How big is beading? It is an entire universe and I for one intend to travel all of it! What I love is that this universe keeps growing. Oh sure, if you’ve seen discussions about design theft, etc , you will invariable get at least one person who proclaims that nothing is really new, unique and it’s all been done before in some way. Well, if you are speaking in an esoteric philosophical or religious sense then sure. Otherwise that is nonsense. Stitches are not copyrighted and many stitches have been around for hundreds of years. BUT what is also true is that the technology surrounding the making of beads is dramatically different than a hundred years ago. The increase in the hole size and better uniformity of shape has presented opportunities for designs that simply were not possible long ago. Not to mention all the new bead shapes, two holes, etc. YOWZA is this a fun universe or what ?!?!
My exploration of the beading universe is not only as a collector of beads but as an explorer of techniques. For me (and I suspect many others) this exploration is a critical part of the joy and success in the beading universe. For example, I believe it is important to explore each planet… planet peyote, planet brick stitch, planet right-angle-weave, planet bead embroidery, etc. You get the picture. Each planet has its own recreational facilities, atmosphere and challenges. Go to each planet and stay there for a while until you learn the language and rules of its society. You may want to stay there a long time and investigate each and every part of that planet. You may enjoy it sooo much that you want to take up permanent residence (yes I live on planet bead embroidery!). Or, you can simply take that knowledge and move on.
Even if you choose to take up residence on one planet, it will help you to take vacations and explore ALL the planets. The skills you learn in these other areas are never lost. They may help you improve your needle or thread skills, bead color selection, or even design issues. And, you might enjoy yourself so much that you want dual residency on that other planet! The process of learning is a valuable process in and of itself. You learn to push through difficulties and can celebrate success. Even if you choose to never go back to that planet (you simply didn’t enjoy that particular process) you have the confidence of knowledge about it. It’s your beading and your choice!
And let’s not forget the “moons” of the planets….and by that I mean the techniques that cross all planets like fringe, embellishment techniques, basic construction methods etc. Sure, you can think of each of these as separate planets just don’t forget these areas to improve your knowledge and expertise. And of course to have Fun!
I have my travel itinerary, do you have yours?