Thursday, May 19, 2011

Poems from the Bead Table: Polymer Clay

Hey there Blog,

Want you to meet another guy I know. He is the Bead Poet. He has a preference for seclusion and isolation. He may at times seem a little reclusive with a disposition for solitude and loneliness. But such detachment or alienation does not mean that his privateness defines who he is.  I mean, I don’t really know everything about this adrift and melancholy guy. But he was very instrumental in helping me look less dull and uneventful for Heather. With his help I hope she sees me more edgy and amazing.

And like the Bead Thief and the Bead Mystic, the Bead Poet likes to share his notes, sketchbooks, notebooks, and journals with me. I found this poem in one of his notebooks.
In so much as for his apparent bleak demeanor, he can at times be a funny, cheerfully absorbing poet. I mean, some of his poems are down-right hilarious.
I hope that was his intent. It’s funny, right?

Poems from the Bead Table: Polymer Clay

Oh Polymer, Oh Polymer
From whence has Thou cometh?
Thy Plasticity vexes Me
Like a Novice Bead Newcomer

I hold Thee, I mold Thee
My Hands roll Thou unto Shapes
Odd Spheres full of Finger Prints
Deep Impressions I only see

For Thou lends Thyself unto endless Possibilities
Thy arriveth in numerous Colours
Blend together unto infinite Hues
Ending Mine Bead-making Disabilities

Am I a Bead Maker or an Aspirant Dreamer?
Knowing Thee leads Me to embrace Patience
Constant Practice – so help Me Providence
Oh Polymer, Oh Polymer


That’s that Blog.

Oh Blog, if you see Heath, ask her if I am a little more edgy and amazing?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bead Mystic: The Lost Interviews

Hey there Blog, are you feeling alright?
I did not see much from you yesterday. Where were you?

Anyway Blog, I find myself here to share an interview I came across. It’s an interview between the Bead Thief, (you know him from earlier) and the Bead Mystic, (don’t know much about that fellow, but he sounds familiar). I couldn’t find the whole interview. It seems to be the tail end of the interview. In any event, here’s it is:

(The Bead Thief = TBF, The Bead Mystic = TBM)

TBT:     . . . . and it started that quick?

TBM:   Right! It’s hard to believe it all started with a question about the cost of drawing paper.

TBT:    Wow! Well that ends that. So, now to our next topic.
            It’s about inspiration; specifically when inspiration strikes. I mean, sometimes when I’m making beads inspiration strikes. And I want to leap up and write down or draw all my good ideas. But, if I do, I interrupt my art process of making beads; and if I don’t, I worry I will forget them.

TBM:  Well, making beads should always be inclusive and workable. In fact, a wholehearted mindful embrace of everything that arises in your head is the only path to true freedom.
            It is critical that all thoughts, including inspiring ones, be included while making art. So the moment when inspiration strikes while making beads; it becomes the perfect opportunity to put this vision of inclusiveness and workability to the test!

TBT:    So in turn, are there any tools that can affirm ones inspiring thoughts without letting them distract you from the focus of making beads?

TBM:   Sure, there are actually seven steps to achieve bead making enlightenment.
            Step 1: You make an agreement with yourself.
            Before beginning to make your beads, reflect for a moment on your commitment to bringing your inspiring thoughts into the art process when creating beads. Have a notepad and pen or your sketch pad and pencil next to your working area. Make an agreement with yourself that you will allow to record only one inspiring thought per creative session.

TBT:    Creative session? What do you . . . . .

TBM:   It’s the time you a lot yourself to making beads any given day.

TBT:    Ah, but trying to commit my thoughts and bringing them into heart while making beads seems somewhat of a daunting task. How would? . . . . How?. . . .

TBM:   Well, this leads to our next step.
            Step 2: The key is to focus your mind.

TBT:    Focus my mind! My mind is usually scattered. How do I focus?

TBM:   It is helpful to cultivate a degree of concentration and calm before bringing the awareness to thoughts and emotions. You may find it helpful to do this by focusing on the changing sensations of your breathing, how materials you are handling feel, on what you are listening to- be it music, birds outside or whatever is favorable for a while.

