Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Art Paper Beads

I thought I'd write a bit about why I call my creations art paper beads instead of just paper beads. Many people make paper beads from recycled magazine pages or other papers they have lying around. That makes funky beads, but it's not what I'm interested in. I see creating my paper beads as more of an artistic endeavor.

I start by choosing a base paper. This is often a sheet of scrapbook paper I find interesting, but not always. I made some beads yesterday from pages of a Latin dictionary (pictures eventually forthcoming!), and I bought some sheet music to make beads from. I do use magazine pages sometimes, but they're carefully chosen for color.

For most of my paper beads, I alter the base paper. Sometimes I add line drawings with markers. Sometimes I do a watercolor wash over the whole paper. Sometimes I combine different papers into one bead.

At that point, I cut the paper into strips and continue as you would for any paper bead. I'll write a how-to about that another day. But by the time I start to turn the paper into a bead, I've already begun turning it into a work of art. I may begin with found paper, but it's not random. It's carefully chosen and altered for its artistic value.

That's why I make a distinction between paper beads and my art paper beads.

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