Thursday, March 31, 2011

Beadwork as Meditation

by Jennifer VanBenschoten

Ask anyone who knows me well, and they'll tell you that I'm scattered.  All you have to do is take a look at the current state of my beading table to see for yourself:

But somehow, out of all that chaos, I can take a pile of beads with a needle and some thread and create something of beauty, even if the finished product itself seems to be a bit chaotic:

When I first started beadweaving, I was amazed that those tiny little beads and long lengths of thread had the power to relax me the way that they did.  When I was beading, I found that I was totally focused on what I was doing, and any other worries or problems that I had seemed to just melt away while I immersed myself in the rhythm of the thread path.

Even now, over fifteen years since I first picked up bead and needle and thread, I still think it's wonder that beads have the power to relax and focus me.  In a world where things seem to be zipping past at lightning speed, it's so important to find something that you love that makes you slow down and really pay attention.

There's something very Zen-like about the repetition of the needle moving through the beads as I work.  And there's the transformative aspect of the work as well: I start out with a pile of beads and some thread, and I end up with a piece that is definitely more than the sum of it's parts.

Is there a particular aspect of handmade work that appeals to you? 


Marie Cramp said...

I find that making projects with wire is very soothing. I can sit with my kids in front of the TV, watch a movie and let my hands do the work! Bliss!

D'Arsie Manzella said...

I love to see your pile of beads! It's amazing that all that transforms into such beauty with your skill. I feel that zone when I'm sculpting. I get so close to the work, everything else disappears for a while.

Regina said...

I feel that way about my beading too, it is therapeutic! it is meditation! it is time for me and my thoughts and my beads. I might have music or the TV on low in my bead room, but it is usually something I can listen too without taking my eyes off the beading. It is magical!

Patty said...

You hit it on the head, Jen - focus, that's the thing. I'm glad you've found your Zen. I think that both of our work tables could use an intervention, however.

Kelli said...

WOW!!! I thought my work table was "chaotic"! :O I constantly think I need to organize it.. straighten it up. But I find when I walk into the studio, I just want to get lost in creating. Organizing doesn't de-stress me. Creating does. I don't worry about anything, or feel stressed when I'm creating. I just get lost in the process. It's total BLISS!!

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