Sunday, January 4, 2009

French Bead Flower Making – Rule # 1 Is Like Ballet

What could French bead flower making have in common with ballet?

If you wanted to be a jazz dancer, tap dancer, modern-dance dancer, gymnast, or even an Irish step dancer – you must first learn excellent technique. For all these forms of dance, the best place to develop good technique is in ballet class. There, you will learn to point your toes, stretch your spine, how to carry your head and how to make your arms move like the fronds of a weeping willow. After you have mastered the techniques, you will be able to take a classic arabesque and change it into a wild jazz leap - because you know how to control it.

For making French bead flowers, you also must learn excellent technique. And, in my opinion, what is the one most important technique in this art?

Rule # 1 - Keep your basic wire straight.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Of course you will keep your basic wire straight, you say. Easiest thing in the world, isn’t it? You might be surprised. For someone new to the art, this can be a challenge.

How do you prevent a crooked basic wire? Here are a few hints. 1 – Have a tack or nail fastened into your working surface, and wrap the top of a very long basic wire around that. Keep tension on the piece as you begin to wrap the spool wire. 2 – As you are fitting the rows of beads into place, give the top basic wire a tug. Wrap the spool wire, and give the top basic wire another tug. Flip the piece over and check if the wire is straying off-course. 3 – Learn to “finesse” the beads. If you can’t fit another bead in the row, the top wire can reach over ever so slightly on that row, as long as you compensate for it the next time you come up to the top basic wire, and if the overall impression of the piece is straight.

Once you have made several rows on your piece, turn the piece over and see if the wire really is straight. If it isn’t, the answer is to take it out and try it again. Practice. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; that’s the best way to teach yourself. It’s only beads and wire – they are gentle teachers and won’t lose patience with you. This is a new endeavor for your mind, your heart and your hands. Each of those departments has its own hurdle to overcome with a new undertaking.

After you have mastered the basics, if you want to make a flower that has petals that "grow" in an unusual curve - you will be able to completely control it, and get exactly the effect you want.

Happy beading!

French bead flower Squidoo page
My French bead flower website - Instructional DVDs and pattern CD available
9/11/01 French Bead Flower Wreaths Project Video
My French bead flower Hubpage
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