Discover Zentangle Inspiration with Beadweaver Carole Ohl

Q&A with Beadwork Designer Carole Ohl

Carole Ohl is a long-time Beadwork contributor. Her Saturn Connections bracelet is featured in April/May 2017 Beadwork and is available as a kit. This unique component-based project uses circular herringbone stitch and ladder stitch. We recently asked Carole about how she got started beading, her creative philosophy, and the inspiration behind her Saturn Connections project.

Discover Zentangle Inspiration with Beadweaver Carol Ohl. Check out her Saturn Connections seed bead bracelet.

Q: How did you get started beading?

A: About fifteen years ago I walked into my first bead store — right in my own neighborhood! At the time I was making felted bags out of old sweaters and thought it would be fun to add some beads. I was overwhelmed by all the colors and types of beads that I had no idea existed! The owner, Julie Walker, wanted me to make her a bag, so we traded the bag for some of her bead classes. I never made another bag! Julie and Jann Christiansen were my first teachers, and thus began my love of the beading life.

Beading Inspiration and Design

Q: What inspires your creativity?

A: A new color or a new shape of bead will often inspire me to sit down and play. Most of all, I get inspired by the people around me. When people bead together, there is a flow of inspiration that guides the creativity of all involved. I don’t know if I would bead as much as I do if I didn’t have my bead community. We can learn so much from one another!

Discover Zentangle Inspiration with Beadweaver Carol Ohl. Check out her Saturn Connections seed bead bracelet.Q: Do you plan your designs in advance, or do you just let the creativity flow?

A: I don’t usually begin with a concrete idea. I’m a huge fan of the art of Zentangle, whose tagline is “Anything is possible . . . one stroke at a time.” One stroke informs the next, and so it goes when I play with beads. One bead plays on the next, with no plan. It’s so much fun to see what those beads like to do with each other!

Q: How do you approach the use of color in your designs?

A: I tend to be monochromatic. I have to try really hard to do anything else. When I’m in designing mode, I use my usual comfort colors just to see what kind of structure occurs without contrasts in color. I like to focus on the sculptural aspects of the beads first, then I go for more color.

Discover Zentangle Inspiration with Beadweaver Carol Ohl. Check out her Saturn Connections seed bead bracelet.Q: How do you get out of a creative rut?

A: I make a point of learning something new. I’ll usually pick up a magazine and make a project by another designer. It’s amazing the way different brains approach things. I get energized by learning new ways to use beads.

Bead Weaving Favorites

Q: What’s your favorite stitch or technique, and why?

A: It depends on the beads. I love two-hole beads, so I often do more right-angle weave with them. I love turnarounds in beadwork because you have more opportunities with your thread path. When I want to do more relaxed, repetitive beading, I go for hubble stitch or peyote stitch.

Q: What do you love most about beading?

A: People bead for all kinds of reasons. I love that there’s something for everyone who loves beads. It’s an exciting time for beading, too. Four years ago, when we opened our bead store, there were only a couple of two-hole beads — and now look what’s available! I love that people have so many options to find the style of beading that works for them, whether it’s a simple half-hour project or something large and architectural that takes weeks to complete. What a beautiful bead world!

Discover Zentangle Inspiration with Beadweaver Carol Ohl. Check out her Saturn Connections seed bead bracelet.Focus on Seed Beads

Q: What was the inspiration for your Saturn Connections project?

A: I wanted to create a design that relied mostly on seed beads. Creating actual shapes with seed beads isn’t something I do very often. The seed beads are usually a support for larger elements. And again, the Zentangle philosophy — connecting lines and segments to each other is fun for me.


Please share your original designs with us! To submit to Beadwork magazine, email us at bwsubmissions@interweave.com.

Lavon Peters
Managing Editor, Beadwork magazine
Lavon.Peters@fwmedia.com


For other designs by Carole Ohl

 

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