Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trying to Invent Something New

I'm working on my next Inspiration piece for the Beadfx website. Dwyn gave me new beads this past Thursday night and I wanted to start it right away, as I have to get it to her in two weeks time in order for her to have time to photograph it for the newsletter.

This time around, my challenge involves delica beads (don't worry, Dwyn has us trying something different this time around, so The Dixon Chick, who is not overly fond of seed beads, gets completely different beads to work with, lucky girl).

At the Bead & Button show, I picked up this book called "Mastering Beadwork", by Carol Cypher, who was kind enough to autograph it for me. I had a look through the book to find some ideas but then decided that because the piece I'm creating is meant to be an "inspiration", I wouldn't be right to use any of the 63 projects contained in this book or anyone else's idea or pattern for that matter. However, I was quite excited to have a look through this reference book and can't wait to get back to it and try some or all of the styles contained therein. They all look beautiful and relatively simple to make!

Instead, I'm trying something on my own. I'm working the beads up using the brick stitch because they are size 11 and so small that brick seems the quickest method to get the result I want. I'm also embellishing a focal bead in a manner that I learned from both Heather Taylor of Bead Junction and Rachel Nelson-Smith. I plan to finish the edges in a manner that was taught to me by Kate McKinnon. Or should I say, I'll be using techniques that I think they taught me, it could be that my brain has forgotten exactly what they said and when I go to do it myself, it might not be quite what it would have been if I remembered the technique properly.
Either way, hopefully it will turn out. I never actually know if the idea I have in my mind will translate to an actual finished piece until it's done. Often there are many adjustments between the original idea and the completed project when something doesn't work quite the way I had envisioned. I've already had to take scissors to a bit that I started that just didn't look the way I had pictured it. :)

I'm not sure I need to totally reinvent the wheel though and more to the point, I'm not sure I can. The finished product will technically be "original" because it sprang from my imagination but that actual idea might not be something that someone else hasn't already done before. I might be using a combination of bead types and colours that are unique to this piece but given that no one (as far as I know) holds the copyright to the actual bead stitch, it might look very similar to something I have seen before in a book or magazine or at a class or even something that I've never seen but someone else has made. How do you know for sure if you are having a totally original idea when it comes to design? Do you know that expression, "there is nothing new under the sun?" That may be very true. Some things are totally obviously brand new and like nothing we have ever seen before, like the guy that came up with the idea for the intermittent windshield wiper (have you seen that movie, "Flash of Genius"? His name was Robert Kearns and boy did I thank him yesterday when I was driving in all that rain we got!) but it seems to me those flashes are somewhat rare and not everyone has that flash when they are making jewellery.

I would NEVER intentionally plagerize someone's work by copying their design and claiming it as my own but I worry that in many cases, the work I produce might be very similar to someone else's designs. I certainly hope not but if I do, I will certainly hold my hands up and be the first to admit it's entirely possible and beg their forgiveness. In the meantime, I will try to invent things of my own and hope they turn out, and keep hoping for that flash of genius.

1 comment:

The Dixon Chick said...

and wait until you see it! It's BIG!