Inspiration – Lisa Liddy

7 12 2007

When I first started making jewelry, it was at a local bead shop that closed in the evening. Small groups of friends could come in after hours,  string beads, drink wine and share chitchat. It was just for fun then, but I knew that I enjoyed the activity and I was drawn to the different materials: the intricacies of Bali silver beads; the shapes, colors and textures of freshwater pearls; and, at that time, natural stones and semiprecious stones. I didn’t really think about inspiration though. It was a form of relaxing for me…to clear my mind of rigid computer-related stuff. The inspiration came later.

Over 4 years ago I discovered lampwork beads. And it has been a love affair that has evolved and changed as I’ve come to understand and appreciate the process and the skills that go into these artisan-made glass beads. In the years that followed, I learned all that I could about the art (short of actually melting glass myself) and met many bead artists online while buying the beads.  It is to the point that 95% of my Joolz are designed around lampwork beads. Most of the time the many forms that these glass treasures take provide me with endless amounts of inspiration. I see a set in an auction or when a friend displays them in a forum “show & tell” and I’m drawn to it. I can often picture what I’d do with that set and how I’d use pearls and silver to complement the artistry of the glass. However, this is not to say that every set I buy ends up immediately being put to use.

Other times, I am almost overwhelmed by a set of beads long after I’ve received them, unsure how to take the innate beauty they possess and enhance it with my designs. I confess to feeling unworthy at times of turning those beads into a mere piece of jewelry—one that will thrill someone else in the same way I felt when I first saw the beads by themselves. I want to inspire that same feeling with my work. I want whoever ends up with the jewelry to feel a “wow” moment.

“Heavy stuff,” you might be thinking. “We’re just talking beads and bracelets here.”

Well, yes and no. I know that sometimes we are just talking glass beads, round or oval, smooth or rough, shiny or etched. But other times we are talking little works of art. They conjure up a feeling with their colors and textures and as a designer I am compelled to only enhance that feeling, not overpower it with needless excess. So the pressure builds and some beads sit. Still inspiring me with their beauty, but not quite letting me pass on the inspiration. So inspiration is a double-edged sword at times.

Or maybe I need to just get over it. :)

Lisa

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3 responses

9 12 2007
Lori Anderson

Great article and I’m drooling over those PEARLS!

9 12 2007
10 01 2008
Jet

Lisa, I am very inspired by your article. I began beading 10 months ago and it has been like a life line. I found that at first it was very relaxing, the first time I had been able to turn off my brain. My first passion I had discovered was writing but then I discovered beading and it was wonderful because I really didn’t need to think like I did with writing, I didn’t need to plan too much. I just found the beads that interested me and somehow they would just seem to put themselves together while my brain had a holiday. It was like a form of active meditation and a great release. However as I have gone on, I have moved to greater challenges, and learn the art of patience and perserverence and thankfully at the end of most of the projects I have been reasonably happy with the outcomes. I do understand the feeling of being overwhelmed and would love faster ways of putting things together as I see them mist around in my head but alas back to reality. this is where the perserverence and patience comes in and the battle within, ‘ Im sick of doing this BUT I want to see what it ends up looking like, so I have to stay with it…then at last…FINISH. What a relief and surprise surprise, it doesn’t look too bad either. its encouraging to hear about other people’s stories and their experiences. I was happily lost in your passion for what you do. You have a wonderful talent and eye for beauty and I wish you all the success and happiness with your pursuits.

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