Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Oh, That Painful Artistic Process!
Early in February, I posted this story about learning new beading techniques to solve a problem. I was extremely happy with my early results, and vowed to learn more to finish the piece in the spectacular manner these components deserved. This past Sunday, I finished this necklace at the end of a painfully slow learning curve.
The components I needed to pull together were: An encase crystal rivoli pendant and two peyote-stitched beaded bead tubes. How to finish them? My early thought was to learn the tubular right-angle weave stitch and thread the pieces onto that.
I finished that tube and was deeply disappointed with the final result. I didn't like the colors I chose and the completed tube seemed lumpy and twisted. Not at all what I had hoped for.
OK, moving on... Maybe the African Helix stitch? I've seen finished pieces in Carolyn Wilcox Wells' book, and they are really lovely. I tried hard to learn this stitch from her book's basic instructions section, only to look at my result and say "What the Hell?" I was obviously missing something. So, I scoured You Tube and found a wonderful instructional video to follow. Wow. This is a fun, beautiful stitch... as long as it stays on the knitting needle I used to stabilize it during stitching.
I took the tube off the needle, and watched the beautiful metallic accent line collapse into the center of the tube. Crap! All that work, for THIS?!?
I contacted the person who gave the video tutorial, and she told me she didn't like this stitch much. She'd had requests for instructions so she learned it for the video, then stopped using it. *sigh* I cut my miserable attempt apart, rescued the beads, and decided to go with the tubular peyote stitch after all.
Apparently, I needed to go through all that aggravation to wind up with a piece of which I can be proud:
So many hours went into it that I have no hope of putting a reasonable price on it. ("YAY", another necklace for ME.) Now I know what I'm doing so I can make another one in a fraction of the time it took for this first effort. "Learn by doing" feels an awful lot like reinventing the wheel.