In the beginning

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Bead weaving is not something I set out to learn I just kind of hazarded upon it. I am restless by nature and I’m not happy unless I’m accomplishing something. For me the sense of satisfaction only comes from creating.

As a child it was play-doh crocodiles, then drawing, painting, crochet, friendship bracelets made out of embroidery thread. I was always looking for something to make. Nothing satisfied me for long. Enter my teenage years, despite being bitter and angry at the world, my need to create expressed itself in other ways. Tie-dyed sarongs hung from my ceiling creating my own personal cave and sanctuary, images of Pan and Kali, peeking out between the twist and turns. Music began to have huge importance in my life.

Later, escaping into my 20’s, I began to find myself again. I knew I needed something, but wasn’t sure what. I studied Biology and Physics, and while I enjoyed it immensely, other things were calling me. I picked up my crochet hooks, my knitting needles, paint brushes, pencils, pastels – I even learned to hand-quilt. I had a young baby and a dozen projects in progress.

Severe carpel-tunnel syndrome in both hands suddenly took hold. It became crippling very quickly and I learned how to change a wriggling baby’s nappy mostly using my feet and forearms. Insurance meant that I didn’t have to wait long for surgery, but it still left me in creative limbo for a frustrating year as recovery was slow. I reached the point that I couldn’t knit anymore, so I put away my half finished jumper. I picked it up again when I recovered and knitted the sleeves. When those were done I tipped everything out of the bag to search for a needle to sew them on, only to discover that I had knitted three sleeves. I guess I was a little over eager, but out pet rats enjoyed their new bed.

That’s when I started making jewellery. I’m still not sure how it came about that I ended up with necklace wire and beads – most likely it was something that my mother bought on a whim and gave to me in a bag of clothes and children’s books. I remember buying some cheap stretch cord and experimenting with thread paths. I didn’t know it then, but I had begun something that would take me on a journey. I had ventured in to the world of peyote stitch and right angle weave. That was three years ago and I haven’t looked back. My yarns and paints sit in their draws, neglected, with the promise of ‘one day’.


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