Designing Process.

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JStimel wrote
on Aug 1, 2008 9:05 AM

How do you design. I just string and do a little wire work. While I love some looks of off-loom stiching and bead work, that is not for me. What I would like to know is what is your process of creating a piece. I know Michelle our lovely editor did a blog about this do you draw or just create, I still have some questions.

 When I sit down to bead and actually feel inspired I can create anywhere from 4 to 6 pieces an hour. I just want to know if anyone else works like that or is it just me? I love everything that I create and it is fun an da good stress releiver and believe me right now I need all stress relief I can get right now I feel wierd when I am with a good of other beaders and they have only created one or almost one anyway in an hour and I have 2-3 pieces already finished I sometimes feel like I am not a real designer. I don't copy from books. Sometimes I look through my magazines for inspiration though most of the time I sit with my stash out in front of me and just start creating.

Am I wierd or are there other people out there that do this? I have a lot of free time although that is about to change so I can sit almost everyday in front of my stash and create so maybe that's why? I really don't get interupted alot. Just my husband or maybe my brother. I have no childern so no demands on time that way. I have no pets, I am about to go back to college so that will take up some time and I am the organizer for SWFL Jewelry Making/Beadwork Meetup group so I put a little time in that. But we get together once a month and once a week to bead, hang out and just escape into the world of beads. it is really alot of fun. I also create more when there are people around. I feel like I feed off any creative vibe that gets in my way.

I am sorry that was a long post, I have no one else to ask. The girls in my group think that it is great that I create as much as I do. So I need your help to figure out if I am wierd or not.

Thanks and happy Beading to All



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Sheila H wrote
on Aug 1, 2008 2:31 PM

 Jessica - I don't think there is a right way or a wrong way. Everyone is different. I usually find a bead and build a design from that. There are evenings where I pull out a ton of different beads and can't get anything to look like anything respectable.  Then there are times that I will put out just a few beads to string something simple and 4 hours later I have to drag myself away.

I do simple stringing so I may be different. It is funny because I have strung something and liked the finished piece and then did 2 or 3 more in different color combinations. Sometimes those work and sometimes they don't.

I am left handed. It would be interesting to take an informal poll on how people design and whether they are left handed or right handed because of the way the mind/brain works. Maybe that has nothing to do with it?

So I am like you IF the creative process is working. I can do 3-4 necklaces in one evening ( again simple stringing ). But there are times that I can work 6 hours and still not have one piece that I am happy with. I have now learned ( I have been doing this for about 1 year ) that if the first piece does not come easy just to put it all away. It just isn't going to happen that night.

I am like you in that I look at magazines for inspiration but generally creat my own designs. Dont' feel bad, just be glad that you have the creative juices needed so to speak.

on Aug 2, 2008 12:53 AM

I agree with Sheila.  Sometimes I have inspiration for several things all at once, or a variation on a theme, as it were.  Other times it just ain't happening no matter what I do.  It's nice that you can do several pieces in a short time.  There's nothing wrong with that, it's just the way you work.  I don't see how that makes you any less an artist.  It still came from you.

I don't work quite that fast, unless something just hits me, but I can get a fair amount done in a short time if I want to.  When I price things I usually know how long it should take to make something, even if I piddled and took longer.

To answer Sheila's inquiry, I'm not quite ambidextrous, but I do use both hands for different things.  My mom said I tried to be left handed as a kid, but I was taught to write right-handed in school because it was more "socially acceptable" in the 70's.  Therefore, I do lots of things a left-handed person would do (counting money right to left, wearing my watch on my right wrist, opening jars left handed), but I can't write left handed for diddly!  I was also always good at math, science & music, even though music is the only one of the 3 I enjoyed.  Surprisingly, I never took any art classes in school even though I wanted to.  Music & theatre took up too much time for any other electives.  Thank goodness my Mom majored in art!

Hope that sort of answers both inquiries.  I'll quit before it gets out of hand...



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on Aug 2, 2008 8:31 AM

Jsmaz: re writing only right handed -- I didn't know those idiots were still doing that so recently -- shame on them!

