Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Battle of the Beadsmith Update

At long last I can reveal the piece I created for an incredible challenge called "Battle of the Beadsmith". 80 talented beaders from all over the globe were asked to push the boundries of their beading. To see the mindblowing beaded art created for the battle, check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/274053372682035/

I have honestly been amazed at the generosity, camaraderie, support, friendly and witty banter, and all around just plain niceness of all the competitors. We're all humans...and artists at that! And I count so many of the competitors among my bead goddesses and gods that I am beyond overwhelmed at being included. And seriously, creating and finishing my Boho bag, while one of my favorite creations to date, quickly took a back seat to admiring all the immense talent and fabulous beaded art showcased here.

Paisley Garden Boho Beaded Bag

Inspiration: "Boho" is an abbreviation of bohemian, meaning someone who doesn’t conform to society and is often focused on art; someone who wears unique clothes and holds art as their focus above all else. Boho-chic is a fashion style drawing on various bohemian and hippie influences with flowing lines, flowers, fringes and freedom. My Paisley Garden Boho Beaded Bag embodies the spirit and style of Boho. Paisley prints figured prominently in the fashion of the late 60’s and early 70’s among the “hippie” generation, as did anything “flower power”. The lush fringe on the bag is also a throwback to the leather vests and bags of that time that sported fringe from every seam. Using freeform bead embroidery gives this beaded bag a casual feel but is just as comfortable with jeans and a tee-shirt, a peasant blouse and layered skirt, or the perfect little black dress.

Purse Details:
Approximately 100 total hours
Material is cotton broadcloth backed with heavy interfacing
Bag is 7” wide and 8” tall and 3” deep. Weight 14oz.
Fringe hangs down 2.75” Total drop with fringe 14.5”
Purse strap is embellished peyote 1.5” wide and 14.5” long.
Purse charm with lampwork bead doubles as a bracelet and creates a sweet tinkle.
Antique brass magnetic snap closure.
Bead materials: Miyuki 8/o seed beads in silver-lined bright green and iris purple for strap. Swarovski 3mm bicone crystals in olivine, Czech crystals in purple, Czech glass purple dagger beads. Czech glass seed beads in silver-lined olive, light green, deep purple and lavender rainbow; opaque sky blue and lavender. Miyuki 8/o seed beads in Iris purple and matte purple. Fresh-water pearls in white, olive green and iris purple; glass pearls in purple and sky blue. Swarovski rivolis in purple (1-18mm, 2-14mm) and olivine (3-12mm) and a purple “mountain jade” cabochon.
Stitches include peyote on bezels and strap, fringing, cubic right angle weave on bracelet/charm, backstitch embroidery and stack-stitch on bead embroidery.
Bag is completely hand stitched together with a contrasting fabric on the gusset and lining. Thread: cotton for seams, nymo and 4lb Fireline for bead embroidery.

 I have wanted to create a beaded purse for the last year after drooling over the fantastic work of Jo Browne, Nancy Dale, Triz and other artists. When the Battle of the Beadsmith came up, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to push myself to make that bag. I found some fantastic paisley material that I fell in love with and took my cue from the colors and shapes in the material. What I love most about bead embroidery is that I can let it tell me where it wants to go and what shape it wants to be. I didn’t set out to make this shape purse, but that’s the shape it became. Part of me really wanted to do an elegant clutch type evening bag, but this Paisley Garden Boho Bag and I are thrilled to be just what we are!

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