An eclectic blog about beads, beading and beyond

Monday, September 27, 2010

Organising a beadwork exhibition - finding an organising principle

I have had a frantic week preparing for the launch of my first beadwork exhibition. The launch was held last night (Sunday 27th Sept). Various dictionaries claim that an exhibition is an organised collection of items for public display. It was hard on Saturday night to imagine I’d ever reach the status of ‘organised’. Jewelry was strewn throughout the house, display boxes were in a state of undress and my printer decided to run out of ink just when I wanted to print the exhibition leaflet. A minor miracle and timely help from my partner and friends got me over the line.

Creating an ‘organised’ collection of beadwork was much harder than I imagined. It meant trying to find an ‘organising’ principle. Should I organise according to purpose (for instance, put all the earrings together, etc.), would organising by shape or colour create an enticing display or should it be organised by grouping items together that are from the same collection? I had advertised that I would have items from three of my collections (the Endangered collection, the Desires collection and the Earthstones collection) on display. What do you think I did - what organising principle do you see in the photos of two of my display frames for the exhibition?

Many exhibitions occur in large institutions such as museums, galleries and exhibition or trade fair venues. My exhibition is in a lovely small organic café called the Healing Web’s Vitality Café, in Geelong, Victoria, Australia (you can catch details on their Facebook page ). Geelong is the second largest city in Victoria and it is about to be larger by 200,000 or so people as it is hosting a major international bicycle event in the next week. My exhibition didn’t attract quite those numbers (the venue only takes about 25 people at any one time) but it was lovely to have friends attend and support its launch. Thanks to everyone who attended and supported my work in this way.

The Art to Enrich exhibition is on until the end of October – pop by and enjoy great food and coffee if you are in Geelong. You can also see the meditative artwork of my exhibition partner Lynda Crowther.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Gold Fire bracelet featured

I'm busy preparing for my exhibition next week but was very excited to see one of my designs (Gold Fire bracelet) featured on brochure for a Festival of Glass in my local area (Drysdale, Victoria, Australia) in Feb next year - it's the gold bracelet on the left hand side.

If you live in the the area or might be visiting you might want to note the dates for your diary.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Art to Enrich - Glenda's first bead exhibition - any advice?

Hi all
Just to let those of you living locally know that I have my first beadwork exhibition coming up: ART TO ENRICH.

If you are nearby please do pop by - there will be a range of pieces for sale. It is being held at a fabulous new cafe that is supporting local artists, does terrific organic food and has a lovely atmosphere. I'll be exhibiting with a local Wax artist. All very exciting and yet daunting all at once.

For those of you who have done this all before I'd love to hear any handy hints or words of advice that you have.

Here's the details:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

To Fireline or not? What do you think?

Fireline is on my mind. I have just bought a large spool from a local shop that sells fishing tackle and now I can complete a spiral rope that has been waiting for this purchase. For those of you out there who are not beaders or beginning beaders, Fireline the brand name of a form of fishing line made from a synthetic fibre, called Dyneema that is tough, does not absorb water, is unaffected by ultra-violet light and stretch resistant.

Dyneema began to be produced in the 1990s and is considered to be the strongest fibre in the world - fifteen times stronger than steel fibre of the same weight. The fibre is a synthetic fibre made from polyethylene. It is used in making a wide range of products from aquaculture nets, medical and protective gloves, and bulletproof armour to containers for airfreight and ropes for underwater projects.

Whilst, Fireline’s qualities are clearly great for fishing line they are also great qualities for a beading ‘thread’. Many beaders like to use Fireline in their beadweaving to give it added strength and durability. For instance, the spool I bought today is a 6lb test spool so it won’t break very easily but will pass through my beads several times because it has quite a fine diameter.

Of course, in the way of these things I ran out of Fireline when I was half way through my current spiral rope project. So I am delighted to have my new spool of Fireline and its strength as a fibre will ensure my project is extremely durable. Mind you, I don’t think I could claim it was bulletproof!

The qualities of Dyneema has given it great eco-friendly credentials as it is being used in a wide range of products designed to reduce our eco footprint.

You can readily see Dyneema’s eco-friendly credentials in several of its products:

· HyFlex Dyneema medical and protective gloves can be laundered several times and still ensure cut protection. This reduces the overall number of ‘plastic’ gloves used and it reduces hard waste.

· When Dyneema ropes replace steel ropes in underwater projects they cut out the environmental issues associated with the need to lubricate steel wire when it is in water.

· Dyneema panels in airfreight containers are stronger and lighter than the traditional aluminium ones and therefore help reduce carbon emissions from helping reduce cargo weight and thus reduce fuel use.

However, it seems that fibres such as Dyneema do not biodegrade, they photodegrade and take between between 500 and 600 years to do so. That means beading with Fireline creates a beading item that can stand the test of time, but it also means there is a lot of fishing line in the world that will be here for a long time as well! It seems that Dyneema in the form of fishing line brings significant ecological costs.

So as a beader, to Fireline or not? What do you think?


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