Making Prayer beads

For a long time I’ve been attracted to the idea of prayer beads. As I wrote in an earlier post about my glow-in-the-dark Mexican rosary, I am comforted by them, I like organizing my prayers and they help me sleep. A year ago I Googled “Prayer Beads” and found a woman named Eleanor Wiley, who makes prayer beads, sells them, and often gives them away. She is an artist of beads. I was taken by her story, and found that she’d written a book about them called “A String and a Prayer.” I bought, thinking I would begin making prayer beads. That was last summer. Nothing yet. So on Friday I once again googled prayer beads, once again came upon Eleanor Wiley and went to her website. (See blogroll) I found that she was giving a studio workshop on Saturday (yesterday), and having no special plans that will cost money this summer, decided I needed to go to her workshop. It was about 3 hours away, but that didn’t daunt me. I could go and return easily on a tank of gas.

I made a string of prayer beads which may or may not be in its final form, but more important I learned to make them. I found that I had beads that date back to 1971 that I’ve been saving for this purpose. Anytime I’m traveling I look for a bead or two to add to my collection. That may increasenow , as I feel like I’m about to embark on a new venture. I’ve been wanting something creative to do that isn’t too messy, so here I go!

If I can get anyone around here interested, Eleanor will come to Chico and do a workshop, but she needs 10 people who are willing to spend $75.00 for the workshop and whatever else they need to spend for beads. That may be a little steep, I don’t know. I’d love to form a group, however to just meet every so often to work on projects. I”ll put that intention out and see what comes of it.

Even though beading is not messy like painting, collage or quiltmaking, I can see that for purposes of travel, knitting is a good backup plan. It’s more portable and you can do it on the plane. Both activities, though are meditative. That said, I’ve gotta go see if I can find a bead store that’s open. Photos to follow!


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