(Western New York USA)
Inspiration can come from the most unusual places. Recently, someone attempted to publicly denigrate my work on her blog by writing that I use a simple crochet stitch her mother taught her when she was 5 or 6. And that my bracelet cuff was overpriced.
I got to thinking about that. And she’s quite right in that the stitch I use in my wire crochet is the most basic of all the stitches. I too learned it when I was 9 years old. My grandmother, Albina Rose, taught me how to crochet on her front porch that summer.
I used to sit with her and tear fabric into strips, then sew them end to end and roll them into a big ball. She would then proceed to crochet rag rugs with her well worn wooden hook. 45 years later, I still have the little rug I made with her. And when she passed away at age 93 in 1988, all I wanted was her crochet hook.
How odd to think that because something is basic and simple it has no value. All techniques have simple beginnings. And their worth has nothing to do with their simplicity. We all learned how to paint when we were little. Putting paint to paper is a simple technique. It’s how it’s applied to your creation that matters. How you execute your work. Anyhow, I feel more often than not, that simplicity can be much more beautiful and elegant than complexity.
I have so many spools of wire with just enough wire left on them that it would be wasteful to throw out. But not enough wire to make a piece from beginning to end. When I saw this challenge I thought, what a great way to use up my left overs by making a cuff of many colors.
As I worked it, I noticed that it began to look like a rag rug and knew then that would be it’s name. I added seed beads of the same colors to give a little texture like a real rug would have. Then I used some leftover silver wire to make the toggle clasp. It’s much brighter than the colors I normally work with, but I am very pleased with the results. And the inspiration means a lot to me. Reminds me of my grandmother (who my business is named after) and that simplicity is beautiful and elegant.
Great story and pieces
I love how you did not let a detractor stop you from doing what you love and even finding inspiration in it. I love rag rugs, always have. Like you I think it is because of the history with them. Your bracelets may be simple but they are lovely.
Inspiring to ready your story about your special connection with a beloved grandmother and her legacy in your work. The Rag Rug cuff is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
A rung to climb up
by: CIndy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor
Sometimes when people try and knock you down a peg or two, all they end up doing is giving you another rung to climb up. Great project and even better inspiration. Loved this post!
I thunk your cuff bracelet is beautiful. The colors are gorgeous and would cheer anyone wearing it. I love the story about your grandmother.
rag rug (to a bull)
What an invigorating story, as good as your cuff.
I love to blend diferent colours together and this one is a lovely combo. I like your clasp as well. Good on you for being proud and strong
The person who said those things is the one to be pitied.
I think your cuff is wonderful and the colors are great. Basic is more….
I feel sorry for the person who put your work down, she probably does not like herself very much.
Karma my dear…karma.
Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I so appreciate it. 🙂
And yes, the person in question is a sad soul. The ‘critique’ on my work was just part of a malicious and offensive personal attack. I hope some day she can find peace in her heart. I take great comfort and satisfaction in finding a way to channel my energies into creating rather than tearing down. Because ‘what you focus on, increases’.
Love the colors used and the arrangement. What a person charges is personal. It’s a free country. Having said that… Happy to hear that you understand that “the worker is worth his [her] hire” and that you’re not underpricing to the point where someone who needs to make a modest monetary amount over the cost of materials can no longer do so.
Simplicity is Beautiful, too
by: Tracy May
I think that sometimes people lose sight of the fact that simple things, well made, are no less”difficult” to do than pieces all a flutter with “stuff”— the colours must work perfectly, no fudging, and the design has to be fabulous….. I get caught sometimes thinking, “oh that is too easy, or that is not fancy enough”, but I think the real thing is to be true to the styles you like best , can execute well and have the personal touch that will shine through…(likewise , if you are a person who thinks more is better… go for it, too!) The thing is to be true to yourself and to not let the negative people and naysayers get you down.
