Beading Calisthenics: Composition in Gray and Gray

Beading Calisthenics

Beading requires a lot of mind-body coordination. That takes work. It is work.

Calisthenics are exercises you can do to improve and tone your mind-body coordination when bead weaving.

You have to be able to get from your fingers to the needle to the beads, back along the thread to the needle to the fingers, hands, arms, eyes, mind. And then again. And again. Over and over, one more time. You need to get into a rhythm. All these working parts need to be working. No time for cramping. No time to get tired. No time to lose concentration.

A rhythm. Needle, pick up bead, pull down along thread, check the tension, pick up a bead, pull down along thread, check the tension, pick up a bead….

I noticed that different instructors had various techniques and strategies for maintaining this rhythm. Yes, music was involved sometimes. Othertimes simple meditation or creative reading and discourse. Some people had some stretching exercises that they did. Others tested themselves before proceeding with their big project. Still others did small things to reconfirm their learning.

Throughout this Series, I introduce some of the beading calisthenics that I experienced along the way. If you want to gather materials up so that you can follow along with these calisthenics, here’s the list.

MATERIALS NEEDED FOR
ALL THE CALISTHENIC EXERCISES
(SUPPLY LIST):

notebook, pencil
1 tube each of Japanese 11/0 seed beads in gray, 3 different colors of orange, black, white, any other 4 colors
1 tube each of Japanese 8/0 seed beads in gray or silver, black, white, orange, any other 4 colors
1 tube each of Japanese 6/0 seed beads in gray or silver, black, white, orange, any other 4 colors
5 gray-scale colors of delicas or 11/0 seed beads
Nymo D or C-Lon D thread in black
Nymo D or C-Lon D thread in yellow
two toggle clasps
.018” or .019” flexible cable wire
assorted 4mm, 6mm and 8mm beads in various coordinating colors, including grays and oranges in your mix, as well
big bowl and a bowl-full of assorted beads
Size 10 English beading needles
Bees wax
scissors
beading dishes or trays
any kind of graph paper
work surface or pad
colored pencils
a few clasps, (toggles are easy to work with)
some crimp beads
crimping pliers

BEADING CALISTHENICS #7:
Composition in Gray and Gray

5 gray-scale colors of delicas or 11/0 seed beads
gray colored Nymo or C-lon thread, size D
yellow colored Nymo or C-lon thread, size D

You can use an existing peyote, brick stitch or loom pattern, or create your own. Try to use or create a pattern that is about 3 inches square. Assign your colors using your 5 gray-scale colors of delicas or 11/0 seed beads.

Evaluate your resulting bead-weaving:

To what extent have you been able to create obvious or desired boundaries between sections or forms within the piece?

To what extent have you been able to create a sense of dimensionality, or forward/receding qualities?

To what extent have you had control over the lines, forms, sections and other design elements, using only gray?

To what extent have you been able to achieve an energy/vitality within the piece, as if it had been multi-colored?

Additional Exercises:

1. Repeat the pattern, using your 5-gray-scale bead colors, and use a bright yellow Nymo or C-Lon Size D thread

2. Repeat the pattern, and substitute a rich colored blue or red bead for one of the grays, plus the other original 4 colors of gray, and the gray Nymo or C-Lon thread

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Best Way To Thread Your Needle

Bead Stringing With Needle and Thread

Beading Threads vs. Bead Cord

Turning Silver and Copper Metals Black: Some Oxidizing Techniques

Color Blending; A Management Approach

Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry: What Works!

What Glue Should I Use When Making Jewelry?

When Choosing Colors Has You Down, Check Out The Magic Of Simultaneity Effects

The Color Effects of Threads

Wax, Wax, Wax

When You Attend A Bead Show…

When Your Cord Doesn’t Come With A Needle…What You Can Do

Duct Tape Your Pliers

What To Know About Gluing Rhinestones

Know Your Anatomy Of A Necklace

How Does The Jewelry Designer Make Asymmetry Work?

How To Design An Ugly Necklace: The Ultimate Designer Challenge

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.
Of special interest: My video tutorial THE JEWELRY DESIGNER’S APPROACH TO COLOR

Add your name to my email list.

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Beading and jewelry making have been wonderful adventures, from custom work, production work, and teaching. *Design is about the ability to make smart choices.

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Warren Feld

Warren Feld

Beading and jewelry making have been wonderful adventures, from custom work, production work, and teaching. *Design is about the ability to make smart choices.

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