Sunday, August 09, 2009
Made by hand
These beads were made by my daughter from polymer clay. She went through a phase of beadmaking as a teenager. It was a stressful time for her and I think—or maybe I'm projecting my own way of dealing here—that it was calming to work with the clay, create the tiny patterns. I remember during this time she asked me once what I would like for Christmas and I said I would love a necklace made from some of her beads. The necklace she made for me is beautiful, but I was a little disappointed that it was so tasteful and the beads all perfectly matched and coordinated. What I really liked were the random, mismatched beads that you see above. (To give you an idea of scale, the largest ones are about an inch in diameter.)
She stopped making beads, went off to college, traveled, came home, went to graduate school, traveled, came home, moved into the adult world and the beads were forgotten. About 8 years ago she spent some time with us and went through boxes we had stored, getting rid of old clothes and papers and things she no longer wanted or needed. After she left I was emptying wastebaskets and saw the string of beads in the basket from her room, tangled among old papers and notebooks. I pulled them out and hung them on a doorknob. They now hang on the doorknob to my work room and I often stop to handle them and admire the patterns and color. Like so many things, each bead by itself is nice, but not especially notable. It is when they are strung together like this that they take on a life and richness that pleases my eye so much.
It didn't surprise me that my daughter had thrown them out. I'll never know what meaning, if any, they held for her. But probably the enjoyment of making them was what counted for her. But, for me, I'm glad I saw them before they were gone forever.