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


14 comments:

  1. Fantastic post Melissa. I enjoy seeing the creative process of another artisan. I especially like seeing the drawings and the potential layouts being shown. I must try being more prepared to record my design process.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Patrick. I don't record the process every time, but it has become a little bit if a habit due to project tutorial writing ... which I've done a lot of over the years.

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  2. I am fascinated by your sketches. I see many similarities between your piece and Alla's, and in sketch form, they were even MORE similar. I love this piece and especially the the motifs that look like swans on either side of the central component. How did you arrive at those? Great post! Thank you for sharing your process.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Marsha. I did not see the 'swan motifs' until you mentioned it .. I see them now!! They curls just developed as the beads dictated their journey!

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  3. stunning piece and wonderful to see your design process! thank you for sharing!

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your design and inspiration. Your piece is simply breathtaking. Good luck on round three!!

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts Chris, so sorry it took so long for me to reply!! My time management skills are not enviable.

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  5. Love your piece Melissa, and really enjoyed reading about your process. I envy those of you who make those beautiful sketches in planning out your work. Mine is always trial and error. (emphasis on error). Congrats on going onto the next round- but I have had no doubts from the beginning that you will be one of those that make it to the finish line!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Betty. Who would have thought that when I 'finally' replied to your comment that we had both reached the Top 5 ... and be paired for Battle!!

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  6. So interesting to read how you designed your magnificent piece. It's so beautiful & looks amazing on you.

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  7. Thank you Lea, for stopping by, glad you enjoyed my blog!

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  8. Great story of a beautiful design! Thank you for all these details!

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  9. Melissa, I have always love this piece. Especially you wearing it, totally Gorgeous.

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