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Friday, January 27, 2012

Stay true to my beliefs, or....

It's a question I asked of a fellow beader on Facebook this morning, and got comment responses that wholeheartedly agreed with me - that we shouldn't be asked to make changes to what we create.  It is a piece of art that was completed the way that it was supposed to be.  Sculpture artists, painters and many other artists are never asked to change their work - and are probably offended if they are asked to do so.  So why should those of us that choose beads as our medium, be treated differently?  What I do is ART.  It's not just beads on a string.  And 99.999 percent of the time - I'm sticking to those convictions.   Many of you may remember the "Joyful Buddha" incident - the bracelet designed specifically around a unique pewter Buddha face, a bracelet that just wouldn't have the same meaning without it.  Well, sure enough, a customer loved the bracelet, but HATED the Buddha.  I refused to change it, or remove the Buddha, because after all, that's what the bracelet was all about.  I lost that sale, but turned around and sold the bracelet within the next week or two, to the perfect person.  I DID, however, have to shorten that bracelet to fit her, which took some doing, but did not compromise the energy and design intended.  As far as I know, she still wears it.

And that's where I sit with another of my pieces.  'To the Trees' has been for sale at The Lansing Art Gallery since fall. 

Yesterday when I did my volunteer hours, the program director presented it to me and asked me if I could change it for a customer.  At first I was hesitant, but then discovered that it simply needed to be shortened.  SIMPLY being the operative word, however.  It really wasn't as simple as that.  The patron truly likes the piece however, and is also asking for matching earrings, which will add to the purchase price of the set.
So I brought it home.  And I laid it out on the board.  And I made sure I had all the beads I used to make the thing over a year ago (miraculously, I have almost all), and then looked at for awhile.  What to do....
The large bead on the left was the "clasp" before, that closed with a loop end.
I waited until this afternoon to look at it again, and finally came up with the idea to simply work the original sections (approx 3 1/2 inches from each side) into the work, instead of cutting it off.  I then added a new clasp section, which is now a barrel shaped bead:
I also added TWO loops to the end, so they can choose the difference in length of an inch or so.
I am pretty pleased with how it turned out - and the only beads I actually ADDED are the barrel and rondelle and three seed beads for the new clasp bead, as well as the loop end beads.  And I didn't remove ANY.  I felt it was important to try to keep the braid intact - or risk losing the whole strap.    It went from about 22 inches to 18 inches - 19 if you use the outer loop.
Now on to the earrings.  I really hope the customer is happy with how it turned out. 
Peaceful beading - and CREATING -
TTFN

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