Studio Saturday: Creativity Groups

Welcome to Studio Saturday! 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.

This week’s winner is Trish! Congratulations! Please send your postal address to the ABS Suggestion Box to receive your 6 Bead Buttons with loops on each side from Tari of Creative Impressions in Clay.

Here at my studio for ExpeditionD this week I’ve been thinking a lot about creating solo, and the benefits of taking classes and creating in groups. I’ve been fortunate to be invited to attend some beading ‘play dates’ with some people locally, and I find it opens up the creative flow in a way that working solo in my studio doesn’t do in the same way.

Last weekend I did some wirework, something I’ve been wanting to do, and found the conversation, interaction and fun in the group made learning something new much easier. These are the first attempts, using semi-precious gemstone chips, but I can easily image using a large art bead right in the center for a pendant, or two matched for earrings with glass or bead dangles.

Most of the time I work in the studio by myself with music on, concentrating on the process and giving it the focus of my attention. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to be in a group and be creative in the same way. And it’s not exactly the same, but it is very pleasant and rewarding.

This week’s prize is a wirework toggle clasp with semi-precious stone chips to use with your art bead designs, post a comment and answer this question if you’d like to win.

The question is – how you work collaboratively as part of a group – do you join a guild, have a beading gathering that you host or attend? How do you get out of your studio and create with others, and what happy results and benefits have you found from it?

Leave your comment and you just might be the lucky winner!!

Question posed by Lynn Davis of expeditionD.etsy.com

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18 Comment

  1. Heather Powers
    October 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    good question Lynn! I hosted a bead party one year. It was so much fun, I really need to do that again. My favorite is the Bead Cruise, a whole vacation with beady folks, it’s the best. I don’t get much done when working in groups, but I love hanging out with creative people.

    October 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Heather, I would love to go on a bead cruise, it sounds like a whole lot of fun! I’ve talked about hosting something at the house but it took someone else inviting me to get me going, and I’m so happy about it.

  3. AJ
    October 4, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    I pretty much create alone, but I am lucky to be part of a really good on-line bead forum. The one time I did create with other beaders was when I went to a retreat in Vegas that was half people from the forum and half new-to-me beaders. It was a LOT of fun laughing and joking with my friends during the great classes. I’d really like to go on another retreat (or maybe a bead cruise).

  4. Gail Whitehead
    October 4, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    I’m really shy,and critical on myself,I never host a party.But,I have branched off in several ways.but I asked the library if I could have-Beads on Saturday-for preschool age chidren,and they love it.Now that school has, we only get together on Sat
    Also,whenever I wear somthing well-crafted, peolpe ask me-where have you been,where did you get it.
    I really like sat.Pick me as s winner!

  5. CreekHiker
    October 4, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    I too mostly create alone. But I do love to take a class, often about something I would never try just to get out of my own head and house. I Love to socialize and see what others are doing and that usually translates into something I can use in my work.

    I also went to Bead & Button this year. It was the trip of a lifetime and I scheduled so many classes, I had little time for anything else. It was great!

  6. thebeadedlily
    October 4, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I’m, well, not alone, because I’m in our living room where life happens– but I’m creating alone.
    Like AJ, I’m part of the Etsy Beadweavers who have gret monthly challenges that widen our horizons wonderfully.
    I did a little beading party/class for friends once– but I was just helping them and doing the finishing which takes practice. It was fun but very draining.
    I’m not against classes for myself, but I’ve yet to take one.

  7. Gaela
    October 4, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I mostly bead alone, but every chance we get my beading buddy, Lori and I get together and bead. Occasionally her very talented daughter will join us. Sometimes we bring the projects that we are working on at the time, other times it’s a group project and again sometimes we get together and try something new to us. I always enjoy the get-togethers~new ideas always seem to pop up. I would love to do the Bead Cruise!

