Dare to Bead With No Pattern

“Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the ttern.” – Alfred North Whitehead

©2012, Mary Ellen Merrigan,
“Gone Fishing” Beadweaving Necklace

In creativity there is no right or wrong. Creativity, or the act of making art, offers a choice of two paths – the prescriptive or method-driven path or the inspiration-driven path.

Following the prescriptive path means working with a formula or pattern. For many crafters this is fun and satisfying. For me, it was not enough.

As an artist and an individual, I have evolved.

I am no longer content to work within parameters.

I need to follow the inspiration-driven path of spontaneous creativity. As I surrender to my soul, my work comes straight from the heart.

What a great sense of freedom! I “build sand castles,” and experience fulfillment and renewal. And, from time to time, I share those experiences with others.

“The Place of No Pattern,” one such experimental beading class, encouraged participants to step outside their usual mode.

In true “break from the ordinary” fashion, Lodi’s Beads  offered this option.

Similar cabochons and a starter selection of color-coordinated beads comprised each “kit.” In this way, we provided a starting point, a jumping-off place, for the class.

©2012, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Coral Cameo Beadweaving Cabochon

Five brave souls practiced letting their imagination out to play.

It was a process of accessing inner creativity. The color, lines and shapes ordinarily described in a step-by-step instructional handout were absent. Instead, as each student began beading around a cabochon, they were challenged to let go of restrictions.

One decided to change her colors, dropping her standard, comfortable choices.

Another challenged herself to add beads of different sizes, acknowledging a tendency to see perfectionism through sameness.

A third glued additional elements to her piece and began branching out from there.

The ongoing banter and exchanges added camaraderie, an element Lodi’s is known for. Various visitors stopped by to check progress and members of the group willingly shared their projects.

Each individual step contributed to the total. I felt privileged to be the facilitator of the day.

I noticed as one participant released a pre-conceived notion, others did too. The general atmosphere of the classroom lightened as the day progressed.

Self-trust emerged, as did laughter and a general appreciation for the creativity of each individual.

Martha shows cabochon creativity to Vicki, Suzanne, Sharon, Mary Ellen and Geneva

While no one said, “I’m no longer afraid,” a lack of fear made the hesitation of the morning fade away.

As one student put it in her follow-up email:

“Hi Mary Ellen! I just wanted to thank you for the class yesterday.  I had so much fun and I can’t wait to start another piece.  I would love to do the treasure necklace class when you get it scheduled! Thanks again!” – Sharon

Now, that’s success!

What will you do to break free of a pattern?