Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Zen Beading

I'm sure every beader knows the art of 'Zen beading'.  That's where you put the beads on, take them off and put them on again.  Its impossible to 'layout' an encrusted beading piece prior to beading - and so we take that leap of faith, put the beads on the needle and hope for the best.  In my past life as a book artist I was able to layout a page before committing to it -- before the stitches went in I knew exactly what would go where and how I would do it.  A whole new learning curve developed for me when beaded embroidery entered my life.  I found that many times the beads had a mind of their own - while I thought they should go one way they quickly (or not so quickly) convinced me that they should go another way.  'Patience' is my most often used tool when beading. It is true -- there is no guarantee after an hour's (or more) work that I won't end up stripping out all of the beads I've just so carefully laid down and then there's nothing to do but start over.  This was a tremendous learning tool for me when I began beading as it happened many more times than not and it allowed me to practice, practice, practice.  These days I don't seem to have to take as many beads off as I once did - but it does happen.  There is never frustration in it, I just sigh and start removing beads.  I know that whatever I am removing I will be able to replace and that I will end up very much happier with the end result.  And so it goes -- one bead at a time and all beads in good time.

"With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown". - Chinese Proverb

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