  8. Fab Fibers
    October 4, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    When I first started beading I would sit with my sister. Then we moved on to what was called “Bead Caves”…a whole weekend of beading with a bunch of women, I drove as far as Arkansas to be in one. Beverly Herman usually taught some type of class, using different beading techniques. Now I go on the Bead Cruise and it is so much fun. I would like to have a bead cave at my house sometime. I’ll have to give that more thought…first I have to get the DH to go somewhere…hmmmm…

  9. abeadlady
    October 5, 2008 at 12:24 am

    I do much of my beading alone, but enjoy taking classes even if it is something I won’t wear myself. I love learning new techniques and the interaction in classes and bead society groups is wonderful. You can bounce your ideas off of others and vice versa. Several of us who teach at our local bead shop often get together for trips out of town. I can then return to my solo work with a new enthusiasm and lots of new ideas.

  10. Imaginina
    October 5, 2008 at 12:54 am

    I mostly bead alone as well. I have taken lots of classes, but I do not do my most creative stuff in class. I have also done some round robin projects with other bead artists. In those round robins, I have learned what creativity is and what creativity is not. In one round robin, a person added the same element to all 8 projects. It might have been creative on the first one, but it not so much on all 8. Also, some people think more = creative. Creative is hard to define, don’t you think?

  11. rosebud101
    October 5, 2008 at 1:33 am

    I have a few cyber friends that I collaborate with. It’s great, but I wish I could meet them!

  12. cindy
    October 5, 2008 at 1:34 am

    I usually create alone and only have worked along with others when I’ve taken a few work shops. I get inspired and competitive by competing in contests, such as ABS, and monthly Vintaj challenges. I stay in touch with others by belonging to groups, such as FEST (Florida Etsy Street Team), and Flickr groups that I am a member of.

  13. iamcr8ve
    October 5, 2008 at 2:52 am

    I do my most productive work alone. I belong and am active in the local bead society and polymer clay guild. Being around other creative types sparks ideas and new avenues for me. After all, you can give three people the same supplies, and get three different uses of materials! I like to host bead get togethers and enjoy the interaction, but I really don’t get a lot done. it does do wonders for recharging my creative batteries!
    Teaching is a whole other ball game. Often, students will ask questions that I never even thought of- it makes me take pause, and realize that not everyone sees the world in the same way.

  14. LLYYNN
    October 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    I agree about classes, whether teacher or student I believe everybody learns something and teaches something. It’s fun just being around others who have the same interest and vocabulary – so if you start talking about something you don’t have to explain it all first, they know what you’re talking about!

  15. Donna
    October 5, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I am a member of http://www.jewelrygeeks.com. We are a group of professional/amateur jewelry makers that share expertise and business experience. It’s nice to collaborate with truly excellent and experienced jewelry makers. If you decide to join, tell them I sent you (sewandso)

  16. Cindy Gimbrone
    October 5, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Hi Lynn,

    Lovely wire creation! It’s so “you!” The Collaboration Explorations are one way I create with others. Another is taking classes – I took quite a few at the very beginning of my bead creating career.

    “Bead Caves” is such a cool phrase – it makes me think of going into a deep dark cave and finding it full of beads, sparkling and shiny! YAY!

    Thanks for the great post, Lynn!


  17. Erin
    October 5, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I teach a variety of jewelry-making classes at my local bead shop. I love helping people to discover the creativity already within themselves. I enjoy seeing that light in their eyes when they get it, they understand the technique I’m showing them and a whole world of possibilities open up to them. There’s nothing better than being a part of that excitement. There’s nothing better than passing on the joy of creating!

  18. Valerie C.
    October 11, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Just give me one extra preson to bead with and I am good to go. Mostly I bead in my studio by myself but I do have a whole lot of on lookers for good conversation and a few laughs while I make my jewelry. Sometimes though it is just to distracting when I am working on a piece that is very intrecate. That is when I would rather be alone or should I say left alone. No offence but sometimes I don’t make good conversation or laughs when I have a project that needs to get done by a deadline that is to close for comfort. I am sure that there are a few out there that know what I mean.
    But all in all I do love a good group once in a while to get my creative jucies flowing at a higher rate.

Comments are closed.