Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jellyfish in Tuxedos and Beading in Reverse

I started this new piece of bead embroidery last week. It started as just a brooch, and I didn't know if I should add fringe or not.

It was fun, making little individual bezels around each pearl. I scrounged through my stash for black, white, crystal and the slightly-bronzy-but-mostly-black-bugle beads I used. 

Other than the pearls nothing made me think of sea creatures...until. Until I put that fringe on the bottom. 

Now, though, my first thought after I added a few of the fringes, was "Jellyfish in a Tuxedo." A very formal, decorative jellyfish it is, too. 

Adding the fringe also forced an orientation on the brooch, which it hadn't had until then. Any way up looked good.  So I'm a little conflicted. I like the fringe. And yet, I'm not sure if it adds anything substantial to the piece.

In other news, I'm struggling with another piece. These are the bits I started with...  Below is an intermediate stage, already ripped out. That one big asymmetrical glass bead is wonderful. It's got a smooth yet glisteny finish, and a slight blue moiré pattern on the surface.  It's nearly 7 inches long and just makes you want to touch it.

But it's giving me fits trying to balance it out, or embellish it or something.  I started out with this swagged embellishment with turquoise heishi, and balanced by a string of African trade beads and bone beads on the other side of the strand. Didn't work. Then I strung a whole neck strand of the trade beads and bone beads, and hung the focal as a dangling pendant at the center. Hmm. A bit suggestive with that big thing hanging between the breasts, but okay.  Perhaps not everyone has a filthy mind.

Then I tried caging pendant with random netting of the turquoise heishi, with the small red beads at the intersections of the netting. Once again, a disaster.  Ripped that one out too.

Perhaps I need to quit trying to gild the lily, or decorate perfect simplicity. But it seems interesting to me that the more experience I gain at beading, the more I seem to rip out. Maybe it's an intermediate stage before I learn better how to know whether a concept is good without seeing it in reality.  I certainly hope so. I spend enough of my life at my computer typing backwards, I'd hate to spend equivalent amounts of my beading time beading in reverse.


1 comment:

  1. It will be interesting to see what you come up with for your blue asymmetrical bead. Very unique bead!