Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Warring States bead and me

"Think I'll go out to Alberta, weather's good there in the fall."

I did it! I visited all the blogs in the last reveal of the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party and commented on most of them. The creativity and skill demonstrated in the finished pieces was just amazing. I was on inspiration overload by the time I was finished, but I'm glad I participated.

I mentioned that Lori, the Bead Soup organizer, was going to be advertising some sales and promotions on her blog Pretty Things, but life interrupted and I got an email apologizing that she wasn't able to make it happen right now. So here's the deal -- I'm offering 20 percent off on my premium frit blends and my handmade lampwork beads in my Etsy shops until September 15. Just use the coupon code 20PERCENT in both shops when you check out.

I've been pretty excited about the new Warring States beads I've been making. Beads of this design are traced back to beads made in ancient China during the Warring States period of history (early 5th century BC).


As usual when I get obsessed with a bead style though, I can't seem to stop making them. So I make them ad infinitum, until I get totally sick of them and never want to make another. Sometimes I do go back after time passes and revisit a design, such as my giant plunged florals, so I won't say that I'll never make another goddess or another fish. But I might not.

In the meantime, after some beginners luck with a simple Warring States, don't you know I just had to make them more elaborate, with more dots and more opportunities for frustration when I am almost done with a bead and I get two neighboring dots married to each other. That is never a good thing. Sometimes I can save the bead by picking the dots off with a tweezer and placing new ones. Sometimes I just wind up with a hosed up bead with the dot from outer space. The up side is the bead goes into the Beads of Courage bowl. Kids don't mind if there is an alien dot or a pair of married dots on a bead.

As long as I'm in dot mode I've also been making big round beads with rows of offset stacked dots. They don't have a sexy name like Warring States, so I just call them big round beads with rows of alternating dots. I could call them Brad Pearson style beads because I have to admit they are derivative. The big bad juju that haunts contemporary beadmakers, everything has been done before by someone, there's nothing new under the sun. The best we can do is try to put our own spin on things and give credit where credit is due.

In other news, I am ready ready ready for cooler weather. Heat doesn't bother me (much). Humidity doesn't bother me (good for my complexion, hair and nails). The sun, at least being out in it, bothers the bejesus out of me. If I am inside and the house is cool, then the sun doesn't bother me. In fact, I prefer it to overcast skies. But since my studio work space is in the garage, and as the sun starts to encroach in the afternoon hours, it is stinking hot. I manage with a fan and it's OK until 3 pm or so. I am longing, however, for pleasant temperatures, temperate breathable air.

I have a feeling my muse is ready for some crisp days too. Even I can understand that she doesn't want to be out sweating between a torch and a kiln, god love her. Neil's theory is that summer in Sugar Land starts on May 10 and ends on October 10. So, another month and change. Bring it.

"Four strong winds that blow lonely, seven seas that run high,
All these things that won't change, come what may."
Johnny Cash

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