When I found out that the last challenge for the year was about peace and the winter Olympics I thought it was a great choice. I don’t know about other beaders but for me, beading gives me some peace. It may sound strange but it’s true. I find that whenever I get agitated or worried, I bead and even though it doesn’t take away the problem behind the agitation, it calms me down enough to think it through. And sincerely, I’d like to believe that other beaders experience the same thing with their craft too, if not, how else can you explain the result of the beautiful works that were created for the challenge? (or the bulk in your shops????)
On a serious note though, beads are a lot more related to peace than we really care to know. In ancient times, rulers and kings used precious stones and precious metals to achieve certain levels of calm in order to remain rational in their daily dealings. These stones were woven into amulets in jewellery forms so that they could carry them with them all the time. Yes, jewellery didn’t get invented for just accessorizing (and kings and rulers used them more than the women); they were a fancy way to wear amulets without looking ridiculous.
We all know that there is the belief that precious stones carry certain energies with them. You know, Agate inspires fidelity, strengthens eyesight and helps to relieve thirst. Blue Topaz stimulates the creative thinking process and helps us to verbalize our thoughts. Cat’s eye offers a feeling of serene happiness. It stimulates awareness and intuition, allowing the wearer to gain insight and thus find balance in the evolutions and transformations that life brings…..and the list goes on.
Whether we believe in the magical properties of materials we use in our creation or not, the joy of taking plain looking materials and creating something beautiful out of them must, to a certain level, bring a measure of contentment and hopefully peace (if only for the moment of admiring one’s work) to the creator.
I know that when I saw the theme for the challenge it made me purposely consider what peace meant to me. And just like I said in the beginning of this article, peace is something I overlook most of the time even though in my subconscious I think and want it all the time.
My daughter provided me with the idea for the piece I had submitted for the challenge. When I thought back to how she came up with the idea, I realized that to a certain extent, Mahatma Gandhi captured her insight on it beautifully “ Each one has to find his peace from within….”
So to those of you that took the challenge, may the peace you gleaned from within to inspire your creation remain with you….and for the rest of you, may peace follow and remain with you all. Happy New Year! See you at the next challenge.