Monday, October 11, 2010

Haute Couture Beading Contest Entry

Christina Neit of Good Quill Hunting has created a truly inspiring beading contest!  Now in its second year, the contest gives bead artists an opportunity to choose from among a couple dozen examples of Haute Couture fashion to inspire a piece of wearable art.  As a member of the Etsy Beadweavers Team, I've entered three of their monthly challenges so far and find it a wonderful way to stretch my creativity.  That's extremely helpful since I still consider myself to be  fairly new to bead artistry and wearable art.  This contest really challenged me to push the bead box!

I first chose the garment that really caught my eye and took a little time to imagine the possibilities.  Purple, in all its many hues and shades, is my favorite color and I'm easily drawn to anything in the purple range.  And this dress just looks like it would be fun to wear with that flirty, ruffled purple-lined cape.

Once I chose the dress, I let my imagination wander through my bead and gem stash for ideas.  Lately, one of my favorite creative times is just as I lie down before falling asleep.  Mentally creating bead art allows me to focus away from all the "real-life" cares and drift off to sleep with visions of pretty, shiny beads dancing in my head.  As much as I love actually beading, I really love riffling through my bead cart as part of the creative process just about as much.  For this challenge I needed a real statement focal piece and I wasn't really finding it.  So off I went to the Intergalactic Bead Show in Durham and found THE piece almost as I walked in the door.  This gorgeous set of sculpted Sea Sediment Jasper in an awesome deep pink/red color!  There is something about those stones and that color that hit the "oh yeah!" spot in my brain.

 I played around with the placement of the stones and added a perfect little deep pink paua shell cab to the mix.  I was going to create this piece using primarily bead embroidery which starts with gluing the stones to a felt backing and then securing the stones with peyote stitched bezels.  I pulled out every bead and accent in my stash that remotely matched or complimented the color of the stones and took time to place and re-place them to find just the right accent.

So, after using a handful of czech glass 4mm round beads, bugle beads, size 15, 11 & 8 seed beads and delica beads, and some gorgeous wine colored fresh water pearls, "Mariposa" was born!

I'll let you know how it all turns out!