Natural Design Talent
Yes, even a kid can put beads on a string.

Over and over and over I've ranted how people denigrate stringing, because it's ‘so simple even a child can do it.’ Well, yes, indeed they can, as this post proves. But it points up another, less known theory proposed (or at least promulgated) by Betty Edwards: kids often have stronger design sense than adults.

There's a couple of reasons for this. A big one, of course is that most children have not yet learned that art is something only special, “artistic” people can do—they're not afraid of failure. Another advantage is that they're not burdened with what I feel are the artificial restrictions that constrain many adults: they're unconcerned with rigid symmetry, and their sense of color is much more free-wheeling. Moreover, the societal symbols—e.g. vulgarity, and other status markers—are absent from their vocabulary. Without exception, all the children loved the ‘red ruby’ beads the best. And without exception, every child who had two of them put them together as a unit (I missed photographing some pieces, unfortunately.)

All of these necklaces were strung by children 5 to 10 years of age.


The three beads in the center are the stringer's first effort at lampwork, and again, I was impressed by the kid's focus on basic shape: most beginning beadmakers want to skip the dull old discipline of learning to make a good basic bead to move on to more exciting decoration. However this child was very focused on making beads, which is unusual.

I could go on and on but you get the point: kids naturally break stringing down into levels: lay out rough design (most of them started with the center focal, even if it didn't stay centered) then fill in with sequences. This is an excellent method for designing any kind of linear jewelry.

post created 28dec06.