Thursday, June 21, 2018

Welcome Wild Woman Beads!

Our first-time guest today is Meredith Jordan, designer and creator behind WildWomanBeads. Thank you for joining us, Meredith!

Pulling thoughts together to write this blog, I  had a good laugh as I tried to describe the almost whimsical way I go about creating a pair of earrings. Some of you are sure to laugh along with me as you recognize yourselves in my process. Let me start with the search for components.

There are so many gifted component artists in our bead community who keep upping their game at what they make for us to use in jewelry designs, and, most often, there’s  considerable competition to claim some for our own designs. I recently watched a show in which one component artist sold every component pair seconds after they posted. There must have been twenty or more designers following the show with trigger fingers itching to BIN.
As I have watched wonderful, colorful, creative components come into view and vogue, I made a decision that I would choose only components that truly made my heart sing. I knew I would never be the fastest person to BIN. I need to look at a component and pay attention to the colors, textures and design. If they make me come alive, gasp or jump for joy, I go for it and sometimes come out the winning binner. If they don’t make my heart sing, they weren’t mine to work with, no matter how much I may want something from that artist’s collection.

This takes time. Sometimes, to be true to my own ideas and designs, I have to pry my fingers off the keyboard before buying something just because it was beautiful. I have to train myself to listen for the “still, small voice” inside me that says, “Oh, yes, these are for you!”

This is my nature as an artist. I’m an introvert, and my reference point is necessarily an internal one. I simply ask myself, “Do these beads (or charms) bring me joy?”and wait for an answer. Doing this, I sometimes pass on some glorious components because, if I don’t swoon at the sight of them, they are obviously intended for someone else. On the other hand, I might come across something that rings my chimes, and I’ll leap, even if I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. It may sit in my collection for weeks or years until a day I open a box to find I already have the perfect bead for my next project.

Which brings us to a project. I have to be moved to create something by the intrigue of the components themselves (which is why choosing which components to use is such an important first step). I rarely carve out designated time to create. I can be in my nightgown, on the way to bed, when I take a last look at my table, and suddenly, it’s one in the morning, and I’ve just finished a new pair of earrings. Or I could be stumbling into the kitchen in the early morning, thinking about breakfast, when I glance at the table and discover that a new pair of beads is a delicious match for charms that have been sitting on my table for weeks.

It’s lunchtime before I look up again, and the pup is begging for a walk. It’s not this way all the time. Sometimes I brood over someone’s new beads, charms or headpins, trying to force myself to design something fresh. But the best of my designs come from those times when I just wait patiently for that inner voice to sound out. 

(This is also one of the perils of having an in-house studio through which I must pass to reach any other part of my sweet little home.)

If I’m making a pair of earrings, the beads will talk to me. I hear a very clear “No, that’s not it,” when I put something together that’s “good enough” but not quite what sets my heart to dancing. I’ll hear a sigh of relief when I take a piece apart and move the beads around until I find that sweet spot where it’s “just right.”

Here’s what I’ve learned in my 15 years as a designer: There’s a voice inside that guides my work: an inner compass, a muse, my True North. If I fall into a rabbit hole of wanting whatever is popular at the moment, whether components or designs, I may turn out something good, it may even sell, but I’m left without the sense of delight I feel when I’ve paid attention to the components that sing to me, listen to the beads speak, and find my way to a final design that I’m truly proud and happy to send off to a customer.

Of course, we all create in order to sell our wares, and I don’t mean to trivialize that as important to our lives and our families. I just mean to say the deep satisfaction found in living the artist’s way, or life, comes (at least for me) when I remain true to my own true creative nature, when I follow as it speaks to me, and when I humbly bow to honor the joyful artist that lives within.

I'm ending with a happy shout out to some of my favorite component artists, whose work inspired the earrings you see here: Cathleen Zaring, Kelly Luttrell, Kristi Bowman, Paula Kroft. Vincent and Nooma Cav, Emily Ciaurro, Jana Severin, Sasha Crow, Kristin Louthan, Jeni Houser Alasad, Sabrina Koebel, Carolyn Driver, Helen Backhouse and Nicola Morse!

Thank you for stopping by today. 

Meredith Jordan - Wild Woman Beads
Wild Woman Beads on Facebook
Meredith Jordan on Pinterest


  1. How wonderful to see you here Meredith! I love reading your post as I so recognize myself in your story about searching for components.
    Your designs are a wonderful harmony of components and your talent.

  2. I so look forward to seeing your latest creations! They always have a special glow..a special's like the future owner's heart speaks to yours...and together co-creation occurs.. It's obvious to me when I look at them that each of the components speak to you about their belonging together!

  3. Welcome, Miss Meredith! You have a way with those beautiful art beads, so I say...keep on talking to them! I enjoyed reading about your design process and philosophy. I hope that we can hear and see more from you! Enjoy the day! Erin

  4. Welcome Meredith. Your earrings are beautiful ❤️

  5. Hey, welcome my friend! Wonderful post, wonderful earrings x

  6. Mer!! It's so great to see you and your wonderful art and spirit here. These earrings are all so distinctive and beautiful, and I "feel" you in each one of them. I especially appreciate this: "I hear a very clear 'No, that’s not it,' when I put something together that’s 'good enough' but not quite what sets my heart to dancing. I’ll hear a sigh of relief when I take a piece apart and move the beads around until I find that sweet spot where it’s 'just right.' ” This happens for me too--I sometimes imagine that I actually hear the earrings "click" into place when the right elements connect. It's probably only my imagination...but who knows? There's a lot of magic involved in creation. ❤ 😏

  7. Thanks so much for the mention. Your work is always inspiring & speaks to me. It sounds like an interesting journey and I'm pleased to be a small part of it.