thinking on a signature style…

Alright, so I’m getting a bit further into the beading, though I haven’t been able to work on my current project for a couple of days.  I’ve actually gotten to the point of recognizing that I have a bunch of unused stone cabochons, back from my silversmithing days, that I could mount in bead embroidery.

There are some specific elements that would help with this.  The two things I’m thinking of now are FireLine, and beading foundation.  I’ve got to decide where to get them from, though, and what type to get.  Granted that I have two spools of FireLine in 4-lb. test; I can use this for embroidery, as there won’t be much weight on any one point of the thread.

I’m using 6-lb. test on the piece I’m working on now, but…I’m attempting to puzzle through some way of distributing the weight through weaving.  (It would help more, probably, if I tinkered around with beads and thread a bit, instead of trying to “think” my way through it.)  This complex will bear the weight of the neckpiece, though, and there will be multiple points at which the thread is at a 90° angle to a drill hole.  This implies abrasion.

I can limit this to some extent by cushioning the thread with tiny round seed beads (say 11/0s or 15/0s) so that there’s no bare-thread-on-potential-knife-edge anywhere, but I’m thinking that maybe I should just bite it and get another spool of 6-lb. test.  Then, I’ll still have the option of stringing, and will be able to worry less about the thread snapping and the neckpiece falling, totally destroying the already-cracked stone.

(I realized last night that I would need to run the two-hole beads crosswise to the length of the necklace in order to get the right drape…I’m used to this from Right-Angle-Weave, but not used to doing it with two-hole beads, or beads with rough holes.)

Because I like to work with beads and fiber so much…I’m thinking that it would also be OK to not worry about investing further in books on knotting and weaving.  And, I mean, it would be cool to be able to tie a Garakji.  Certainly.  Whether others would value that ability as well, though; I lean against saying yes, because at the last convention I went to (one year ago; I didn’t invest in the one I would normally have attended earlier this year), the person tying Asian decorative knots with cords was not selling much of anything at all.

On the other hand, I really like the effect of some of these knots, and their ability to make clean closures (and at times, work like beads themselves).  I only know a few of these knots as things stand (they’re not easy!), but the more different angles I see, the easier it is to figure out what the books are trying to demonstrate.  I could even add a tiny dot of fabric cement on the back (or in the center — Hypo Cement, yes) to ensure they don’t work loose.

Yeah, I guess that maybe this…could be one of those things that…could evolve into something like a signature style.  I suppose it isn’t really a negative thing to differentiate into some space that is presently unoccupied (possibly unimagined); it just means I’m maturing.

Given that, there’s the question of what I’ll do with the back of the cord-wrapped stone in the center of the necklace I’ve been working on.  The most obvious answer, to me, is to sew on a backing; I have three lines of cord which I can whip a soft thread around.  This seems to be similar to the solutions devised by bead embroiderers.  Three lines will keep a backing stable…though only one makes up that final knot.

Yes, I should not…avoid inspiration…yes?  Regardless of economic feasibility, this is really a pleasant thing to do.  If I keep at it long enough, maybe it will become something I can do, and love, and gain (something) from.  Even if I’m not a silversmith.

And hey, the statistics given out on the average incomes of “Handcrafters” are only averages.  Success, or lack of such, is not set in stone (nor easily defined, when you are doing something because you love to do it).  There is also the question of who, exactly, I’m being measured against, and what they actually do…”Handcrafter” can mean a lot of things.

And yes, I did find out tonight that I don’t even need a Bachelor’s degree to be a Clerk.  If I do become a Clerk, though — maybe there is some position I could learn about, prepare for and move into from there to support a higher standard of living, which I don’t know about from here.  (I do remember the pink-collar/glass ceiling thing…but that’s better than the no-money/homeless thing.  And if it can support me and my art, that’s pretty much what I need.)

I will, however, need to get a Driver’s License sometime soon…hopefully before I get my AA.  I doubt I’ll be able to do the former in five months…but if I work, and I don’t take Modern Art History, I should have the time and money for driving lessons.  I just may have to make a choice between Clerical work and Gallery work, in the short term.  I did check over what Clerks do in my system, and I’m pretty sure it sounds both interesting and doable, to me…moreso than the Library Assistant positions.  I’ll have to do some more searching, though.


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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