Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Secret Sequence

Beads teach us things. Patience, for one thing. The pendant in this necklace was once a lovely pin, given to me by The Muse (everyone should have one- but no one has a Muse as fine as mine!) years ago. It stopped being a pin after much fond wear, when it’s pinback fell off. Fortunately, it was not lost; I saved it as a flat object for a long time deciding whether to repair it. I never repaired it, because in time it came to me that it would be happy as a pendant if only I could find the right beads. This all happened years before I was able to bead- I was gathering elements for this piece a long time.

What happened when I finally came to the making of the necklace is it’s own story. Three times I strung the multi-strand necklace, and each time something went awry. It was like a tale from the Brothers Grimm- first the strands tangled so badly I couldn’t find the ends when it came to stringing the clasp. I re-strung it a second time and strands broke at the last moment, after crimping and trimming. On the third attempt, true to legend, I found success.

Is there magic in the third try? Perhaps. Or maybe it is that by the third time you do something, you’ve learned to adjust to the trials you’re about to meet.

For me, this was discovering that there is a sequence in which each step must be done. Beading is a linear process. You cannot reach the middle before you secure the beginning. The order in which beads come together is partly design, and partly fortune. You keep repeating it until you get it right.

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