Search This Blog

Friday, December 14, 2012

Emotional Roller Coaster

Please check out the Etsy Beadweavers Team blog.  I chose the theme for this month's entries in our monthly challenge promotion, and there are some gems!  The blog poll closes on December 15th, tomorrow, so don't delay!

The theme is "Emotional Roller Coaster" and the challenge is a variation on something I did in college as an assignment in a graduate Sceneograhy seminar.  Set Designers, Lighting Designers, Costume and Makeup Designers and even a Sound Designer had to interpret five emotions, Love, Anger, Sadness, Happiness and Peace, each week, using a different design element.  So one week, we would convey each of the five emotions with a line, and the next week, a texture, color, shape and form, light, or space .  It was a great way to learn to use the basic elements of design and understand how to manipulate each one, and the class discussions of our work were always stimulating and illuminating.

In my version of the assignment for the challenge, members were to choose an emotion, and interpret it in beads, using any design elements they chose.  Some of them were very successful and you can guess easily the emotion they were representing in their weaving.

I chose the title for the theme, thinking that if everyone did a good job of interpreting their chosen emotion, looking at the mosaic would be like riding an Emotional Roller Coaster, moving rapidly from one feeling to another, as you viewed the images.  I hope you'll enjoy the ride!

I really struggled with my own entry.  At first I thought I'd do serenity.  But it turns our, serenity is just not very dynamic or visually exciting.  Plus, I challenged myself to make a bracelet, which I rarely do, and to use some Czech tile beads I had purchased.  My lack of experience always means making MANY tries before I succeed.  So, knowing that, here was my first finished version of "Serenity."

It was certainly serene, but I wanted a better solution to the challenge as a bracelet.  There is really nothing WRONG with this.  I just don't love it.  Plus, I didn't like how it moved, and that was another kettle of fish altogether.

So I tried a few other ideas.

Actually the first one on the left was my very first try, and similar to the neckstrap for my Amur Maple necklace.  I didn't think Serenity should be shiny, so the first try was out. Then I made the one from above, but fell asleep looking at it.   I liked the doubled up version second from the left, but I didn't think Serenity could possibly have bumpy edges.  Visually, that is just not very... well, Serene! But it was certainly more interesting.   So I decided if I was going to make a bracelet I thought was interesting, I'd best change emotions.  I thought maybe Euphoria was a good idea.  It might have an interesting edge and texture.  The third bracelet was the first try at that emotion, and I felt pretty good about it, but didn't quite like my color choices for my chosen emotion.  Then when I picked up my bottle of Calvin Klein "Euphoria" the next morning, eureka, I realized I had the the perfect color palette in my hand.

But the bracelet still seemed  not quite emotionally correct to me.  It was too repetitive and rigid, almost Victorian in feeling.  I thought Euphoria should be more unpredictable and varied, so I brought in an additional smaller component, to add dynamic interest to the shape.   I also learned that the suppleness I was after in the wearing of the bracelet was inhibited by any thread that ran the length of the bracelet, so I came up with a way to weave the thing that is the essence of RAW.  There are no straight lines through the bracelet, but rather multiple continuous loops, and for each component, the thread path reversed from clockwise to counter clockwise, again like RAW.  Pretty cool, huh.  I think thread path is everything in bead weaving, and here's another bit of proof.

I decided I wanted a touch of Euphoria near the face as well, since I apply perfume to both neck and wrists, so I made a pair of earrings to match, and there you have it.

Please go and take a look at the work of our talented members who found time in the busiest month of the year to participate, and cast your vote for the one whose emotional content seems the clearest to you.  I have three personal favorites and none of them is my own.  I'd love to know which one spoke to you!  And,  THANKS FOR SUPPORTING OUR TEAM!


  1. You're so talented, Marsha!! I love the blue in your bracelet; it looks like water, and buoyant! Perfect for Euphoria. :)

    1. Thank you Chris! I love your entry as well, very personal and deeply felt. Perfection!

  2. The interesting thing about your blog posts is that you let us see the process of creation, with all the small steps involved. In this case, all those small steps would be worthy of recognition. Although the last one captures the emotion best, I must admit, I love all the other ones. Especially the one before the final version. Those are my colors, and I really really like that. They are all pretty wonderful!