I love beading, and I also love making someone else's design my own by putting different finishing touches on a pattern. One thing I have always wanted to do, though, is to design my own beadwork. I am so in awe of those who can just sit down with a pile of beads and emerge with a beautiful structure.
I think that's why I enjoy beading Nancy Dale's Summertime Wrap Bracelet so much. Even though I'm following a pattern, I feel free to go my own way with it and change things up so that each one I make looks very different from the others.
The question is, how do I start learning something like designing? Can it even be learned, or is it something you have to have inside you from the start? I don't know, but I intend to find out. I have a craving inside to design beading projects. This leads to a lot more questions.
Do I just sit down with a pile of beads and start beading? How will I know what to do? Should I buy Karen Williams books on freeform peyote to get myself started? Will freeform eventually lead to design? If nothing else, it will make me more conscious of what the beads can do.
Do I start by designing something on paper first, then trying to bead it? Even though I know I want to design, I don't have jewelry ideas floating around in my head. Maybe I should look at pictures of vintage or antique jewelry, then try to design some of the same styles.
The one thing I have designed is my Superduo ring. The way I came up with that idea is I wanted a beaded ring, but Delica peyote rings were too flimsy, so I decided to try peyote with Superduos. It made a nice sturdy ring, and I made a tutorial out of it. I've even sold a couple of them.
So, I need to choose a first step. As stated above, I'll look for pictures of old jewelry to get a taste of which styles I like. We'll see where it goes from there.
If you have any ideas that will help me get started, please let me know in the comments. I could use all the help I can get with this project.