TBT:    Be calm. Breathe. The polymer clay in my hands- soft. Soft. It should feel soft. SOFT! It’s not getting soft. It’s not softer. . . Breathe.

TBM:   Yes. Step 3: Note resistance.
            Note resistance; because, it is uncommon to feel that making beads and thinking is an interruption of what should be happening. So start by becoming aware of any resistance to these thoughts. Do you feel it in your body? Where? In your hands as you mold the clay, in your eyes as you strain to see details, in your shoulders as you roll yet another bead. Are you experiencing tightness or tension in your mind? Include this resistance in the field of your awareness.

TBT:    So I write it down?

TBM:   No, No. First, you just want to be aware of it while making beads.
            Now on to Step 4:  Note fear.

TBT:    I'm usually not fearful while making art. At least, I’m not aware I am. What’s to be scared from while making beads; unless, it’s a very, very ugly bead. I mean a bead that just screams horror and pain. A bead that . . . . .

TBM:   Focus. Focus.
            What I’m talking about is that if you are worried that you will forget the thought, then fear has entered the picture.
                        It is critical that you also include this energetic experience of fear into your art making process. Where do you feel the changing sensations associated with fear? The emotional transition from resistance to fear is a wonderful opportunity to observe the laws of karma at work. Insight into the laws of cause and effect and the interdependence of the mind and body is an important aspect of art and bead making.

TBT:    Karma wha. . . . . interdepende . . . .what? How exactly?

TBM:   Well then, we’ll just lead ourselves into Step 5: Using a mental noting practice.  
            That is to say, are you the kind of person that tends to get excited when inspiration strikes? It may be interesting to examine what is happening. Mentally noting these feelings and reactions to your thoughts may help.
            Try; roll bead, roll.  And note: inspiring thought, excitement, thought; then again roll bead, flatten clay, roll again, press beads into molds.  And note: worry, fear, another inspiring thought, and so on.

TBT:     I’ll be trying, roll bead, flatten clay, roll bead, flatten clay.  

TBM:   So then, Step 6: Maintaining a sense of humor.

TBT:    Oh humor!  I can do humor.  I laugh at the sight of unfinished beads.  

TBM:   Well, by humor I mean, try giving the inspiring thoughts a humorous label as soon as they arise, like “Genius!”, “Einstein!”. . . .

TBT:    Yeah like, “That’s a good one!”, “Eureka!”, “Antonio Banderas!”, “Holy Sh. . . .”

TBM:   Keep it short. The simple label will not only help you realize the cyclical pattern of your thoughts, but by not taking your thoughts so seriously you will probably dilute any impulse to turn them into a problem.

TBT:    Right, I do have a tendency to turn my thoughts into problems.  

TBM:   And finally Step 7: As a last resort write down the thought.  If a thought keeps relentlessly recurring; document the inspiration on your notepad or sketchpad, maintaining awareness of each intention as you do so.  

TBT:    So just write it down.  Sketch it out. 

TBM:   The importance is that while you are making beads, you maintain an awareness of the intentions and sensations. The intention to open your notepad or sketchpad, to reach for the pen or pencil, the sensation as your arm moves, to reach for the sketchpad, hearing the scratch of the pencil on the paper.
            Be mindful.  And by making a place for inspiring thoughts while doing your art process of making beads, you affirm these thoughts and who knows, you may even get enlightened in the process.

TBT:    Wow!  So if I get an idea, write it down?  And if it’s a good one I should name it?  Relax, pay attention, focus and keep making the beads. Let those ideas become part of my bead making process.  Not bad Mr. Bead Mystic.   

Wish we had more time to talk some more about those two art students.

(This interview was adapted from an article that appeared in the Summer 2004 issue of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review with Gavin Harrison entitled: When Inspiration Strikes.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bead on the Table Wednesday

Hey Blog,
Just here working on pendants.  There are unpainted and I'm working on getting some color to them.  I heard Heather talking about Bead on the Table Wednesday or something like that, so I'm blogging today about my beads and to just get in the habit of blogging.
These a some of the ones I've done already. (And better photographed here.)  I took these pics. with Heather's Ipod.

