Monday, May 21, 2012

Battle of the Beadsmith .. Begin It Has.

The Battle of the Beadsmith began without fanfare on May 14 2012, May 15 here in Australia owing to the global time zones.  The participant number increased from 64 to 80 due to controversy*.

My colour way had already been selected and the large bundle of bead filled tubes and assorted components already purchased.  My decision to choose this particular colour way was based on two elements 1. Fun and 2. a colour way I had not ever worked with before. I cleared my work area .. took a deep breath and opened the first factory package of vintage Swarovski Chatons that I managed to source from the UK.  This particular colour was hard to find and I thought I would never find it despite extensive internet searches.  Then the task of individually beading them commenced .. each one takes around 30 minutes to bead .. and I have alot to do. 

I had sketched out my initial design in my trusty handmade, leather bound journal; but as always it morphs into something that only slightly resembles the original design.  I have beaded other parts of the design and do this when I get tired of continually beading the Chatons.  I always design like this .. constantly moving around the design.  If I get stumped I walk away and let it rest and give my mind time to visualise the design and explore solutions.  I have what I call 'on board CAD software' that is I can visualise, rotate in 3D and design in my head.  I can see thread paths and bead intricate designs using my minds eye. I like to do this quietly, it's a sort of meditative process.  I can block any white noise around me and just focus.

This Tournament for me is not about trying to out do each other, it is about celebrating beading as an artform and sharing in the moment with other like minded bead artists.  I am truly honoured and grateful for being invited to be a part of the Tournament. When it comes time for my design not to progress into another round, do not be sad for me .. do not think ... 'oh, she must be disappointed'. Please just be happy for me that I was a participant of this wonderful fun, Tournament. I will politely curtsey, smile and usher graciously to whom I am paired with to step forward to the next round.

*The participant number increased from 64 to 80 owing to some controversy. I will elaborate .. Initially the Tournament, created by Steven Weiss (Marketing Manager for Beadsmith) was a secret group on Facebook, with members invited to participate by Steven. When the Battle of the Beadsmith group became 'Open' a Canadian woman became unhappy that Canada was not represented in the group. Her thoughts were that this was a global Tournament when in fact it was not. Anyhoo the upshot is that there was lots of discussion, some pleasant some not so pleasant so Steven made the hard decision to increase the participant number to 80.


  1. Great post Melissa! I LOVE your "onboard CAD program!" Mine is accessed by walking. You are so right, and your process sounds so very familiar! And your foot note neglects to mention that none of the Canadian beaders suggested for inclusion wanted to participate. Jacquie Champion boldly took on representing Canada solo. Bravo Jacquie!

  2. I can't wait to see what you end up with! The same thing happens to me - I start with a general idea, and along the way, the beads tell me what to do. :)

  3. So fun to read about the process others are going through. I'm still pondering mine, but must get started soon. Can't wait to see all the entries. :)