Sunday, April 15, 2012

Inspiration, Realization, and Variation

Although you would NEVER guess it from the epic piles of beading magazines I have in my house, I am not really one to see a project in a book and recreate it bead for bead.

That's not to say I don't use the creations in the pages of these magazines as inspiration.  I am all about the eye candy and its power to get my creative brain clicking.  The influence of parts and pieces and components will show up in my final pieces, often mutated from the original after I've wrestled with them for a while.

One night, while surfing around on pinterest (like I needed another online pastime to suck hours out of the day...), I found these fabulous bracelets by Gina Dunlap.  

The bracelets were featured in the October 2009  issue of Bead and Button, which I know I have, buried somewhere in the epic piles of magazines I talked about earlier. Not being brave enough to excavate the epic piles (seriously, people, it's ridiculous) I looked at the photo and dove in to figure it out myself.

Here is attempt #1:

Boy, howdy, it wasn't quite what I expected.  I love it, but it was narrower than I anticipated.  It really did capture the undulation of the inspiration with the different sizes of beads.  In fact, the undulations are pretty significant - almost spiky.

So I tried again.

That was different - the undulation is gentler.  I love it, too.  But with the gentler waves came fewer peaks and valleys.

Neither one is a direct copy of the original inspiration, but they do echo its spirit, and the process of creating both has been great learning fun.  As I look back at the original inspiration photo, I now see lots of little things that she did differently. I didn't notice them at first glance, but they are really obvious now that I've worked through my own versions.  

The final bracelets are stiff enough to hold their shapes like good bangles.  This is going to be a fun one to go back to again and again - I've already got lots of ideas of variations on the bead sizes, the combinations, etc, etc.  Thanks, Gina, for the inspiration!


KJ said...

Those turned out lovely.

I use my magazines the same way. I did start cutting them up a few years ago and just keeping projects. Now I see Bead and Button or Beadwork offers past whole year subscriptions on a CD. It would take up less space but I am not sure I could find what I want any easier.

BackstoryBeads said...

They're both very interesting. Love how those blue accent beads show the spiral off to such great advantage in your first bracelet. The warm glow of the coppers, golds and reds would have me reaching for your second bracelet again and again!

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Bobbie, I really like both of your bracelets, they are beautiful. Is the second on a flat peyote spiral?

Saturday Sequins said...

I love Gina's bracelets, and I love your interpretation of them! Lovely.

I tend not to reproduce the pieces in magazines (or books) either. I'm also too impatient to read instructions, for the most part, so I just figure it out through trial and error.

Nieves said...

Preciosas todas!!! Felicidades!!!

Karen Williams said...

Looks like you learned a lot about the patterns and the way they are built from your experiments. That's always one of the best parts in my book. Great work!