Musing on a Drusy and Various UFOs

Earlier this week I cut the pellon (supportive material similar to interfacing) away from my beautiful black drusies. As I began to affix the leather, I realized something else was needed.

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Black Drusy Cabochons

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Black Drusy Cabochons

The druse (or druze) effect – tiny quartz crystals which form on gemstones and give a striking sparkly appearance – is one of my favorites.

Initially, a border of shiny black delicas with a couple of labradorite beads had seemed like the perfect complement for these two cabochons. Instead, it screamed, “Boring!” I set the project aside overnight.

My next move – 24 hours later – involved adding beaded lines to the top cabochon. “Aha! More interesting!”

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Black Drusy 2

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Black Drusy 2

That’s how my bead art evolves. Complete one portion of a piece, look closely, add or subtract from there.

I almost always have a few (10-12) projects going. (Maybe I think better in multiples, with options, etc.)

Do you work on more than one beadweaving at a time? I ask because it’s difficult for me to limit myself to one beadweaving start to finish. Do you have UFOs?

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, UFO trio

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, UFO trio

Each of these beadweaving focals is now ready for its necklace. The story I tell myself is I need to see my project for inspiration.

The UFOs (unfinished objects) live on a shelf next to the workbench.

Sometimes I drape bead strands across one of them to get an idea of how the finished piece will look.

If I have doubts, the cabochon remains on the stand until I’m ready to tackle the questions it raises: how do I make a bail that looks natural for this cabochon? What might I add that would make this piece extra-special, over-the-top? Is this wearable? Does it have style? (NOTE: This can take a looong time, sometimes.)

I’ve experienced walking into the studio with a knowing about which beads I would add to my project for completion. On those days, hang on. Beading completion happens fast.

On the other hand, sometimes my selection looks entirely wrong, the colors don’t work, the balance isn’t there, something’s just not working and I start over and over and over.

The process of thinking about structure forces me to consider new techniques and learn different ways of presenting jewelry.

What a fascinating world the studio provides! It’s one in which I lose all sense of time and live in the magic of beads.

No matter how much thought, effort and design goes into a beadweaving, the final analysis of its effect comes from the buyer.

Take this beadweaving, appropriately named “The Owl and the Frog.”

owl & frog 1

©2012, Mary Ellen Merrigan, “The Owl & The Frog”

“The Owl &The Frog” was just another necklace until Kate saw it. “It calls to me,” she said.

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Kate claims “The Owl & The Frog”

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Kate claims “The Owl & The Frog”

Beadweavings that resonate. Women who feel my creation calling to them. Happy customers! Now that’s what I really love about beading.

Hmmmmmm. From a drusy to beadweavings that resonate. Now that’s a doozie!

What do you think?