Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
Congratulations, Colleen You have won a Q Marks the Spot Necklace from Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry that Erin will create just for you. Please send Erin an email
with your information.
This week we visit the studio of Mary Harding of Mary Harding Jewelry
Some porcelain beads I made recently by Mary Harding
Beads, beads, beads. That is what I have been up to. Shaping them. Coloring them. Glazing them. Experimenting with them and yes, taking a class about a special way of making them. More about that in another post later this summer.
Beads in the bisque stage that I made a couple of days ago by Mary Harding
What do I like about making beads? It is working with my hands, the process of moving and shaping the clay, the feel of the soft velvety clay on my hands, and most of all the exciting journey to that special place in my consciousness where the Now takes over, the endorphins are flowing and and the inner critic is mute. I like to think of the process of making beads as a non verbal stream of consciousness. As a place where the mind is freed up and the hands and eyes are in charge, not my thoughts and rational thinking.
Notice how short my finger nails are and how the clay is neither too sticky or too dry: all prerequisites to working with clay for bead making
And how do I get there since it takes a bit of warm up before it all comes together and the journey and exploration begins? For me it takes quiet, assurance that I will not be interrupted, warmth, and a comfortable chair and table arrangement and a reasonable plan for how many I will make. I usually like to make beads in small amounts so as not to feel overwhelmed or like it is a chore. I usually decide ahead of time which tools I will use and set them out. I like to have a bit of structure regarding how I will work which could involve size, and only a few tools for marking the clay.
Tools I used in this most recent bead making session
Yesterday when I was glazing my beads I set up a structure of 4 colors and piles of 5 beads in each pile that I would use one color with for the base coat. By the end of the session, when my hands took over I was using 6 colors and even painting at times by dipping my fingers into the colors. I had a wonderful time and I just love how the beads came out.
the beads with colored glazes before they were fired drying in my dehydrator Mary Harding
For me it is the process that I love for bead making, but for other activities, like stringing or bead work, I often like the product better. What about you?
All this brings me to my question today. For which one of your creative activities do you enjoy the process of making the most and why? Comment below and you will automatically be entered into a draw to win a 3 bead string of my newest beads. The winner will be announced next Friday in the Inside the Studio post on that day.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I look forward to reading your comments.
I leave you with this validating quotation from D.W. Winicott
“It is creative apperception more than anything else that makes the individual feel that life is worth living.”