Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Battle of the Beadsmith Round 3 - The Creation of Arabesque Armour

An original pencil design from my design journal of how I envisaged my then unamed Battle of the Beadsmith entry.
How was I inspired to create Arabesque Armour? This question was asked of me and in all honesty I do not really know. I do not always understand this about any of the artisan jewellery pieces that I create. Sometimes I get just an image in my mind, then process this sometimes for weeks. Visualising thread paths and possiblitilies. I will make samples using Nymo (rather than expensive Fireline) to get a feel for what my mind sees. I can be inspired by many things cloud shapes, my very large bead stash, how food and colours are displayed on a plate, vintage couture jewellery, even words can inspire me such as my latest piece "Anna's Snowrose". "Anna's Snowrose" was inspired by my Facebook friend Anna Lindell whom I met as she too is a participant of the Battle of the Beadsmith contest. Anna commented one day that my design Arabesque Armour resemebled a "rose on a stem". Later I met Snowrose Feldman another Facebook friend and with that my muse got me busy creating Anna's Snowrose (I will blog about this design another day).

A second original pencil design from my design journal, still playing with concepts.
Where did the floral focal inspiration arrive from for Arabesque Armour I will never know. Perhaps it was when I sit and create samples and play with stitches, my drawings or it could have been when I saw a magazine cover earlier this year that had a floral shaped cuff bangle.  I looked at that cuff design and thought ..'I can bead that' .. with that I snapped a pic with my iPhone, then promptly forgot about it.  Why did I even choose a floral focal?.. again, I do not exactly know. 
Pic snapped with my iPhone
I fiddled with samples for the floral focal for some time and finally went with Cubic Right Angle Weave as the stitch to bring my floral idea to life.  As only a beader will know, you may have an idea of a design in your creative mind, but actually creating it using only beads can sometimes just not be possible as ultimately the beads are boss. Design limitations and time resulted in the floral focal that became central to my Arabesque Armour design.  I knew that because it was CRAW I could embellish it and create something wonderful. The next part of the design process was how best to display the floral focal.  I decided on a beadwork frame setting that would be embellished with Swarovski elements and seed beads.

Because this piece was being designed for the Battle of the Beadsmith contest I wanted to produce my best work as the audience would be large, very large.  I wanted to include something new and different. I included CRAW attachment points on my Rivolis within the beadwork frame so that I could join them seamlessly.  I wanted wonderful curls that I could embellish and most of all I wanted to produce something totally original.  I chose a colour way that I had not ventured into before. I wanted it to say nothing more than 'fun' and colour especially pinks, lemon, purples and yellows suggest fun (to me anyway).  The Battle is about friendship and uniting artists around the world so I wanted my colour way choice to reflected just that.
For a bit of Battle fun I decided that the tassel must be detachable for Battle purposes; my thoughts being detach prior to Battle so that a flaying tassel does not interfere with sword weilding, all tongue in cheek though.
Arabesque Armour is continuing on into Round 3, this time I am paired with USA Artist Christian Rodriguez and her wonderful design "Antigua".

Here I am deciding if the floral focal should sit above or below the CRAW beadwork.
This is the beginning of the curls that eventually sat either side of the beadwork frame. The curls sort of happened by accident whilst I was deciding how to hang the focal.

This is me wearing my completed design, Arabesque Armour