Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I think I just got into a fight!

Find it on facebook too
Battle of the Beadsmith 2012 has just started.
80 bead artists from all over the world, invited take part in a sudden death knock out contest, to be weighed, measured and found wanting, or not, by their creative peers.
There are just three of us from the UK (no pressure there then!), myself Gill Thomas and Lynn Davy. The rules are fairly simple.... bead up something jaw droppingly gorgeous in the next five weeks, then submit your photo's by July 10th and hope for the best.

Set up by Steven Weiss of the Beadsmith to generate a greater awareness of the stunning beadwork being created all over the world.
I'm totally up for this idea and utterly terrified all at the same time. There has been lots of team pep talk, throwing down of gauntlets and general razzamatazz from our American mentor... (thanks Steven, now I'm needing to to the breathing heavily into a brown paper bag thing)... not to mention some downright bead strutting of stuff and showing offyness as contestants post pics of their epic creations... (gosh!)...
So it has finally dawned on me that as I didn't opt out and become a judge early on...but kept my name in the lists... I should maybe stop watching from the sidelines and get involved instead.

I love that there are so many awesomely inspiring pieces of work being showcased right now, on facebook, hopefully in magazines and definitely on blogs the world over... with the promise of more to come as we hunker down to bead up our entries; I also love the infinite variety, whether it be in scale, technique, colour or texture. I love that this says so much about the level of creativity, ingenuity, passion for and dedication to the gorgeousness of beadwork...  which is a good thing, right?

I hate with a passion what agreeing to participate is doing to my head!
competitiveness makes my knees go watery!
For me, beading has always been about the delicious quest to develop an idea, whether it's about the stitches, colours, shapes, beads or all of these. For me it's also usually a solitary journey, tracking down the 'what if's', nailing the narrative, loving the process. My solitude is punctuated with checkpoints of interaction, in class with my students and over lunches or coffees with my beading friends and colleagues, always the feedback is inspiring and essential.
So now I have to go public, but not only public, I have to decide, create and offer up my work to maybe face elimination early on. To try and fail? is it failure? to maybe get a little way along and be bowed out in a later round, affirmation? to maybe (impossible to imagine but someone will) be the last beader standing? is that a guarantee of future success? who knows...

Is it worth it? Hell yeah... um... I think...

An up and coming designer recently asked me how I felt about the pressure that comes along with what we do. Honestly? I go through every emotion, just like everyone else and in the end...
it's just beads and they are just such fun!

My name came out of the hat and I'm paired with Katherine Gezey of the Ukraine who's bead embroidery is simply and utterly gorgeous.

The biggest challenge will be finding the time to create in an already packed schedule, so the alarm clock is set even earlier!!
Wish me luck that I get something lovely finished by July 10th. I'll be back to tell you how it all goes.