Monday, 20 January 2014

Beading with constraints!

Beading with constraints can be good for the creative process.  I’m drawn to challenge packs and kits........ the limited supply of beads forces you to create outside the box.  It can also be a very freeing way of creating - no diving into the stash – no debating over which colours go with what – no opportunity to second guess well what if!  Managing without the usual findings or a limited supply poses another interesting challenge – let’s say I brushed up my macramé skills last summer with kits that were mainly cord – but plus side is that I’m now buzzing with Kumihimo ideas – just need to find the time  to play and write.  Finally, they are great for getting me to bead to deadlines.......

My latest design is a result of an entry in to the 'Swarovski Statement Earrings' competition, JillyBeads Ltd (2013).   I have a small stash of Swarovski bicones and pearls that I’ve built up over the years – and saved for that special project.  The biggest challenge perhaps was Swarovski components alone – no seed beads......I had just one small pack of 6 mm and 4 mm bicones that would work together for the design briefing – so these limitations alone shaped the process.  What I came up with is a simple concept with a clever weave – ‘Curvy Pearls & Bicones’ – 2 inch drop statement earrings.  The design got a notable mention!

In writing the tutorial – the mathematician/designer within me couldn't resist experimenting with a matching rope – would the structure hold over a longer length using the same concept and clever weave? 

It is a year to the day – since I opened my Etsy shop – so my first birthday!  Remember JAN2014 applies until the end of the month.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New Year's Resolutions

After giving up making New Year’s resolutions in the nineties –I have found that my creativity and direction can be shaped by beady resolutions.......

In 2009 I decided I would do an evening class in beaded jewellery - not realising what I’d quite signed up for – my first flat spiral bracelet created in the fourth session got me hooked on stitching.

My new year’s resolution for 2012 was to raise my game and develop my wirework skills.  Little did I realise how this simple resolution would put my beadwork and wirework into the public domain.   

‘Graduated pearl in a net’ was placed in the top 5 of the stitching category of Jewellery Maker of the Year 2012 - by public vote.

‘Turquoise heart on a wire’ won the Bead my Valentine competition.  ‘Midnight blue agate heart lariat’ featured in  All Loved Up – reader’s gallery on the bead barmy blog.

Perhaps the design I’m most known for is ‘Pearl in a net’ created for the JillyBeads fit for a queen competition.

Also discussed in a blog on how to become a designer!  This design was to become my first tutorial – the idea in writing this was to make it accessible to the complete beginner – to lure them into the creative potential stitching offers.  Absolute Beads  offer a kit for this design.

Finally – I have a soft spot for kumihimo - this swirl braid was runner up design in the naked braid category of the Braiding Britain competition in summer 2012.

My new year’s resolution for 2013 was to set up an Etsy shop, work on tutorials and to develop my bead embroidery skills. 

Check out some designs in my Etsy shop 'Keith Agnes Tutorials & Designs'.

Little did I know where my Soutache skills would take me......... loved the creative challenge of my summer freelance work.  

Now what does 2014 have guessed it – setting up a blog was my new year’s resolution!  I have several projects and tutorials on the go......Soutache workshops and kits lined up for the Spring........ I might also have a few secret competition entries in progress.