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3/30: Inarticulate but pretty!

This post was going to be about thinking styles. [personal profile] azurelunatic and I were discussing the different brain processes in knitting and crocheting, and [personal profile] yourlibrarian and I were talking about pattern thinking and the autistic brain, and I was having Very Thinky Thoughts.

I riffed for a while on my brain, my making-of-things, my peculiar set of limitations and strengths. I took some photos. I coded some links, I wrote and deleted some sentences.

But it's a sunny Sunday in June. I had a bacon cheeseburger for lunch, I've spent my morning beta-ing the work of two writers, both brilliant, and you know what? My brain isn't up to the task of making coherent noises about itself.

So instead, here are some pretty pictures of beadwork, as metaphors for two modes my brain likes to use.

Brain mode one--crochet-brain, if you will--works out from a center, a small starting point.

detail of a multicolored beadwork hat

Here, the center was seven brick-red beads in a loop. There was no pattern, no plan. Just a set of colored beads, a needle and thread, and the number 7.

The seven-ness persists throughout as a characteristic of the technique. The only structure I imposed was to eventually stop increasing, so that a pillbox hat-shape formed.

detail of a multicolored beadwork hat

And then, hat! Made of 20,000 beads, one bead at a time. I don't even know what hit me. It was hypnotic and had a keep-going quality, and it was done when it was done. It was an entirely felt process.

image of completed hat, worn by DarkEmeralds a long time ago when she still had dark hair
(It was long ago.)

three views of a multicolored beadwork hat

Then there's the other way my brain works--knitting brain, if you will--where there's adherence to a detailed linear plan. A great deal of the effort happens before the real work begins:

beadwork depicting the Serenity logo, in progress, with the working pattern

The work is caged in a warp of threads (or on the needles, in the case of knitting), and basically there's only one way to go: beginning to end, in rows:

Serenity logo in beads, finished

It's done when the pattern says it's done.

These aren't the only brain modes in the world, obviously; just two that I can think about without my brain exploding.

A note on the hat pictures: taken with my Android phone, auto-uploaded to Google, auto-enhanced by Google's magic photo-correcting robot. I cropped and fiddled with them in the Google cloud editor.

I know this isn't the place to pimp Google, but their photo service is fantastic, and currently beating the new Flickr for ease of use and mobile compatibility.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 3rd, 2013 04:07 am (UTC)
Wow, this is beautiful work! You're very talented. I especially love the colors in the first one.
Jun. 3rd, 2013 04:50 am (UTC)
Thank you. It's strange--it's very easy to suppose that because the medium is roughly the same (e.g. beads or yarn) that the talent or thinking style is the same. At least, I've fallen into that trap all my life, completely without examining it.

And yet I know that writing fiction and writing policy, for instance, have very little in common despite the common medium of words.

I'm still considering what it all means. God, I can't wait to retire! Then I can think about stuff like this all day long.
Jun. 3rd, 2013 04:53 am (UTC)
PS: The story of the colors in the first one is that I invited my niece, at that time about three years old, to play with some of my bead collection. She picked out her favorites and glued them down on a sheet of brown construction paper. I would never in a million years have chosen the color combination that appealed to her, but it was gorgeous so I used it.

She was probably six by the time I finished the darn thing. She's, um...almost 20 now. :D
Jun. 8th, 2013 11:44 pm (UTC)
Haha - I completely understand. Time sure flies!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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