Like I said, I have a bunch of unpainted ones.  I'm off to find 3 new pictures to inspire me and then I will paint these up.  So blog, which way is the Google?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Word to your mother

Hey  Blog, what's going on? Are you doing okay - everything cool? Say hello to your mom!

Just sending best wishes to all mothers out there in blogland. But specially to my mom.
Happy Mothers Day!
Man, the 70's were just fucking cool!
A photo of Mom and Dad at the beach. No matter how much my Dad shows off his pecks and his 'stache,  my Mom is really the only true center of attention.
Love you Mom.
Thanks Blog. Hope you can get this message to her.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Bead Thief

Hey There Blog,

It's me.

This time the Bead Thief has resurfaced. I mean, I have no problems with him; but, . . .uh, . . . the only thing that bothers me is his shirt.  It's the only unsettling part of that photo.  I mean, where's Waldo? (Thanks Jenny for the photo from back in our college days during a performance art piece.)

I was trying to get inspired this week, so that is why my bead thief/alter ego came to visit. So Heather was making these beads the other day for Beads on the Table Wednesday and my evil moustache was starting to twitch as I thought about how I could create my own pendants with some sketches. Now we joke about me stealing her ideas but really the Sketchy Pendants that I came up with are a collaboration between the both of us. 

So Heather suggested I get on the computer for inspiration and leave her the hell alone.  So I went onto this thing called the world wide web of the internet.  Have you seen this thing, it's huge?  I mean in 1993 when I was an avid internet surfer I thought I had finished reading it all - I mean there was nothing else to search.  But I guess it kept growing after I turned off the computer in 1993.

So after 3 hours of looking, inspiration stuck when Heather pointed out this cool shop on etsy, Sushi Pot Parts. (That's some of their vintage stuff in the photo above.)  And so from there I started sketching on clay and the end result are these little retro-inspired Sketchy Pendants.
So, that's it.  My latest creations, with a lot of help from Heather.  Okay, so much help they became a collaboration.  Because the only thing the Bead Thief really steals - is her heart.

See you later blog.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hello Blog...

So my wife is forcing me, I mean, asking me to do a blog or to blog or something of that sort. In any event, such a chore would be asking too much of me. My writing skills are not adequate yet alone sufficient to convey ideas, thoughts, insights, concerns, questions, or any informative knowledge communicated or received concerning any particular fact or circumstance for an ongoing discourse. But really am I to adopt a bibliographical analysis of issues in my life? Am I to explore abstract concepts? Am I to reflect on what is before my mind as I think? Am I to express ontological questions in a most narrow sense or in a spontaneous manner or in a serious representation/ interpretation to achieve an understanding of life’s significance?  Am I to sustain a  . . . . . . yeah, this is a bit too much!
 Pretentious much?

But really what do I blog about? Keep it simple. Keep it short. What did my wife say? Ah yes, blog about what inspires me; blog about that which entertains; blog about that which educates. Damn, I should have taken that Blog Seminar she teaches occasionally. I’ll try to stay within those parameters.

And so. . . . I blog.

Dear Blog,
The photo is of me. Heather took the picture. (Remember Blog, Heather is my wife) It’s me last month when Heather returned from the Bead Cruise. We spent all Sunday there in Galveston. I was told to smile. So I did.

So what else?  I had much fun. Heather had been gone for a week and I had missed her dearly. I drove from SA to Galveston that morning with both our girls. I put on my best Dr. Who shirt. I even shaved my face and cut my own hair. (I was going for a mohawk, but fat guys with curly hair shouldn’t have mohawks.) I end looking like popcorn head or something.

Anyway, blog you later


PS. No Dear Blog next time. Heather said blogs are not diaries. . . . . I know, you are more of a journal than a diary. And don’t personify a blog. A Blog is not a person. Blogs are not people.

Blogs are not people. . . . . . . Or are they?