2018 Schedule for Speakers & Events

July is Dark for the Bead Society

Saturday, August 25, 2018 - Carol Perrenoud

hand seqing needles

Header Image Credits: Carol Webb, Mountain-Robbins, Annette Hernandez

The History and Manufacture of the Hand Sewing Needle (and the point is?)

The artist's statement: I often have to remind customers, students and myself that beads are just static but tactile pretty pieces of glass. What I do with them to make myself feel elegant or visibly put a smile on my face, or impress the viewer that I could do that with beads  - THAT is the art of beadwork.

"It's a relationship".  I hear or read that about artists in all mediums but what does it mean?  It does not mean that I am always in love wrapped-up in rapture about my work.  Sometimes I do carry a few bead in my pocket that are later at the bottom of the washing machine - a quick love affair, but then abandoned. Other days I can't wait to continue work on a project. I rush home from work heat up some soup for dinner the bead tray is on my lap, public television is on the TV for background and I'm at one with the universe. 

Other days I'm just the technician going through the motions, getting the job done. There are late hours and maniacal work. I lose sleep thinking "Is this the best way to continue for the sake of the piece? What am I going to do next? There are disagreements, but I win because I have an opposable thumb and can operate the scissors. "Am I doing the right thing? Should I give it more space, or discipline?" Other days I'd rather be hauling manure for the garden then have to look at THOSE beads.  But again, I am in it for the long haul. It is a relationship.


About the Presentation:
Many of our hand crafts are reliant upon the lowly hand sewing needle.  Carol will take you through the history in how needles were originally handmade, then will take you on a guided visual tour of the needle making factory in England and amaze you with many steps of production in making the lowly "I can't live without it" needle. Why do they break? Why do they bend? What is a Glovers needle and why are they so expensive? What is the difference between needles made in England and needles made in India? How long have metal needles been around historically and culturally what is their significance? And for goodness sake, I just want to be able to thread the darn thing!

Carol will also show images of her work and will end the talk with the short, "Going to Bead Camp"