Monday, April 28, 2014

Battle of the Beadsmith 2014 - it has begun

I was an original battler when the inaugural Battle of the Beadsmith aka BOTB12 kicked off in 2012.  Battling legend and front man Steven Weiss of The Beadsmith was the brains behind the contest.  There were 80 original battlers (or if you like invited participants) and one winner.  The uber talented Alla Maslennikova, won with her achingly beautiful design 'Baroque'..... My design Arabesque Armour made it to the Top 5.

I withdrew from the Battle of the Beadsmith aka BOTB13 due to other beading commitments and general design fatigue following my Bead Dream design marathon.  However I was still involved with the contest, but as a judge which was a difficult task in itself. Ann Braginsky was the winner for BOTB13 contest with her exceptional bead embroidered piece, 'Tenth Wave'. 

BOTB14 I am again a participant.  I have been working on my design since April 1, which was the official start date of the Battle. There are 256 Battlers in this contest, so the contest has increased considerably.  Participants from all over the world have come together to push their design selves and interact within a vibrant and friendly international beading community.

Calmly I waited until April 1 then rummaged through my stash to get to the source of my inspiration for my Battle piece.  Deflated I found it .. it was not what I had remembered it to be like.  It was smaller and not as elegant. Damn.  I began a lengthy internet search in the hope of acquiring a more dramatic 'piece' to use for Plan A.  I discovered it in Germany, expedited shipping was 170 Euros plus the price of the 'piece' and I had not even ordered the beads yet.  Plan A got shelved.

I then began work on Plan B and tinkered with it for a few days.  I soon discovered that it was not Battle worthy and put it to one side.  I waited a few days giving my muse time to roll things around and commenced Plan C.  I liked Plan C and how it was evolving and continued with the design for a couple of weeks.  Soon my interest in Plan C was waning ... I put it down and returned to Plan B with renewed interest.  Gathering more inspiration, sourcing new design elements and wandering around on Pinterest seeking images that would inspire my design pitch for that particular period in history.  But. After a few days I returned to Plan C again this time with a completely new colour way.  I was excited about it this time, very excited.  I fiddled, then ordered more materials and was off again firmly with Plan C + a new colour way as my way forward. 

The main focal for Plan C morphed unexpectedly so Plan C + new colour way did a complete right turn, so I'm calling it Plan C.2.  The motif that I completed that would have been used as part of the focal has been cast aside. I am currently planning and sketching a new focal to replace the said 'meh' focal.  It is still at the drawing on a sheet of paper stage. Time will tell if it will be the actual focal used. 

With all of this flipping around with designs there as been a flurry of activity on various sites as I acquired the necessary materials to create what my muse ordered.  Expedited shipping from the US to Australia has been called upon three times so far.

I'm hopeful Plan C.2 will be my acutal piece to enter to the contest as I am running out of time for revisions and new Plans. The funny thing about this is the original Battle, BOTB12 I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I used every day available to me to build it.  BOTB12 was quite an unremarkable process compared to my BOTB14. 

All we be revealed after June 8. 

Happy Beading.

Three in Three Years ... the dream faded.

2012 and 2013 were consecutive and successful beading years for me.  Four of my beadwork designs were selected and made their long journey to Milwaukee USA from Australia to be inside the Cabinet of Dreams. 

What cabinet is this I'm talking about you ask?? .. At the entrance to the Bead & Button show every year is a glass cabinet that contains the Finalists and winners of the Bead Dreams contest for that particular year. It is hallowed ground for beaders.

This year I beaded a single design to enter the Bead Dreams 2014 contest with. Dearly hoping I could achieve 'Three in Three Years with my work being chosen to be either a Finalists or even a winner of this epic contest.

Now I understand completely that there were no guarantees that my work would have even made the cut this year, but everyone can dream .. right .. This is the Bead Dream contest after all.

Despite gruelling hours of beading right up to the last few hours before the contest closed I was unable to complete my design. I packed it away and sulked for a few days.

I achieved Two in Two years and I am grateful and happy with that achievement. I will enter my 'as yet unfinished' design into the Bead Dreams 2015 contest. I have more than plenty of time to finish it graciously.

I have many friends whose work has already been chosen as Finalists. Currently their work awaits final judging that will be announced around when the Bead & Button show kicks off. I wish all of them the very best of luck.

Happy Beading my friends .. x

Finalist & Crystal Jewelry 3rd place Winner
Bead Dreams 2012
Finalist & Seed Bead Jewelry 3rd place Winner
Bead Dreams 2012
Bead Dreams 2013

Bead Dreams 2013

The International Bead Awards 2015

Earlier this year I was invited by the (then) Editor, Verena Greene-Christ from the European beading magazine Perlen Poesis to be a member of the judging panel for the European contest, International Bead Awards 2015. (see link for more details).

Delighted, I agreed.

The judging panel consists of Melissa Ingram (me), Isabella Lam, Sherry Serafini, Martina Nagele and Helena Tang-Lim.

The details for the contest are:

Beads must be strung using thread or wire in the commonly known techniques; they can, however, be combined with other materials such as polymer clay, paper, leather, metal, etc. Lampworkers are also welcome.
The world — its nations and peoples are many and varied. We want to showcase this with the help of your beadwork.
There are two categories WEARABLE JEWELRY (for both men and women) and OBJECTS OF ART. There will be 5 winners in each category, as well as a Readers’ Choice Award
Entry begins: October 1, 2014
Deadline: December 31, 2014

Nominees will be announced in the Spring 2015 issue of Perlen Poesie. Winners will be presented at the 5th BEADERS BEST Bead Art Fair in 2015.

Oddly the prizes for the winners has not been advised at this time.  I will update this blog with the details as soon as I know.