Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm One Button Richer

Yesterday's lecture with Robin on the 2007-08 Bead Journal Project was amazing. She presented everyone's work by drawing connections between them. Pieces that were similar in shape or whose subject matter addressed similar issues, nature, events, feelings, etc. were grouped together. This was a great way to draw conclusions about the "body of work" and the process of bead journaling.

She also showed how many of the completed journal pages were finished. Some were framed; others were made into books or wall-hangings. You can see all of them here. The entire collection is formidable when seen together as a whole and really lends itself to a museum exhibit. We have the American Visionary Art Museum here in Baltimore which would be a perfect venue. We're going to suggest it to the museum and see what happens.

Look how Pam Truog interpreted the feeling of Despair

And how Christy Hinkle interpreted the Separation she felt from her son when her ex-husband took him skiing over Christmas and it was the first time they had ever been separated for the holiday.

The beaded buttons class was a great exercise. Robin asked that we try very hard not to over-think our little project. She made us choose our fabric and beads within seconds such that we acted on impulse and not planning. She asked that, once placed and stitched, we not remove any bead that we didn't like. Instead, we should leave it in and see where it leads.

I tried very hard to only use the beads I was given, to work impulsively and to not remove anything once I'd stitched it on. The first thing I did was put in that "line" of big blue beads down the left side. For the first fifteen minutes I was working, I was hating my little button.

Robin then told us that there was a period during stitching every piece she's made where she felt like she did not like her work. Even feeling this way, she refused to take anything out. Today, there isn't one piece that she doesn't love.

I tried working the same way and eventually found that, when I finished my beaded button, I really kind of liked it. I think this way of working moves you beyond over-thinking; it moves you beyond those sticking points and, in the end, you create something that is new and very you. A nice little life lesson, indeed.


Heather J. said...

that last tip about leaving it alone and keeping working is great - it's basically what I tell my scrapbooking ladies all the time, but it's worded much better - I'll have to steal that line. ;)

Debra said...

I try not to take anything out either. I figure I can improve upon it or just go with it as though I intended it to be the way it is-life is too short. Sometimes it is good to make a mark and move on.

I like your little button and it would be great on a handknit sweater.

Lynn said...

Lucky you to spend days with Robin and her incredible mind! Love the button!!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of working through the sticking points, working intuitively i guess. I tend to give up when i get stuck. i saw a lot of beaded buttons like this on Robins blog yesterday - they are just the right size to give it a go I think!

Lisa said...

Lovely! I love the way the bronzy beads seem to wrap around from the back. What a great class you are having! She sounds like a wonderful instructor!

Allison Ann Aller said...

Those journal pages you showed were very powerful!
Erica Carter told me that the "hating a piece" stage is so valuable, and should be embraced... because it leads to breakthroughs...

I've never forgotten that, and take comfort in it, too!

Barbara C said...

The class sounds like a wonderful experience. How wonderful to get so much support and insight into the creative process. Your button is beautiful. I agree with Debra, it would be perfect on a sweater.

Robin said...

Allie has hit the mark with her comment... and well-said by Erica Carter! I agree with Debra that your button will look fabulous on a handknit sweater... or a wool hat!

Thanks for the link to the Amer Visionary Art Mus. Do you want to make the initial contact with them re a show of BJP work, or shall I?

Robin A.

freebird said...

I love your button! All those colors and textures. It's wonderful.

I wish I could have heard Robin's lecture. It sounds like you had a great time of it.

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