Saturday, November 15, 2008

Q & A Digest - Center Bar?? Make Loops??

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Hello beaders and future beaders, Today’s post is about some confusing terminology in some patterns to make French bead flowers.

Most bead flower patterns will refer to “basic wire,” “basic row” and making “rows.” You will occasionally see patterns that refer to “center bars” and making “loops.” This is a rare terminology in the art and can stump some beginners. Even experienced flower beaders might scratch their heads in puzzlement when seeing this terminology.

Here’s the translation: First of all, the technique is the “basic” technique, where you put a measured amount of beads on the crimped basic wire, and make a basic loop. The “center bar” is the crimped basic wire. This writer also uses “center bar” to refer to the amount of beads on this wire. So, if the pattern says “a one-inch center bar with a quarter-inch center bar of beads,” or something similar, it means use a basic wire of at least one inch (that’s actually very short for a basic wire, so be generous), and use a quarter-inch of beads on that wire.

When you see an instruction for “loops,” that refers to rows. As you may know, in making French bead flowers, in the basic technique one row is 180 degrees, not 360 degrees. We do use the term “loops,” but that refers to a different technique, and that is for a future post.

If you don't understand something in a pattern, just trust your instincts, go with your gut and make something up. It takes some courage when you're just beginning, but - it's only beads and wire! If you make a mistake, you can learn from the mistake, take apart what you’ve made, and start over. Some of my favorite flowers have come about because I was just "trying something" or because I made a mistake in following a pattern. It's what the painter Bob Ross used to call a "happy accident."

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