The Call to Create

May 17, 2011 | By | 4 Replies More


I have a beaded rock. Now that’s not something everyone has and I’m pleased to own one. It’s a small rock, about the size of a wild bird egg but thicker in the middle. In its old life, it was a smooth river washed pebble of unknown color.

Now, it’s tightly covered with a new skin of beads in shades of sky and water with a star burst on each side, white in the center and milky spider veins. The design is intricately worked of seed beads in peyote stitch. The beginning and end are well hidden so I can only guess they are in the centers of the stars. The beader was an expert.

It had to have taken hours of exertion to bead this rock. Why would someone spend the time, effort and materials to cover a common rock that could be tossed away without another thought? I suspect the answer is deeper than the value or labor involved.

Humankind has been applying ornament to themselves, their tools and their environment for longer than recorded time. Even in the dangerous and uncertain times of our prehistory, we decorated and beautified our world. We obeyed a command, a whisper from our soul.

The craftswoman who made this rock heard and listened to that primal call to something more than ourselves. She used her time and her spirit and her hands to make something beautifully crafted. It’s an example of decoration for its own sake – there is no function here other than to please the maker and the beholder.

When she gave it to me, she was clear that not everyone got a beaded rock. She told me, “I’m giving this to you because you understand why someone would bead a rock.”

I do understand. I understand that we all hear the call of ornament, that craft is its servant and that we are driven to decorate. I’m honored to hold this gift of beauty and spirit in my hand.

How do you answer the call to create? Share some of your favorite things in the comments.

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Category: Needlework

Comments (4)

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  1. I thought you’d made the beadwork! I’ve been wondering what to bead lately. I love to draw and paint but my beads are sitting idly by waiting for another turn. I don’t really wear jewelry so the question is then, what can I do with the beads? I guess I could cover a rock!

    • Monette Satterfield says:

      Hey Timaree!

      So glad you came by! It makes my day 🙂

      I love this rock – it sits on my desk and is the most amazing thing to me. I don’t bead well enough to have done it myself; maybe that’s why it fascinates me so much.

      I thought it deserved a little attention 🙂

  2. I like that phrase “the call of ornament”–I find making intricate glass mosaic patterns pleases my spirit, and sometimes I feel a pang of “does this really matter?” but then someone else is delighted by what I’ve made, and wants to buy it, make it part of their lives, and I feel blessed.

    • Monette Satterfield says:

      Margaret! What a lovely sentiment. You’ve summed up the creative dilemma perfectly. There is a pull to create and it’s hard to express that sometimes.

      I know what you mean about the wonderful feeling when your work delights another – it’s worth shooting for.

      Your work is beautiful! I especially liked the sand and sea mosaic. I live in FL as well and the brightness and the heat both have a presence of their own.

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