I am right-handed.  I usually design in my head, and will draw it out if it is compex, or if something seems wrong.   When I use geometry, I draw it out to verify the details, and to have a record for future reference.  [I'm getting long in the tooth.]

Stan B.

Stan B.

Lakeland, MN


Ignorance is curable; Stupidity has neither cure nor excuse.

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Sheila H wrote
on Aug 2, 2008 8:54 AM

 Just to clarify my left-handedness ( if that is a word ), I write and eat left handed however, I wear my watch on my left hand. To me it makes more sense as that is the hand I prefer. I do most sports right handed as that was the way I was taught. But if I do anything detailed, I have a tendendcy to go left handed ( I think ) as I hold the bead with my right and put the wire through with the left as to me it takes more detail or precision if you will.

As yes if we count dancing I have two left feet! I am one of those weird people that eat left handed ( fork ) and when I cut meat I use the knife in my right. Everyone else I know switches it back and forth. To much wasted time when I am hungry.

Oh well that was completely off the designing process question but I have a tendency to get side tracked...

on Aug 3, 2008 2:27 AM


As far as I know they don't make kids learn right-handed writing anymore.  I don't even remember it being an issue myself, it's just what mom told me when I asked.  I wouldn't have thought to do that except someone remarked on it when they saw me counting money "backwards" but writing with my right hand, and said I was left-dominant.  I think that's one of the reasons I'm no good at snowboarding too.  You're supposed to choose "goofy" (left) or "regular" (right) foot forward like you would ride a skateboard, but I never could get a feel for it either way.  Therefore, I remain a skier, which has absolutely nothing to do with designing things!  Interesting how it makes your brain think about things differently though.


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Mortira wrote
on Aug 3, 2008 9:23 PM

 I know this is off topic, but I had to ask Jsmaz if you've tried the 'push test' for snowboard footing?  It's the only thing I remember about snowboard lessons.  Just have someone give you a moderate shove from behind, and whatever foot you plant foward to steady yourself is the one you place at the front of the board.

And now back to bead talk Big Smile

Inspirational Beading - tutorials, bead spotlights and plenty of inspiration!

on Aug 4, 2008 12:23 AM

I don't think so.  When they asked me to stand on a skateboard, I automatically stood goofy-footed.  I've tried it both ways, and I'm just not comfortable with it.  I tried for a couple of years since that's what my hubby likes, but decided I just like skiing better.  Just one of the many things my hubby & I differ on.  The closer we get to the election the more bickering will go on in our house, since he votes Republican and I'm a "Demon"crat, as he calls it.  I actually vote for whoever I think will do the best job regardless of party, but that does usually trend a bit left in my case. 

That's way off topic, so back to designing!




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Posts 252
Nemeton wrote
on Aug 5, 2008 2:39 AM

 I'm left-handed but I don't know how that affects my designing - it's an interesting question to ask though.

I usually just sit down and play with some likely-looking beads until an idea comes along - sometimes I have a particular style in mind or have been inspired by a shape or texture or colour combination I've seen, and quite often I start with a handmade lampwork bead and try to bring out the colour/design elements I can see within it. I have way more ideas than I can possibly bead, so I have a notebook to scribble down surplus ones in case I run out of ideas and have to come back to the notebook... that never happens though!

I'm mostly a seed beader and am doing well to create one or two finished 'major' pieces in a week - and I find stringing very hard to get right, so it can take me just as long to make a simple strung necklace by the time I've shuffled everything around on the bead board and strung and restrung it 20 times, and then had to do it all again because I messed up the tension on the final crimp... but I don't think there's a right and a wrong way to design and I don't think you're weird at all, I am just envious of your fluency and certainty!

Don't worry about how your creative process works, just enjoy the fact that it DOES work, and carry on producing your beautiful creations!



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JStimel wrote
on Aug 5, 2008 4:22 AM

 Thanks for all your thoughts and comments. That helps. It never occuried to me on the right/left brain side. I am right-handed so I dont know.  Thanks again for all your comments and time in helping me figure this out.



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