Friday, October 25, 2013

Beading Zentangle Style

For the most part, the art of bead weaving involves a lot of structure and pattern. In order for a beaded piece to stay together, the building blocks must fit together to make it work. That pretty much pertains to the beads themselves, but when it comes to the color of a project, the same holds true from a design perspective. So not only is the actual physical bead important, but the color of the bead in a particular position in that structure also matters. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, thank goodness there are people who write patterns to guide us in this part of the process.

I beaded for a long time without knowing how to read a peyote stitch chart. It seemed like it would be too mathmatical and predictable. Although once I did, I really enjoyed watching the pattern come alive in my beads. Here is an example of a peyote band created with a color chart that I followed:

I had the idea to make a very skinny peyote stitch wrap (one that would go round my wrist 3X) using the chevron pattern you see here. However, I forgot to bring my chart pattern home so I could follow it and end up with the pattern you see.

Well, well. What to do? I was really wanting to get started on it, so I decided to approach it like piece of Zentangle® art. I knew if I winged it without my written pattern, sometimes I would get the pattern right, and sometimes I wouldn't. That would just have to be ok. If one of my chevrons didn't pan out, I shrugged a "Watt-eva" and moved on. What came out was really fun for me... I love it. I love its random, yet structured nature.


  1. Oh, or should I say, OHL! Could I please buy a Carol Ohl beaded bracelet? I love the random look too. When it is a perfect chevron, you look quickly and move on, but the random design requires the viewer's attention much longer...I also have problems with symmetry in my "tiles". I have to have randomness to enjoy my own creations. I taught my eighth grade boys to create chevron bracelets with colorful strings. It spread throughout the school. I wasn't aware of Zentangle then but if a student came to me upset because he had messed up, I would just say "just keep going; it will be a pause in your design and it might even add interest..." So, my dear, what an INTERSTING, gorgeous, bracelet!
    Thanks for sharing it and I hope you can sell me a random, Carole Ohl design beaded bracelet!

  2. Carole, this is beautiful! I love the random look and the colors you used. I thought about you when I took my first bead class on Monday night and made a Leather Wrap bracelet. So much fun! Which I could come to your store and learn from you!

  3. I so agree with you about color placement in beading. When I'm designing a new piece, I often stitch up a few triangles from your Kaleidoscope Quilt cuff - they're the perfect vehicle to test color interaction!

    This wrap bracelet would be so much fun to wear! The perfect intersection of beading and tangling!

  4. i like the tangled version much better than the patterned one! the colors are gorgeous too!

  5. I love freeform and random patterning,picking and up whatever bead appeals at the moment.I zone out and generally love the result.

  6. Thanks, everyone:) Here is a link to the pattern if any of you beady tanglers would like to make one!


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