Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sometimes you've got to have faith...

Today's post is about my Kanagawa Wave Bangle, made for Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Vol. II

Kanagawa Wave Bangle
It started with a sentence in the Basics section, obsessing me since the day I saw it:

'If you place the final bead of your round and skip passing through the bead from the previous round [...] you will transform the work from circular to spiral.'

CGB Vol. I, page 25 Paragraph 4.  

I wanted to make a spiralling triangle when I read that. But when making it, I found myself making something in between a Geobead, a design by Jessica Beels and a pillow bead like those made by Carol Huber, available for free in one of those lovely free e-books proposed by Beading Daily, called 'How to make a beaded bead'.

Geobeads by Jessica Beels
This brought me back in memory another design by Jessica, published a few years ago in Beadwork magazine... a croissant.

Beaded Croissant by moi
Suddenly inspiration hit me like a lightning bolt: waves! Big waves around my wrist, waves like those in Katsushika Hokusai's artwork 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa' - I was sure that it would work thanks to the flexibility of the  MRAW bellyband in the center. But I had no idea how to find the right size. so I just went for it, with a very unusual number of units at the start...

It felt like wing suit flying. You know, those guys who jump off the cliffs with a pinguin-like suit... (and a safety parachute).

I like this picture of one of them a lot, he looks like a little fly near this Jesus:

I knew that only when completely finished, the wave would be visible... You can see it taking the shape only when you reach the very last rows of the work. So  either it would be ok, or a disaster - I really feared not having started with enough MRAW units...the bangle would have been too small in this case... It was a relief to see the adorable little waves finally curve... YAY!!!
Close-up of Kanagawa Wave Bangle

The Great Wave - Hokusai
The little horns on both sides appear to not only be necessary for the aspect (they represent a smaller wave and Fujiyama Mount far in the distance) but also for balance and keeping the bangle flat.

It makes me think of Mandy Hale's words:

"You don't always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens."


  1. So amazing where this led you, love the great and little waves...

  2. I love the way you took bits from multiple things you've learned. My mind is spinning with the possibilities. The scuba diving section of my brain has it's own ideas. This is very inspiring. Any chance you'll put a tutorial on your etsy site?
    Thank you for sharing your work and your process,
    Kathy Young

    1. Hi Kathy, thank you for your comment! I am in the process of writing a tutorial and will put it on my etsy site but it should also be available from the book, CGB Vol. II - so for now I can't say when it will be listed.

  3. Excellent in every way! Love the waves! Love your creative journey!

  4. That design is absolutely stunning! The result is a wonderful tribute to The Great Wave and your execution is flawless. What an inspiration you are! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    1. Thank you Patricia and... welcome, welcome, welcome :D

  5. Wonderful! And you were inspired by a real classic of Japanese art.

  6. One of my favourite images translated into beads I could look at this for ages. Thank you for a brilliant piece of work

  7. I have stumbled upon this on facebook and left a comment. It is adorable. I would love to make it. Maybe one day you might publish a pattern although I know how much work patterns like this are.

    1. Hello dear Cloudnina, thank you for your comment! You can find a free pattern for this bangle in my Craftsy store. Just click on any of the patterns you can see in the side bar at the left of this page to bring you there.

      Happy beading!

    2. Thank you! I was blind. I have only looked at the pattern you have for purchase. Thanks so much for sharing this pattern for free. Great. I am quite happy. :)

  8. your website is wonderful, let alone the content material!
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