreat hosted by the Bead Society of New Hampshire ( Last October, a group of us were trying to decide how to end a piece of netted beadwork. I had wanted to use crystals for the piece, but had none with me. So I used fire-polished beads (Figure 1).

In the back of my mind, I put this bracelet and its termination as something to explore using crystals in my next piece. That gave me one bit of the process.

I went on to make a bracelet with crystals (Figure 2). That gave me another bit.

I liked the look of the crystals better.  Another bit came from me looking again at one of the pieces I made with a stitch I am developing (Figure 3).

In this piece, the pendant is what draws attention. Then I noticed a necklace online that was a piece using beaded beads as elements. (Susan Lifton Sassoon - and I liked the shape, but I wanted a different technique and look for the strung pieces. I did not want to use a pendant, but I did want to connect the beaded beads. I thought if I make the beaded strand sections smaller than the bracelet, as I had seen in a piece online, and added no pendant, then the focus is on the strand.

So I used the techniques I had used in the bracelet for the necklace, and added bigger crystals, and some gold beads.

Going through my findings, I found some gold-filled vintage end caps. I decided to use those. And lastly, I wanted to use larger crystals, since I had not done so in some time. The result was something fresh for me (Figure 4).

As you can see, the beaded sections are much smaller, I used crystals instead of fire-polished beads, and the end caps worked beautifully with the sections. Now the focus is on the strand. I am continuing the design process with another design that you will see soon.

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