That Book..., and the "feather pattern."
Re: Re: Re: Mystery Bead/for anyone else "Combed" Definition -- AnneLFG Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
11/30/2019, 06:23:01

In 1979 when Peter released The Bead Dictionary, I sent him over thirty pages of suggested corrections. These were hand-written pages, because I didn't own a typewriter yet. But it was a lot of entries. We wrote back and forth about his books for some months.

Regarding "feather"—I've said all this before. We already have THREE names for this technique: combing, raking, and dragging. And there are, essentially, four variations of the patterns created: zigzags (or waves), arcades, swags, and the feather pattern. (Arcades and swags are the same thing, except being the revese of each another. Arcades are combed down; and swags are combed up.) The feather pattern results from multiple trailed lines (one or more colors contrasting to the base), that have been alternately combed up and down. AND, the glass is at the correct temperature to make the combed lines become somewhat curvilinear zigzags. The result looks something like an ostrich feather.

None of the three names above is really apt. The implement is a long thin pointed tool—like a needle—or anything that's pointy metal that's handy. It is not a comb nor a rake. And the tool can be dragged or pushed. And some writers refer to the technique as "hooking" (because a hook can be used for deep combing). It's also called "drawing." But this is confusing because "drawn beads" are another category entirely.

Unfortunately, among American glass-beadmakers (over the previous 20-something years), ANY combed pattern has been referred to as a "feather pattern." (Seldom accurate at all.). And, subsequently they began referring to the technique as "feathering"—and to the resulting beads as "feather beads." The action of using a simple tool to redirect some glass into a different orientation has nothing to do with feathers (!).

Next, "a feather bead" is a bead that is: made using feathers; is shaped like a feather; or depicts a feather. The beads we are talking about have "FEATHER PATTERNS" as a conventional interpretation of their appearance.

Now, don't get me started on "stringers"—that have nothing to do with string, and are not used like string. I AM A STRINGER. I string beads. But this is another routinely popular "term" that has evolved by beadmakers who don't think in practical terms. They, like the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, say "the words mean what I say they mean when I say them." OY!

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