This event remains crystallized in my mind like a fly in amber, and may have not been what happened at all… Elise and I had just finished constructing the first all metal tube bead cutter on her deck, when we spotted a small green inch worm making its way across the deck railing. We took the insect inside for closer inspection under the light on the studio desk.
A small lump of light green clay, close to the color of the bug, made its way onto a bead mandrel, and instead of cutting all the way through the clay with the cutter I scored the clay lightly. Elise picked up the clay and twisted it to make a “worm” bead, handed it to me and when I tried to give it back- she made a gesture as in “Keep it it is yours.” We put the inchworm back outside and the bead in the oven.
Hundreds of “worm” necklaces later, in different scales, different transparencies, different color ways- I remain fascinated by the twisted beads’ ability to help establish strong, somewhat mischevieous stringing rhythms.