Could French seed bead flowers have anything in common with ballet?
If you wanted to be a tap dancer, jazz dancer, Irish-step dancer, gymnast, or even a modern-dance dancer – you must learn excellent technique before anything else. For all these kinds of dance, the best place to develop superior technique is in ballet class. There, you will learn to point your feet, to stretch your back as long and supple as it can be, the right way to carry your head and how to make your arms move as gracefully as the neck of a swan. After you have mastered this, you can then modify a classic ballet move into a wild jazz leap – because you now know how to do it correctly.
For the construction of French beaded flowers, you also must learn excellent technique. And, in my opinion, what is the one most important technique for this art?
Rule # 1 – Keep a straight basic wire.
It sounds so easy. Naturally you will keep a straight basic wire, you say. Easiest thing in the world, isn’t it? For someone who has never done French bead flowers before, this can be a stumbling-block.
How do you stop a basic wire from going wrong in the first place? Here are a few hints. 1 – Have a tack or nail fastened into a cutting board for a working surface. Wrap the top of a very long basic wire around that. Keep tension on the leaf or petal as you wrap the spool wire around the top basic wire. 2 – As you are about to wrap the spool wire around the top basic wire, tug on the top basic wire. Wrap the spool wire, and tug the top wire again. Turn the piece over to check if the wire is bending in either direction. 3 – Learn to work with the beads and wire a little bit on their terms. If you can’t fit another bead in the row that you’re about to wrap, the top wire can bend to one side just a little bit on that row, as long as you straighten it back up the next time you come up to the top basic wire, and if the overall look of the petal or leaf is straight.
Once you have finished a few rows on your piece, turn it over and see if the wire is looking straight. If it isn’t, the best solution is to take it out and try it again. Try it a few times without pressuring yourself too much. Don’t worry about making a misstep; that’s the best way to learn. It’s only little glass beads and metal wire – they are gentle teachers. This is a whole new project for your mind, your heart and your hands.
Give yourself a chance and plenty of time, and before you know it you’ll be making perfectly straight basic rows. After that – If you want to make a flower with petals that curve in unusual directions, you will be able to control it and get the look you want.