Sheesh, the older I get ,the less the so called rules and opinions of others matter and the more I see that we are all just trying to live our lives as best we can and being true and honest to ourselves is what really matters…
Tracy May , Whimsy Jewellery Design
by: Bev Carlson
Your piece and story made me think of many things. My sister-in-law’s Mother made beautiful rugs from most anything. I love visiting my other sister-in-law and see my old checkered outfit she used in her bathroom rug. My old coat is in a wonderful rug we have. And:
My best seller is a simple three ring mobius silver necklace. So simple and I’ve named it my “Signature Pendant”. All of my regular customers have one.
And: last I LOVE your cuff. Great work!
Rag Rug Inspiration
Your work is creative! Thank you for sharing your talent, your story as well as teaching your fellow artist, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the customer that purchases your work!
What a great story, thanks for sharing it. Do you sell the clasps you make? I love the one you used on this piece. Do you have a website?
THanks for all the nice comments. And Cory, yes, I do have a website. It’s www.albinarose.com. I made the clasp myself and certainly could make some to sell.
I have appreciated and enjoyed reading these comments. They have made me feel so warm on the inside. I took quite a “beating” last week from a very unstable person. Everyone told me to just ignore it, but my name and online shop were linked to the article, that was on her blog, facebook page and tweeted at least 7 times over the course of two days. I’m glad I fought back the right way and the two articles and a photo of me she was using were taken down.
I understand ignoring something when it’s the right thing to do, but this wasn’t one of those times.
And life goes on. Thankfully there are many more kind and considerate people than mean and malicous. Thanks again for the kind comments here. 🙂
by: here today beadworks
And Michelangelo JUST painted the church ceiling 🙂
Pure and simple
Sylvie, I love this bracelet and story – I too am a great appreciator of simple things, and things done the old-fashioned way.
Thanks so much for sharing this with us!
I also enjoyed reading everyone’s comments in this discussion!
And thank you for mentioning your site link, Sylvie – I’ve added it up above, at the end of your article.
“And Michelangelo JUST painted the church ceiling”
This gave me a chuckle. 🙂
Thank you, Rena! I love these types of discussions where we can share our views on techniques, inspirations, and how to elevate your work to the next level.
oh the comments some will make
I too have faced similar comments about my work, which, like yours, is very creative, enough so that several people in a very close proximity to my home have copied my jewelry so closely that you would ALMOST think that I made it. Not great for craft fairs!!! So I have moved on and continue to let my creativity rule. Like they say, copying is the best form of flattery.
by: Tracy May
Just checked your Etsy shop, your prices are great… boo hiss on your detractor
People can try to copy you. And they may succeed in copying your technique and item, but the piece will have no soul. Because when you have created something, the creator’s spirit is infused into your piece. Any copies will be like clones, an empty shell. They will look somewhat like the original but will have no soul and that is what differentiates the real creation from the copies. And thanks, Tracy. 🙂
Simple is Beautiful
by: Iva Deane
I love your bracelet-it is just beautiful. A nice toggle too.
Moved by your words and crocheted wire jewelry
by: Urban Woodswalker
I was so moved by not only your beautiful bracelet, but your words…that I went off to see your web site on etsy. I do not think your work is “overpriced” whatsoever, but even if it were….that idea is so objective to different people. It really has no substance when a person says that…only to be rude, and ignorant.
Those who crochet with thread or yarn would find that crocheting with wire is extremely arduous, can make the artisan’s hands ache (Mine do– arthritis), and the wire often has a will and spirit all its own that we have to coax and battle with. Your work..all of it is extremely beautiful and masterfully done. Price has nothing to do with it whatsoever!
I am saving your words here….they are so intelligent, I want to use them for times when people don’t understand my fondness for working with common found items, recycled ‘trash,” and using time honored techniques. Its what a person does with these “simple” things…that gives new meaning and creativity. Keep on doing what you love.
I absolutely LOVE your bracelet and especially your story that goes along with it. Some people can be so negative! Way to rise above the negativity. Keep doing what you’re doing, your work is AMAZING!
by: Hilma Johnson
Your bracelet is outstanding! I personally love it – and would wear it with pride. Great use of leftovers and it is a pleasure to look at – not only jewelry but a piece of art! Thank you for inspiring me.