|Sketch by Jennifer Ray Maj|
|My giant cauldron of "Bead Soup" in a variety of bronzes and peacock blue, green and teals|
The next thing on the agenda was to find a base for the piece. I wanted leather for the most authentic Steampunk look, but I also wanted to stick with the idea of Up-cycling. So I scouted out all the local thrift shops and finally found a long men's large leather trench coat. PERFECT!! I needed to have a dummy or mannequin in order to create the shape I needed, so I found a couple used candidates at a local fixture shop.
I began placing the gears and the centerpiece and get ready to begin beading. I was particularly excited by this cool "flower" brooch I created. That way cool copper flower component was part of a cuckoo clock. And I thought I would create some beaded flourishes to accent the gears. But that was wonky and puckered the leather, and off it came.
I decided that I wouldn't think too hard about how to join all the pieces and would treat them as I normally would with bead embroidery and back them with the suede from the leather coat and edge bead everything. Once I had finished that and had these four individual beaded elements, I entered into what I call the dark period. I experimented with no less than half a dozen ways to join the front and the shoulders...and I took them apart each time. I just wasn't happy. One of the last times I had put it all together and declared I was not happy, my husband nearly staged an intervention. I couldn't keep trying to put it together and ripping it apart. So I stared at it...said very naughty things to it, even considered starting over. I had just ONE MORE IDEA to try. If it didn't work...well...it had to work. I needed to be DONE!! Oh, and why did it just occur to me that at least one side had to open in order to get it over your head??
Stop by the Battle of the Beadsmith facebook page for updates and links to voting! https://www.facebook.com/groups/419636224777912/