Thursday, January 14, 2010

Family Fun

My son Nathan, who's 11, has had an on-again, off-again relationship with my paper bead creation. Sometimes he acts like he's too cool to even notice what I'm doing. At other times, he's been handing my website address to his art teacher and talking me up like I'm the next big thing. So most of the time, I let him decide whether or not I'll share what I've been up to.

The last two days, though, it's been on-again. He's decided he wants to try to make beads too. And he quickly discovered (imagine that!) that making paper beads is a lot harder than it looks. Before he got frustrated and walked away, though, he made some really funky beads. And it got me thinking.

Maybe I'm being a little TOO careful about making sure my cut lines are straight. Maybe I'm taking too much time lining everything up to end up with a smoothly tapered bead. It is, of course, important to be able to do that. And for many bead sets, I want a uniform product at the end. But I could picture a really cool necklace made from Nathan's funky, misshapen beads.

I'm thinking about experimenting with more randomness. Maybe I'll just tear some paper strips and see what kind of beads those make. Or maybe I'll roll with abandon and not worry if my paper ends up in an X at the end. After all, what is the point of art if it's not uniqueness and experimentation?

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