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.


lori vliegen said...

ahh, yes. reinventing the wheel. may i just say that i'd rather clean the grout in my bathroom with a baby toothbrush than try to reinvent the wheel...again?!! i feel your pain, sister!! but let me reassure you that all of your efforts have definitely paid off...you did a beautiful job on this and i SO admire your patience in seeing it through! plus, now you have a stunner of a necklace to wear next time marble man takes you out on the town! :)

Vera said...

Kate, your work is amazing! This necklace is breathtakingly beautiful!

Andrea said...

Your necklace turned out AMAZING! What patience you must have.

3rdEyeMuse said...

wow! your efforts more than paid off ... that piece is seriously STUNNING.

Christine said...

I think you ought to be the one making instructional videos/books! Your work is beyond jewelry ~it deserves to be shown in a gallery. That is a gorgeous piece and I can sense the hours and hours it must have taken to make it.
Do you ever submit your work for publication?

A Fanciful Twist said...

I mean, proud of this piece is an understatement for sure!!!!!

It is extraordianry, a museum piece, fit for a goddess or queen!! I LOVE IT!! xoxoxo Just amazing!!

TattingChic said...

Well, it is beautiful! I "feel" your pain! Sometimes tatting is so slow and **gasp** has to be cut apart at times to fix a mistake...it's SO PAINFUL! Then it definately goes faster after the painful learning process sometimes.

The results of your learning are gorgeous! :)

Isabel said...

Kate...all the aggravation was definitely worth it...this is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! You should be selling these like Hot Cakes!

rochambeau said...

Painful, but oh so worth it!! Your necklace is stunning Kate. You have the magic touch!


Snap said...

Oh, WOW, Kate -- the necklace is beautiful. You deserve it! Wear it proudly!

Gabriela said...

Hello Kate,

This is fantastic!

~ Gabriela ~

ElegantSnobbery said...

Yikes, that looked very painful, indeed!!! but wow, you made a stunning necklace, and how nice to have it all to yourself, after all that time!

Enzie at World Market Portraits said...

Kate, behind every master piece are usually also some real bad failures. ALl things considered it is great that you didn't give up. This piece turned out lovely! Congratulations!