A Little Help From My Friend

margaret zinser glass maze beadsMy close friends alway provide me with inspiration. The things they say, the art they appreciate and their general view of the world seem to inspire my thoughts and my work endlessly. And since most of my close friends are glass artists they provide even an even more influential source of inspiration with the work they create. That couldn’t be more true of my friend, Margaret Zinser who has been solidly inspiring me since we met about a year ago. Margaret makes several beautiful and inspiring series of beads but her maze beads turned my head inside out when I saw them. These are a few of Margaret’s maze beads from my collection.

jc herrellglass maze beadHer mazes are all solveable. She puts a lot of intricate, detailed effort into these beads and the process takes several days. And that highlights a major difference between Margaret and myself: I am not patient enough to spend that kind of time and energy on such a process. Not for me. But I LOVE the lines. They speak to me. The logic and sense are beautiful to me… so it wasn’t going to be too long before that inspiration would flavor my own work.

My work has always been heavily flavored with straight lines. There’s just something I like about them! But what really excited me about Margaret’s lines were the perpendicular intersections. So I started playing with stringer applications like her mazes, but I never bothered to make them solvable, figuring that was too close to math for me (and trying to do math while managing a hot bead… just not going to happen).

wmc070619a3.jpgSo I made non-mazes and played with background colors, lusters and shapes in an effort to make something I could call mine. I wasn’t happy because I felt designs could be so much cleaner and they didn’t feel like they contained enough of me.

So I decided to take the stringer mazes to boro where I tried a few new techniques and considered making a few pendants… but my stoke for it just wasn’t there. I felt like I was pushing a heavy idea through jello.

And so I let the idea sit in the corner for a little bit. I didn’t pay much attention to it until one day I was looking at the non-maze beads and I started to see a brick wall pattern. And then the stoke returned and I found that I was celebrating that perpendicular intersection that I loved in Margaret’s mazes so much… but in a way I felt was mine.
jc herrell brick wall pattern glass beads And now that wall pattern has become a member of the design palette. When I’m creating without a blueprint it will occasionally pop out of the idea book and onto a bead… a perfect finishing touch or even a last minute save for a design gone wrong.

wmc070619a7.jpgJC Herrell is a glass artist who blogs from her home studio in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. See more from JC at JCHerrell.com or jcherrell.blogspot.com


One Response to “A Little Help From My Friend”

  1. sarebear Says:

    WOW, I LURVE these!!!

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