|It is said old is gold. A favourite past time of women in the yesteryears was bead work. You can revive this multipurpose hobby in simple ways, says Radha Prathi.|
|If you happen to notice the artefact display in a home where women have crossed the half-a-century age mark you simply cannot miss the bead work adorning their showcases. The animal world, tiny dolls, flower vases, bulb cases, colourful festoons and flowers among other things, were replicated using colourful ordinary plastic beads which were either round, oval or linear in shape. This art which follows certain simple principles, yet allowed a large margin to imagination, translated itself as a window to some recreation and relaxation in their otherwise sheltered existence.
By the time every possibility of using beads for creativity was tapped, women found that the world had opened a whole plethora of opportunities in the area of education and employment which made them phase out of the time-consuming activity and look out for quicker and innovative options. As they progressed effectively in other quarters, the art of bead work was relegated to a corner and over a period of time the knack for the art has vanished almost entirely in the busy world of women who do not have the time or patience for the art. Besides less cumbersome forms of art work have caught their attention, making them lose track of the art that fascinated them this long.
You must procure the following materials to make your dream mats come true. Colourful beads, nylon wire, tapestry needles, a pair of scissors, a large inch graph sheet, colour pencils and an eraser are all you need.
Once your design is ready, thread your needle with a double length of nylon wire and knot it at the rear end. String four beads in the nylon string and pass needle through the first bead so that the four beads form a tiny square.
Then string three more beads and repeat the process.
If you are still unable to follow the method do not hesitate to approach elderly women of the contemporary generation who were experts in the art during the fifties and sixties, before you step into the world of bead work.Once you start making these mats you will find that they will serve several purposes for the virtues of such mats are many.
For instance they can be placed wherever you fancy them. They can be washed with soap and water to keep them clean. If you happen to make a considerable number of coasters you can arrange them as instant rangoli or just connect them together in an original way and hang them on the walls or cupboards when you are not using them as coasters. Similarly you can find novel ways to use the mats of other sizes too.