8/8/10

Lorelei's Inspirations

Spotted Egg
Tell me, does this bracelet follow a pattern? Well, ... the 4 mint beads repeat so that bit is a pattern. There is a single splotch of mint on the large lampwork egg, so that continues the pattern. But other than that... The coral of the tube beads isn't ever repeated, the black of the circle isn't either. Nor is the silver of the bird dangle. There is brown in some beads that is reflected in the brass metal, but the pool blue of the polymer isn't continued. Nor are any of the bead's shapes. It seems that each part of the bracelet is a single design aspect unto itself- the brass findings, the mint glass, the lampwork, the reddish tubes, the 2 polymer rondelles,  the ceramic black circle and the bird. So, basically, doesn't that mean there's no pattern? But it doesn't look random or chaotic.
What holds this together?  The chunky thickness, the fact that all the colors seem at the same time bright and soft, the earthiness of the elements. Also what they aren't- they aren't glittery or fancy on the one hand, they aren't plastic or mass produced on the other.  They aren't grungy or, say, woven together in a complicated way.  These similarities mean they all sit at the same register of formality and mood.

Let's see what happens when you stare at someone else's work everyday.  .
The Secret of God and Gods Mother. Victorian Tribal Assemblage.I have begun to absorb some of these design principles balancing order and randomness. Unlike Lorelei, I still work with one clear focal but, like her, I have different and sometimes unrelated elements appearing along the length of the piece.  I also have brought those different bead elements together through their chunky thickness.  I even stole her trick for making one non-chunky element fit in:
The Secret of God and Gods Mother. Victorian Tribal Assemblage.
See the double bone bead? Stole it.  The spots on the bone beads are imperfectly reflected in the Xed holes in the star, but then never again. Nor do we see another star.  There is a row of buri beads going on (in the Northwest zone of the first picture), and they are never repeated. Also, one buri section contains a rhinestone rondelle and that's never repeated either. However, my colors are much more similar, and similarly muted, than Lorelei's, and I do have some repeating design elements, like the long tubular bone beads on either side- on one side, the aforementioned double beads, and on the other a rather tea-colored basketweave.  They aren't the same but similar. Also, the basket weave repeats in the dangle hanging off the focal.
BUT- there's a reason why my piece needs to be more repetitive.  While Lorelei's elements were all in the same register, mine most certainly are not. This is because of my whole Victorian Tribal rama-lama-ding-dong, which by its very nature means I'm bringing in the ornate formality of the European-derived element with the organic earthiness and simplicity of the 'ethnic' elements.
So the question becomes how to keep these elements together?  One way is through the aged quality of the piece throughout. Another is just the integrated balance- in this case, big, chunky beads with a big, clunky focal...
In any case, I owe her a debt of gratitude for teaching me a new way of looking at strands, at integration and repetitive vs. monotonous, at simplicity vs. interest. Here's some other thusly inspired pieces:

Prehistoric Buttons.  Mixed Media Bracelet.A Petal Like an Eyelid. Antique Pillbox and Lampwork.What is the Evil Eye. Ceramic, Glass and Antique Tag BraceletOur Lady of the Missing Button.  Assemblage Necklace.Into the Woods.  Mixed Natural Materials Neck Talisman.Fatima.RESERVED FOR SACRED CAKE/ The Why of Being Born.  Entertaining Trinkets for Adornment.
I've been able to take some of what I find surprising and beautiful in her work, what i call her 'designer's eye' and incorporate it into my obsessions w/very aged ethno-fusion tra-la-la.

In other news- I set up my soldering station in my studio! No more waiting for a nice day to sit out back, no more sweating and swiping bugs off of me with my soldering iron! I have 2 floor-length open windows, a fan, and I breathe in less fumes than I did outside.  Yay.

7 comments:

Lorelei said...

I sometimes wish I had some of your tra-la-la! HA!
Thanks for the awesome words... I love the direction your work is headed. Tra-la-la and all!

Malin de Koning said...

Rama lama ding dong what a nice post! It is such a pleassure to read about your thoughts and analazyses of your own versus Lorelei's way of designing.
And you make me so much wish to get to see your bead stash in real.

fanciful devices said...

lol. sometimes, if you don't want to repeat yourself, you have to get creative w/words.

Gardanne said...

A lot of good information about the design process in this post, thanks.

Little Brown Sparrow said...

And you in turn have inspired me- this must be what that circle of life stuff is all about.

I thought you made up that double-boner by yourself! because I'm currently in the process of stealing it from you.

To your quandry though,I have a philosophy that random IS a pattern rather than the absence of one. When I'm stringing beads or applying sequins, I find that by threading the first bead I pick up followed by the next followed by the next etc always leaves me with a 'random' equence I would never have thought of. When adding sequins I just pinch up some and drop them onto the fabric, then sew them where they lay. When it comes to selecting beads- what is the thought process that goes into it? For me it's intuition- what the hippys call 'vibe'. I bet there's some physics to back it up.

Pretty Things said...

That necklace is utterly amazing!!!!

fanciful devices said...

double boner? sparrow, yr gross! lol!
Sorry guys that I haven't been at my regular 3 posts a day, but my cable at home seems to have decided to have a proletariat revolution or something.