Orange Beadcurtain Redux
since the beads were covering the dining room table anyway...

Frances and I made a lot of orange beads for a commission; easily enough for three strands. This may seem wasteful, but for the sort of on-the-fly designs I do (which in the knit and crochet—even beaded peyote—world is called “freeform”) it's much easier to have a wide assortment of beads to choose from, as it makes transitions so much easier. And transitions (along with repetition) are what makes this technique work; ideally, you combine the two, smoothly increasing or decreasing along one axis or mode (say, size) while usually keeping most or all of the others the same, punctuated with contrasts for interest.

Beadcurtain strand. Live area is about 5’, with the leader left unfinished so the piece can be customized for its window. Strung 6–7 Jan, most of the lampwork manufactured in 2014, primarily from CiM clockwork. The striped green and orange vessel was inspired by a Jennifer Geldard class I took a long time ago[1] —the bead won't sell, and I wanted it to have a good home:)

This particular strand has especially long and lovely transitions in size (while retaining color, finish, transparency, i.e. translucency, and of course shape) mostly owing to the many, many beads available. Note particularly the orange sequences in the uppermost right: round textured (i.e. dotties) getting bigger, shifting to a lentil (with dots), then decreasing smooth lentil beads. The dotted lentil serves more as a pause than outright focal, with dots (bumps) connecting it to the left half of the sequence while the shape connects it to the right. Note also the pressed lentils are most kindly characterized as practice; but for this project, they're perfect because it's more important they decrease in size and read more or less as the same shape than be perfectly round in silhouette. [2]

Work in progress. S4/2015S4/20150218S4, 7Jan2015, 9:10am[3]

The 8/0s or 3mm spacers work just as spaces between words do; to allow you eye to see the individual lampwork as ‘words’, even while treating the sections as a phrase.[4] With a contrasting color you can set up a counterpoint to your larger beads, by gradually increasing, say, from 11/0 to 10/0 to 8/0 to 3mm to 4mm. Disk spacers can act like commas, semicolons or periods, depending on how contrasty they are.

I just love this stuff:)

[1]2004, making this bead approximately a decade old. Sheesh, times flies...

[2]At this point you're probably wondering why the leadup to the dotties isn't more nice and gradual: well, you caught me! It's because when I strung that I though I would do a faster, sharper size increase, jumping to a big focal must faster. I was too lazy (or moving too fast) to undo that; and honestly, these sorts of hiccups aren't that big a deal for bead-curtain strands, where minor goofs, ugly misshapen beads, etc., mostly disappear.

[3]Image & captions, added 22nov17.

[4]Carrying the metaphor further, a strand might represent a sentence (a long, wordy one in my case, with many sub-clauses) and the multiple strands a whole paragraph.