Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bracelets, Friends, and neglected beads

Bracelets, friends, and neglected beads...

"Choo Choo" bracelets made with my double- hole fused glass beads

watch for these on ETSY in the next few days

Years ago, I started making beads. I know that's a huge surprise to all of you... Anyway, I absolutely love making them. I fuss over the color schemes, the glass particulars, etc. enjoying all of the parts, but after they come out of the kiln something unfortunate seems to happen. I pore over them for awhile, seeing the beauty in each individual one, lovingly noticing the uneven edges, the chance air bubbles, the new color I couldn't wait to try...

Then I pile them in a coffee can or plastic tub where they sit.  
Sometimes for years.
I discovered that while I really love making the beads, I am not a fan of putting them together into bracelets. I don't forget about them, in fact, they are on my mind a lot more than they appear to be. I tend to fool around 'getting ready' to make bracelets, laying the beads out in a nice order, second-guessing which vintage beads look best, wondering/worrying whether anyone will like the finished product. It stresses me out. Also, I hate dropping the little parts and chasing them across the floor only to drop them again and start over. Frustration takes over and back in the can they go. Usually, I wait until they have been neglected for a very long time, then force myself to spend the time to put them together.  
When I finally get to that place, I find that putting bracelets together it isn't horrible.  Once I get going I really do enjoy it in a lot of ways.  (not the dropping stuff part though) The finished bracelets come to life with much more beauty than the individual beads. I like looking at them and feel some accomplishment.  But most of all, when they are taken home with someone who loves them, the circle is made and I have the desire to do it again.

This brings me to the friends part...
Like beads, I appreciate and truly enjoy the individuality of people in my life, getting to know the 'little parts' that make up the person. I have no problems making friends but being an art hermit of sorts, I often find myself struggling with maintaining my friendships; neglectful in my ways of developing people (the beads) into relationships (the bracelets). My coffee can holds a lot of important people. I fool around 'getting ready' to spend time making relationships into something tangible.  I don't deal well with drama (chasing parts across the floor), and am easily rattled with wondering what the 'bracelet' will be like in the end...
My friend Kristen came over this week to put together the beads she made in my studio into a bracelet for her mother. Of course, here was me falling out of my seat at the table going on "ughh I hate putting them together, you can use my beads but you have to string them yourself, don't make me go there ",etc. 
(I know, it's totally pathetic.) It was then that I realized how beads and bracelets and relationships can be alike.  I put the bracelet together while enjoying my friend's company. Time flew by and it was just what I needed to make me see. 

Kristen's Beads
Kristen's Bracelet

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