Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Question of Balance

In my life, I’ve always been cobbling something together- making do out of found pieces, instead of having something new and made to fit.

But the world of beads is a world where I rule. I command the vast armies of beads, tell them where to go- pick them up when they overflow. So small and beautiful, beads let us have the feeling of control. Place them, move them. What they make is a work of art.

A work that can be worn, taken with me. I am my own museum.

In this simple necklace, I felt control palpably. It wasn’t just controlling the palette- ivory and earth color. It was finding a way to mount the Indian coin with its graphic round perfection over the smooth elongated rectangular fossil coral pendant. And I found matte moukaite rounds of the same diameter as the agate, to contrast with their high polish.

Moukaite is a wonderful stone – ranging from deep purple-red brown to creamy white, with shades of pink and amber in between. The 2 large matte burgundy rounds echo the dark coin, in both shape and color. The smaller matte rounds of moukaite blend in with the polished agate, noticed only when you look closely, and catch the hints of pink and rose.

You have to sift through a lot of beads, and pass up a lot of near-perfect choices to come up with what happened here. Looking at the necklace you can read the thoughts I was having about sameness and difference and how to tease the line between them.

So I felt perfectly in control, and in the end was pleased with all the decisions I’d taken in making the necklace. We both know that was an illusion: that the beads were in control…rolling out at the right time, letting their individual peculiarities become their perfection, and agreeing to stand in line forever, balanced between plan and accident, intention and adventure.