posted: Monday, 27 April 2009
I've had a few emails from people following my blogs and some seem to think it was directed at them- it wasn't directed at any one person- just a kind of frame of mind.
And I didn't mean people who call themselves 'largely self-taught- not at all.
If you use self-taught in a different way than me and feel it fits you then please do carry on. Remember my words are not law- they're simply the ramblings of a beader who was asked some interesting questions and felt you might want me to write more about beads and art rather than keep on telling you what I've been eating!
Anyone who acknowledges any contribution anyone else put into their work (this is completely different from copying someone's work) is doing right in my book.
I just have a problem with people who pretend their beading/ artistic abilities developed in complete isolation with no input from anyone and if yours didn't you're somehow less of a beader or an artist. I just don't think that's possible or true.
As I said- if you read something in a book or magazine or on the internet, sat in a class or got some advice in a shop it all adds up and helps you in your work. Simple as that- not meant to insult anyone or stress anyone out!
One of the best classes I ever took was on netting- a basic stitch class. I already knew how to do the stitch and had used it lots, but wanted to spend the day with the teacher, Pat Trott, to see what else I could learn from her.
I left at the end of the day knowing not much more about netting (not because she didn't teach it- she did and others learnt a lot from her but I already knew how to bead it and was there more for the social aspect) but instead I learnt the best ever way to thread a needle.
What Pat taught me that day I have taught to countless other people and has helped me considerably in my work- I never have a problem with threading a needle now and that definitely helped me be more enthusiastic about beading and sped me up!
So can I say Pat influenced my work at all? I don't think so, but to not acknowlegde the input she had into me would be wrong.
I do believe all these things add up- everytime we look at someone else's work our education grows, everytime we see a new bead or colour on the shelves our brain stores that away for future use.
I also received some wonderful emails from people describing their views on art and what it means to be an artist. Some were from Onye Ndika who put a lot of what I wanted to say in a much better way than I ever could.
Here's some of what she wrote:
"I believe that what makes us artists is that we are passionate about birthing beauty from the works of our hands. Whether it's beaded/ metal/ plastic/ recycled/etc. jewelry, paintings, wood-carvings, sculpted styrofoam... I just don't think it matters.
What drives us to create these things is a fire that burns in the heat of summer all the way through the cold of winter, threatens to consume us if we don't USE it, and if the fire goes out (because the issues of 'life - coming at us, fast' or what have you), we are cold, miserable and jaded."
How eloquent was that? I love the vision of us birthing beauty with our hands.
So here they are- finally felted. Now just covered in fluff (where did that come from?) and waiting for their embellishment and some companions to join them.
Oh okay then- those of you who are here for the food my current addiction is Cachou La Jaunie- the most intense liquorice sweets which I bought half because I love liquorice and half because I love the tin!