Thursday, March 8, 2012

Aussie Beading Retreats

It feels like a lifetime since I have had a quiet moment to sit and just blog! Of course since November 2011 can't be a lifetime .. much as been going on in my life and so many wonderful things in the life of Social Butterfly Beadwork but I will talk about Aussie Beading Retreats only in this blog.

Some of you may know of my love for Soutache embroidered jewellery some of you may not.  I came across it about two years ago whilst conducting an internet search for something totally unrelated.   I browsed the many images of 'Soutache' jewellery and with lots of ooohhhhss and ahhhsss I became addicted to the curls and swirls of the vibrant coloured strips of braid, known as Soutache. It was the work of Miriam Cielo Shimon (Cielo Design) and Dori Csengeri who inspired me whole heartedly to try it myself.  I am fortunate to own a piece of Miriam's Soutache work and I wear it often.

Soutache is French for braid but is believed to be derived from a Hungarian word.  The origins of Soutache embroidered jewellery perhaps are from Russia but it is definately a European craft regardless of its exact origin. I intend to research the origins of Soutache .. don't hold your breath for a blog though.  This will be a work in progress for sometime I feel as there is much to investigate.

What I do know is that the method of construction was closely guarded and is only now in the last year or so becoming available through tutorials on Etsy or through YouTube.  I have experimented with 40 samples at least in attempt to learn and experiment with this beautiful art form.  I feel my level of experience is such that I will be teaching a series of Soutache workshops for Aussie Beading Retreats on the Sunshine Coast, QLD in September 2012.

But my involvement with Aussie Beading Retreats does not end there as I will also be conducting workshops sharing my experience and skills using Crystal Clay as well.  Crystal Clay is a two part epoxy glue that is maleable and gives you working time before hardening.  It's uses are many and varied and jewellery making is no exception.  I wrote an article and project on Crystal Clay for Australian Beading magazine which will be published in April 2012.

Other workshops being offered at the Retreat include EarthenWare Clay, Beadwork, Chain Maille, Viking Weave, Resin, Lampwork, Enamelling, Polymer Clay, Micro Macrame and Kumihimo Braiding.

Registrations are being accepted now and accommodation for those requiring it can be arranged as well.  Visit the website for further details.

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