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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

My Mother Always Said Ideas Come in Waves

I remember it clearly. Two of my sisters and I were sitting down to watch the first Gremlins movie. Once again. It's great, that movie is. During the commercial break, my mom said that she'd once had the idea for almost the exact same plot. It was a couple years prior to the release date for the film, but she'd never gotten much further than thinking up the plot, and maybe scribbling it down. She'd long stopped writing stories by that point and had moved on to other forms of art.

Somebody in Hollywood hadn't passed up the idea though. And thus a classic film was born.

I'm 100% positive that there are other people out there, like my mother, who wish they'd been able to get the story out there first. I've seen it happen in beadweaving as well.

In 2008, I made this necklace out of a plumbing repair kit:

Fire Powered Plumbing. 2008.

I've also made many many other similar pieces in the years since. This one got published in Bead Magazine in 2011 I think. It was part of a Winter Sparkle Special.

Ice Circles. 2010.

And now, my brick stitched and embellished washers look more like this:

Pastel Teardrop. 2018.

Okay, so it's not a washer, but I'll bead around anything with a hole or holes in it. See:

Acrylic Beaded Fan Pendant. 2015.

Embellished Gears. 2015.

Brick Stitched Box Chain Pendant. 2016.

Button Ring Pendant. 2018.

The button piece above is closely inspired by a piece made by Leslie Rogalski, which appeared in Bead Unique in early 2009 or late 2008. However, both of us came up with very similar brick stitched and embellished washers and o rings. Coincidence? I think not. Ideas come in waves. 

The two of us have continued to create variations on a theme all this time as well. My pieces have evolved some, and so have hers I'm sure. The difference? She's been published many many times and I have not. I got one in, but I wasn't the first. And I won't be the last. Neither will I get the credit for starting that trend, because who can make a claim to that?

A simple Google search for 'beaded washers' will produce thousands of results now. At the time? Not so much. If I'd been smart, I could have busted my butt to be THE person known for it. But alas, the time for that is long gone. 

Yet, I still greatly enjoy making these pieces. Not quite as ambitions as my first few, mind you, but enjoy them I do. And so do many many other artists long after the appeal of the technique has caught on. Plenty of brick stitched circular designs exist. Because we've all been riding this wave. Some of us just caught it first. Others, like myself, didn't make it but never gave up. I enjoy the swim just as well.

What fantastic ideas have you had that passed you up?

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