I've been enjoying making rings out of wire (see my posts in April and August), but recently saw a technique for making beaded cluster rings. I was a little skeptical. Bead rings seem to me to be like stretchy bracelets - very pretty, but slightly too simple. I fear I am becoming a bit of a craft snob!
After all, does a craft really have to be technically challenging to have worth? Surely, the beauty and practicality of the finished product is far more important than the number of hours it takes to create? I've lost count of the number of times I have seen a crafting project idea, and wondered why anyone would make it, other than for the pleasure of making something. For example, I've never quite seen the appeal of knitted vegetables. My apologies if you are one of the many people who have a passion for these, but I just can't quite see the point. They aren't particularly decorative and can surely only have limited appeal as toys. They must simply be hugely satisfying to make.
Which brings me back to my dilemma. Where is the worth in craft? Is it in the finished product, or is it in the creation process? I've come to two conclusions. First, the value of craft is wherever the crafter chooses to place it. Crafting can be hugely personally rewarding, and for many people that is enough. But my second conclusion is that I am a largely practical person, and for me craft needs to have a purpose as well as being satisfying to make.
So, enough of the philosophising! Bead rings may lose out on "creation satisfaction", but they make up for it with the beauty and usability of the finished piece - I should worry less and get on with making!
This second ring was made in the same way, but using lapis lazuli chips to form the cluster. The rings are easy to put on and take off, because the glass beads rotate along the finger as you do so. However, I discovered that using elastic thread, rather than mono-filament, makes for a more comfortable wear. I'm also experimenting with using seed beads for the ring's body, to create a more delicate look for slim fingers.
The most important thing I learned from all of this? Stop thinking about it, and get on and make something!
The lapis cluster ring is available for sale in my Etsy shop.