Wednesday, 27 February 2013

bauble zeitgeist?

Estelle variation
The Estelle workshop is proving very popular, it's fun and easy,  and works up into prettiness in all sorts of variations. it is also a proving to be a fun class to explore colour and sparkly mixtures.
I'll carry on teaching it over the next year as requests keep coming in. In one class, we had a long discussion about math and beads, so I decided to tweek the basic bezel and work up some examples of how it can be used to make three dimensional forms.
In the next class, I shared the discussion and showed the baubles which were the result of my experiments. I had several requests to offer it as a follow up class.
This is always a lovely thing about teaching, to have students wanting to explore an idea some more, and to have more on tap to offer their enthusiasm.

I was just about to show and share on my facebook page... finger hovering on the upload button, when I noticed a very similar bauble being shown off proudly as a latest creation. The math determines there can be only so many ways to make a ball shape with bezelled stones; indeedy, a quick pootle round the facebook beading community revealed at least four more... so no show and share for me then!  I'll keep mine within the boundaries of my class as an interesting discussion point.

Estelle baubles
This got me thinking about how design ideas so often emerge en masse. There are the obvious ones, like everyone playing with a new bead shape (spikes or Rizo's anyone?). There are also more subtle ones and they can be profoundly frustrating!
I've more than once worked long and hard on a really exciting new idea, only to consign it to the 'Doh! can't use that now' folder.
And, yes in the pursuit of honesty, I do sometimes see designs that make me wince at their similarity to work I've already published.

That we get excited by the same processes with similar results is, I guess, inevitable. That we all fall in love with the latest colours, finishes or shapes of beads, likewise. We're also all working under the same powerful but subtle influences of media, trends, fashions and styling, even more so now, with a whole worlds worth available at the touch of a button, and arriving daily in the in-box.

For me, it's about searching out ways to have a genuinely authentic voice, and coincidences like these, I take as a gentle reminder to try again and find something new and fresh to say.