Thursday, April 23, 2009

What's in a Name?

Sometimes I think of a name while I'm still making a bracelet or necklace, and other times it seems like I'll never find the right name for my beadwoven pieces. I like being able to find names that have meaning or that somehow relate to the look of the piece, so I'll sometimes look at baby name websites so I can find a name that works. I've even tried some of those fantasy name generators, but I haven't used any of the names yet.

In a few instances, when I've used a focal bead created by another artisan, I've incorporated the artist's own name or the artist's name for his/her creation into my piece's name: Lisa's Heart (a herringbone bracelet that features a raku button made by Lisa Peters), Over the Moon (a multi-strand necklace that features lampwork beads made by Moon Stumpp), and the Natasha Necklace (which features a gorgeous polymer clay bead, called a Natasha bead, by Dee Wilder of Malodora).

Do you spend a lot of time thinking of names for your creations? Where do you look for them? I'd love to know how other people come up with their names!

One of my newest creations, Aglaia, was named for one of the three Graces, from Greek mythology. The name means "beauty" or "splendor," and I thought it was a fitting name for this brilliantly colored twisted ndebele rope. This piece combines deep dark magenta with orange-lined citrine colored beads to create a versatile accessory that can be worn as either a necklace or a bracelet. And this time I made matching earrings!

This was another piece that wasn't really planned (I seem to have a lot of those) but just demanded to be made when I happened to see these beads next to each other. The combination of colors is amazing, don't you think?

I'm not really that familiar with Greek mythology, so I had to do some hunting for the name. For some reason, I keep tracking down Greek names for these twisted ndebele ropes.

Another new piece, which isn't quite finished yet, is this Luscious Lavender and Pearl necklace. I'll admit I didn't really put much thought into that name. It's a custom order for a very special repeat customer, and I was more concerned with getting to work on it and getting it listed than I was in tracking down just the right name. Sometimes a descriptive name works, right?

I love making these oglala pieces. After several of them, I think I've finally figured out the right "formula" to get the length I want. They're really pretty simple to make, and it's fun to play around with different colors and different focals. In fact, I have a bunch of bigger beads I purchased specifically to use for some oglala pieces... now if I only had the time to get them made!

Here's a spring-themed cuff that was no problem at all to name: Shasta Daisies. Oh, if they were all this easy... :-) But then that would be boring, wouldn't it?

The latest piece to exit my beading board is the one that brought up this whole naming question. The idea for the colors in this caterpillar bracelet came from my friend Deb DiSalvo of ArtisticFlair (fused glass artist extraordinaire!). Deb suggested that I do a caterpillar in black, white, and red (coincidentally some of my favorite colors), and I finally got around to working on it. It's hard to tell from the photos, but the base of this bracelet is made from black-lined smoke colored beads. They wound up being almost completely hidden by the 342 fringes I added. Yes. 342. I counted them. :-)

Anyway, after looking through baby names, flower names, coral names, Welsh names, Swedish names, and French names (whew!), I finally settled on Galadriel. I'm a huge fan of J. R. R. Tolkien, and Galadriel was a Noldorin elft princess renowned for her beauty and winsdom in his novels. The names means "maiden crowned with a radiant garland," and that just seemed to fit this piece. Don't you agree? Hey Deb, whaddya think???


Melody Marie Murray said...

What a fun entry, I enjoyed it immensely!

I am also a huge JRRT fan, and must admit that Galadriel as caterpillar stopped me in my tracks for a second, but then made me laugh. I think she would approve- pass the test, if you will.

Have you heard Rob Inglis' narration of the Tolkien books? I can't say enough about how over-the-top wonderful they are- like your beadwork.

Deb DiSalvo said...

Why are you doing this to me?! Now I want that one too! LOVE, love, love it!!!!! You totally rock, girlfriend!

TiLT said...

I love hearing how people come up with the names :)

Beautiful creations! Love the purple & orange twisties...or should I say Aglaia

Carol Dean said...

I love how you name your pieces...I'm sadly stuck in the rather descriptive mode for mine. My left brained self can't stretch that far ;D Beautiful new pieces, MaryLou, every last one of them!

Hot Rocks said...

Such gorgeous mouthwatering pieces! I love Aglaia, Luscious Lavender and Shasta Daisies. I can relate to you regarding the naming of pieces....sometimes the name just pops into my head as I am creating a piece, and other times it seems as though I will never come up with a suitable name for a design! As you know I use songs for naming my creations, so I go through all my CDs, sometimes I will hear a song and make a note of the title for later use, and other times I will do some research online for song titles that I like.

Kristin at My Art and the Mom in Me said...

I am always amazed at the intricacy of your work!! Really beautiful pieces!!

Anonymous said...

Love the twisting bracelet and earrings! They are just so gorgeous! You make me feel guilty, I don't put that much thought into the titles of my pieces, but I love what you come up with.

storybeader said...

I love your work, and it's so varied! I guess we all have a time with names. Since I write a haiku for my necklaces, I usually take something from the poem for the name. I just finished my first peyote stitch rope necklace, and called it "Virgin Beader" {{blush}} Had no idea I was going to call it that, until I wrote the haiku!

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

What a terrific description of your naming process! I love the pop of that tangerine and grape set, those colors were meant for each other!