Saturday, March 16, 2013

Explaining beadmaking

"And I feel like I'm just being born, like a shiny light breaking in a storm."

I was driving around earlier this week, running some errands. I stopped at Michael's, Tuesday Morning and T.J. Maxx, looking for something to use as a pot for the mini mushrooms I've been making. We picked up a few potting plants at Cornelius' over the previous weekend and at the checkout counter they had these low dishes full of small ceramic mushrooms, like the bigger ones we have in our front flower bed. They were for individual sale, but the overall effect was what I liked. I picked one up and said to Neil, I can make these out of glass.

The cashier picked up on that and asked my if I was a glassblower. I said I was a beadmaker and my hand went to the focal bead I was wearing on a chain, as it always does when I answer the question, what do I do. It's as if without a visual I don't expect anyone to know what a beadmaker is, and probably they don't, or maybe they think of someone painting beads, making them out of clay, polymer clay if they are at all into crafts. No one, except another lampworker, is likely to understand what I mean when I say I am a glass beadmaker.

The cashier said something like, cool, and swiped Neil's credit card. I went home and made 9 glass mini mushrooms. Zamboni stole one during the night and it may or may not reappear.

I picked up some imitation sphagnum moss at Michael's and went looking for a deep saucer, but the closest thing I found was a cat food bowl and I have plenty of those. They are so useful for holding beads. But I still went to T.J. Maxx to pick up a couple of new ones. When I headed home, I was shocked to see on the car clock that it was already 2 p.m.

Shocked but not really. That's how my days go. Everything takes me forever to do. I have to look at everything and waste a lot of time with indecision. Neil says I vacillate more over a $20 purchase than he does over buying an expensive coin. But he's the one making money now and I'm the one mostly spending it.

At least I have been walking. Every day.

Still I have been questioning what I am accomplishing, if anything. I'm never bored and I'm always behind in the things I think I need to do, but what am I getting done really? As Neil put it, I do stuff and the day is over, or something like that. Oh yes, I make beads, almost every day. Some I think are even beautiful. But they haven't been selling. So what is the point? Art for art's sake?

I've been doing as much as I can think of to promote my work. More Etsy listings, more Facebook postings. I look at other bead artists and I see their beads selling. They post a picture on Facebook and the next thing they post is "sold!"

As with everything else in my life, I'm desperately seeking validation. I'm experimenting with new techniques and styles, making bigger beads, channeling Ali Vandegrift who makes bicones that weigh 6 oz. and measure 5 inches in length. Stunning beads with amazing stringer work that take her 3 hours and use 1/4 lb. of glass.

I need to channel her attitude too. She's enormously proud of her work and fearless about singing her own praises.

Here are some of my new beads.

Insecurity. It was something I thought about a lot in 1998.

That January there was a riot on the bulletin board.

After the e e cummings episode. I logged on from home late one night, which I rarely did, and Nick had been posting Emily Dickinson poems. For me.

It was so beautiful. I was speechless. But I could still type.
I am speechless.

Thank you so much.

The people who said there isn't a lot of support on this board were sooo wrong.

Emily was so awesome. Simple and brilliant. She didn't name her poems, you know.

Nick, on or off, *I'll be right here* (E.T. in E.T.)
We talked about the meaning of one of the poems.
That's what it means to me. And that's the beauty of poetry. It means what it means to you.

Poetry 101 dismissed.

Good night stars. Goodnight air. Good night noises everywhere.
I was floating. And then I put it out there.
Nick, I am real.

And I am here.

And I am scared. What is happening here? Is it that magnetism thing?

Go back and read my post of 12/31. Think about the timing.

Think about if you want to call it quits (with me I mean).
I was terrified. I had just made a declaration to the universe. Even if it was just one tiny corner of the W3, it was out there for anyone to read.

My life, which had been stuck on dead center, moved a fraction, toward hope and joy.

Not everyone saw the beauty though.

For months we'd been peaceful and empathetic but now some people were feeling marginalized and unsupported.

One person in particular thought that there should be no poetry, no laughter, no flirting on a depression support board.

It got ugly. In retrospect I'm surprised it hadn't happened sooner. But that's the way of the web. Flame wars.

But I'd gone to bed and didn't see the carnage until morning.

I was sure Nick was gone forever.

"But you know its hard to tell when you're in the spell
If its wrong or if its real
But you're bound to lose if you let the blues
Get you scared to feel
And I feel like I'm just being born
Like a shiny light breaking in a storm
There are so many reasons why I love him."

(Joni Mitchell)

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz