Beading Down Memory Lane: The Garden Gate Bag
For the first seven or eight years in my beading life, in the decade of the 1990s, I taught myself from the pages of books and magazines. As Bead and Button began to carry ads I entered a new and exciting phase in my beading life - finding bead shops, bead shows and bead classes. One of these in my area was Forestheart Studio down in Thurmont MD, where Mary Klotz presided over a triple delight of beads, fibers and glass.
It was there I took my first beading class with Delinda Amura, making her "Beyond the Gate" bag. As soon as I saw the photo advertising the class I had to have it (a reaction that was to recur with a generally exciting but also financially debilitating frequency).
It was interesting to take a class where everyone was teaching and learning about beading. Also bead gossip - some of the students were from the livelier, more active Washington DC beading scene. And Delinda was great fun: patient, with a great laugh, and her work! She was at the time doing passementerie that simply stunned me. Today one can find amazing, intricate work at the press of the "Go" search button but back then such eye candy was scarce.
Her pattern, which I still have, was mostly text, something I suspect would not work so well today, though I go back and forth on the text/images balance in creating bead patterns.
She recommended we bead with silk thread and, for a number of years after, that was my thread of choice. However, the piece fell apart after a while because of it, which gave me the opportunity to make it again (which should surprise none of us in the beading world) and fix the mistakes.
So here it is with the clever fence posts and twining blooms.
I feel fortunate that Delinda's was the first beading class I ever took.