Thursday, September 25, 2008

Michelangelo and the Bead Journal Project

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

This idea of Michelangelo's has always amazed me.

In fact, Michelangelo himself is fairly exceptional. He stands out as one of the world's most accomplished and creative souls yet he took no credit for his work.

Instead, he believed that the beauty in the world pre-existed and his job was to release it. What a powerful thought.

Perhaps our biggest masterpiece, our life, functions in the same way. Perhaps our duty on this earth isn't to create beauty per se but to release and discover the beauty that is all around us.

And, if we could only be half as committed and tenacious as Michelangelo in liberating the beauty in our lives, can you imagine the splendor that would be brought forth?

You see, my bead embroidery has been speaking to me. And I have been trying to listen.


After about 25 hours of beading so far, here's what I've learned:
  1. I believe this piece is revealing itself to me the more time I spend with it and it's a beautiful conversation. It has a story but I'm not quite ready to tell it.
  2. There is a rhythm to beading just like in any other needleart, it's just got it's own beat. I find myself drawn to it's pattern and I don't want to put it down. I am eager to see what comes next.
  3. I am learning to like Timtex. As I have made needlehole after needlehole, it has developed a comfortable, more pliable hand yet still retains its shape very nicely. It makes me wonder, what if I were to "peforate" the Timtex on my sewing machine with no thread in the needle before stitching to prepare the fabric for beading...hmmm....
  4. It takes a long time to place each bead and sew them down one by one. I'm thinking that Susan's "last-minute, whip-it-out" approach isn't going to work for the Bead Journal Project...hmmm....
  5. I found that a 10 milliners needle and some well-placed callouses have mitigated the pain of the first few days. But that's nothing compared to painting the entire ceiling of the Sistine Chapel on your back...

Now, I'm no Michelangelo and I don't pretend to be.

But there was some reason that I had these thoughts today while I was beading; so, I am putting them out there for you to discover them.

As for me, I think I'd like to uncover more about Michelangelo; his life, his work and his thought...

8 comments:

Heather J. said...

Your project is absolutely gorgeous. I love the close ups of the bead detail - it's amazing to me, a non-needleworker, to see it coming together so beautifully. When you finished, I'd love to know how many hours actually went into this one project!

Debra said...

Shaping up splendidly!

Allison Ann Aller said...

This is stunning, Susan!!!
Truly lovely work happening here, and I look forward to hearing the story.

For an easy read on Michelangelo that "sets the scene" quite well, don't forget The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone, the biographical novel of the great Maestro.....

Marty52 said...

This is rather stunning, Susan! A thought, though... you can put down 2 or three beads at a time to make it go a bit faster. String the beads on the thread, carefully lay them where you want them and pull the thread taut. Then push the needle down at the end of the line of beads and bring it up between the beads you have just laid down. Then, gently slip the needle thru the remaining beads and bring it out at the end of the three beads you just laid down. Then you repeat the whole process.

This actually gives a smoother line (IMHO) to the beads in the design. If this doesn't make any sense, I can post about it (since I need to get off my rear and do a post anyway!). You can probably find this technique on beading sites too...

Vicky aka stichr said...

looks great!

Pigtown-Design said...

I am SOOOO impressed!

Lisa said...

Intriquing thoughts on Michelangelo. I've often been inspired by his thoughts too, but love that you've been able to see beyond art and apply it to life!

Lovely watching your beading evolve on this project!

coral-seas said...

You may not be ready to 'write' it's story but you are already telling it in beads. It is a wonderful piece.

CA

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