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Monday, October 27, 2008

Lost In Translation? Alien Drinking Coffee

You might have read that I'm in an online glass creativity workshop that I love by Sylvie Lansdowne. This past week's assignment was to choose a picture from those offered and translate it into a bead.

I chose the one on the left, which is angular and complex. It was a very tough choice. I was amused by her coffee with the swirling steam, the bacon and eggs on her left, the clouds in her coffee, (think of the song, "You're So Vain"), the Starbucks logo and most of all, the angular lines and the off kilter shape and size of the face.

You can see two of my beady attempts of the art.
The top one was my first and the bottom two are the front and back side of my second bead.

As I want to teach you what NOT to do, as well as what TO do, here are some of my findings.

1. Don't worry if it doesn't turn out beautifully. If you don't stretch yourself and try, you'll never know. I think these are two of the funkiest looking beads I've made, but I'm so happy to have tried them.

2. Simplify as much as possible- patterns, designs and colors. If you have something that needs to be the focal of your focal bead, you need to give it a background so it shows up well. See my second bead to exemplify that.

3. What are the medium's traits?- glass likes to be round, so it's a great exercise in patience and heat control to get the angular lines.

4 .On my second attempt at the bead, I took some of the details and placed them on the backside of the bead to make it interesting and to carry out the interpretation of the original artwork .

5. Don't give up. Try it again to see whether your analysis improves your interpretation a second time around. I much prefer my second bead which is pictured in the bottom two photos.

6. Most importantly, learn from what you did. I know now what I would do differently in that kind of interpretive situation. But these concepts work more than on just Modern Art. If you are making a bead that will remind you of a favorite family photo, or a landscape or whatever you choose. Distill the important parts out and focus on them. Choose your colors wisely and because of size and glass characteristics simplify all of it.

Now I'm going to put both beads up in my Etsy shop. Because one other thing that I've learned over the years is that a bead might not be my favorite, but often times, it appeals to someone else. This will be one more experiment that I'm trying.