Interconnected Amber Beadweaving

Interconnected Amber Beadweaving necklace with sterling silver and Czech Glass from Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque.

©2016, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Interconnected Amber Beadweaving

The Interconnected Amber Beadweaving is mesmerizing. You can no longer see the base strand, the one that goes from the focal to the clasp. Amber, sterling and Czech glass beads are interwoven. The strands co-exist, with tiny surprise elements blended in. A heart. A flower shape. A faceted crystal, elegant in its precision symmetry and surprising in its random placement.

Close observation confirms there’s symmetry yet not exactness. For instance, there appears to be no numerical order to bead placement. Sometimes a glass bead is inserted to let the strand lay easily. In another curve, there may be more amber. Each side is similar and yet it’s different. The necklace is woven together, its leather backing attached to the center as a final touch.

Interconnected Amber Beadweaving is a perfect visual for Do-It-Together – DIT.

Beadweaving Symbolizes Do-It-Together

Once in a while an idea comes along that grabs you, resonates so loudly you have to move, and you do something about it. That resonating idea: Do it Together.

Funny. An original Do-It-Yourself gal, I proudly boasted about independence and my ability to get ‘er done. I competed, described myself as driven and practiced winning. No more. Not only is it difficult to deal with the pressures and responsibility of DIY, it’s totally unnecessary.

It’s far more exciting and gratifying to collaborate with others, to share ideas and gain support from a community of like-minded people. Why not work together and work from strengths, rather than weaknesses?

For more than two years, I’ve belonged to such a group, Collaborheartists, who create together regularly. The synergy produced in this group and the relationships built among the five women involved are incredibly strong.

Collaborheartists began with a really awkward meeting around my studio round table. I was the only common denominator and at one point I wondered if I’d make a big mistake. Then, as things happen, someone told a story, all of us laughed and the rest is history.

Since the awkward beginning, life changes have occurred: family illnesses and loss, broken bones and other physical traumas requiring hospitalization, happy vacations and holidays and overall, a general shift in conscious awareness of the importance of our community. Through it all, the five of us have created. We represent five different disciplines: a knitter, a graphic artist, a fabric artist, a sculptor and me, the bead artist. Sometimes we create together. Sometimes we work on individual projects, with one of us taking the lead and sharing what we know with the others.

Collaborheartist group mirrors #Quest2016 community

On a much smaller scale, Collaborheartist mirrors another community,  Tracking Wonder. Jeffrey Davis, who launched and organized Tracking Wonder, used to be a Do-It-Yourself-er. He created an amazing community of people, #Quest2016, from more than 16 countries who are in the process of DIT!

I love how Jeffrey described himself, because his description also resonates with me.

“Yes, I have the artist’s temperament to be introspective and introverted, but I completely flourish when connecting with and collaborating with other people devoted to doing business as unusual, business as art.”

As I muse away, I consider how interconnected we are, how my friend’s encouragement caused me to hear Jeffrey Davis in the first place, how we’re all working on projects that require the participation and support of others, how it’s so much easier to do it together.

DIT is like a giant Interconnected Amber beadweaving. No strand is overly important. Each is beautiful in and of itself. Every strand depends on the others to display and yet stands independently on its own. There’s no particular order apparent in the completed project. Rather, it works.

Where in your life can you add a little DIT?