Friday, December 3, 2010

I Love Beading Flowers

Several years ago I fell in love with making beaded flowers using various beadweaving techniques. In fact, I loved them so much that I wrote a book titled, Dimensional Flowers Leaves & Vines, which unfortunately, is now out of print. Most of my flowers are just made up and may or may not resemble real flowers so I just call them fantasy flowers.

One of my favorites is a little flower I call a "Mock Poppy" because it remindes me of the beautiful little poppys that grew wild where I lived as a child. This little flower is an easy way to learn how to work tubular peyote increases. The larger flower is five sided and the smaller flower is three sided.

It was fun experimenting and making different shapes as I created various flowers for the book. It's fascinating how just changing the number of increases changes the shape of the flower. The Mock Poppy has 5 increase sections and works outward to a pentagon shape. The smaller flower has 3 increase sections and takes on a triangular shape. Another flower, "Garbriel's Trumpet" starts with fewer beads and only increases in two places. As you work it gradually takes on an oval shape.

I've always experimented with my beading. I never really thought of giving it a name until I took a right angle weave class from David Chatt. I believe it was he who called this experimenting, 'The What If Game".  As you are beading just play the "what if" game. Ask youself, "What would happen if I did this.. or if I did that. What if I changed the size or number of the beads? What if I added an increase here, or made a decrease there? What if I changed techniques right in the middle of this piece? What if I gradually added larger or smaller beads? What if I ...what if I... " You'll find as you play the 'what if' game you'll enjoy creating and learn so much about beading.

I encourage you to experiment yourself and create your own beautiful flowers. Beaders have told me they are afraid to experiment because something may go wrong. I always ask them, "What's the worst thing can go wrong." Then I tell them, "The worst thing that can happen is you cut it apart and start over. You still have all the beads and all you're out is a few inches of thread and a little time. But you've gained a lot of experience and had a lot of fun." Some of my best designs have come from 'mistakes and all of them have come from experimeting and playing "The What If Game". Won't you come play with me? .



Eva Maria Keiser said...

Love your works...your book was one of my first sculptural experience...and a favorite in my library! Thank you for writing it!

Lily said...

I love your work too! lovely flowers!!I also love their colors so so much,and their arrangement.

Barb said...

Thank you so much for your kind words Eva. I absolutely adore your work. It's so amazing! It warms my heart to hear that my book helped you along your beading journey. Isn't it wonderful how we are all connected in some way - just like our beads are connected when we make a beautiful piece.
Barb :)

Barb said...

Thank you Lily, :) I'm so glad you like the little flowers. I thought you would like the colors too.

Barb :)

rozziebottoms said...

"what if" words from a true artist! Your flowers are beautiful!

kapita said...

Hi Barb, I love that book so much to this day, it beats most of the sculptural books hands down. Just thought I'd let you know.

Hugs Morticia (remember me?)

Barb said...

Hello Morticia! Yes! I remember you. Thank you for your kind words about my work. :)

Hugs back.. Barb

Barb said...

From one artist to another Roz, thank you!


muskaan said...

Stupendous ! Flowers that will remain in bloom forever :-)
I follow the 'what if' & 'why not' voices in my head too ;-P