Friday, 12 April 2013

Beadwork highs.... and lows

Beadwork is full of highs and lows. Halfway through this week found me with furrowed brow and a desk covered with half-finished bead embroidered butterfly wings – none of which were giving me the delicate effect I was aiming for.

It’s all to easy to get frustrated when things don’t go as well or as quickly as you want. I remember reading about a prize winning bead artist who had made the most wonderful piece. When asked if she had enjoyed the process she replied that she had often been tempted to place it on the railway track and laugh insanely as it was destroyed! But those who create with seed beads are by necessity a patient, curious and resourceful bunch.
So I’ve had another think about it and have looked at vintage butterfly jewellery and also some real butterfly wings. Looking at some cloisonné necklaces the lightbulb finally came on and I knew what I would do. I’m creating a framework of beads into which I will set my larger beads.
Real cloisonné is created by making metal ‘cells’ which are then filled with enamel. If you look at a butterfly wing you see that it has a similar look to it. Here is my piece with the top part of the body and the upper wings in progress. Teal and slate grey coloured beads will sit in the gaps and help it to hold its structure.

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