Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sometimes you've got to have faith...

Today's post is about my Kanagawa Wave Bangle, made for Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Vol. II

Kanagawa Wave Bangle
It started with a sentence in the Basics section, obsessing me since the day I saw it:

'If you place the final bead of your round and skip passing through the bead from the previous round [...] you will transform the work from circular to spiral.'

CGB Vol. I, page 25 Paragraph 4.  

I wanted to make a spiralling triangle when I read that. But when making it, I found myself making something in between a Geobead, a design by Jessica Beels and a pillow bead like those made by Carol Huber, available for free in one of those lovely free e-books proposed by Beading Daily, called 'How to make a beaded bead'.

Geobeads by Jessica Beels
This brought me back in memory another design by Jessica, published a few years ago in Beadwork magazine... a croissant.

Beaded Croissant by moi
Suddenly inspiration hit me like a lightning bolt: waves! Big waves around my wrist, waves like those in Katsushika Hokusai's artwork 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa' - I was sure that it would work thanks to the flexibility of the  MRAW bellyband in the center. But I had no idea how to find the right size. so I just went for it, with a very unusual number of units at the start...

It felt like wing suit flying. You know, those guys who jump off the cliffs with a pinguin-like suit... (and a safety parachute).

I like this picture of one of them a lot, he looks like a little fly near this Jesus:

I knew that only when completely finished, the wave would be visible... You can see it taking the shape only when you reach the very last rows of the work. So  either it would be ok, or a disaster - I really feared not having started with enough MRAW units...the bangle would have been too small in this case... It was a relief to see the adorable little waves finally curve... YAY!!!
Close-up of Kanagawa Wave Bangle

The Great Wave - Hokusai
The little horns on both sides appear to not only be necessary for the aspect (they represent a smaller wave and Fujiyama Mount far in the distance) but also for balance and keeping the bangle flat.

It makes me think of Mandy Hale's words:

"You don't always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Contemporary Geometric Beadwork - from 'What if?' to 'I want (because I can)'

I often read in magazines that most designers play with beads and try 'What ifs'... and this brings new ideas and fabulous designs. Although I am a 'Whatifer' too, I am also an 'Iwanter'. In that sense that 'I want to use this bead, make this shape, have points here, wings there, cut-out openings...' You can do anything with beads, or nearly anything. And if you doubt this, you might not have read Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Vol. 1.

CGB empowers the beader, bringing tips and tools to go further and beyond trying. It makes sketching easier (you know that you CAN do it). It enables you to make things you would never have thought possible.
It took 4 days of beading to make this collar. I hesitated a lot between toggle and ribbon. I love ribbon on this type of collars, it is so comfortable, but making a geometric clasp was just irresistible. I hope you like it too.

This piece was inspired by the work of two wonderful bead artists. Firstly Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten, whose collar for the Battle of the Beadsmith 2012 made me want one like that. When I saw it, I really fell in love (and I still am). It took me more than a year to come up with my own 'pointy' collar.

I want a SQUARE toggle
I had indigo Tila beads and lovely burnt Sienna Delicas to make it, but I was missing something complete this piece. When I saw Mikki Ferrugiaro's Lotus Flowers, someting hit me. This was exactly what I wanted for the lower part of my necklace.
Do I need to mention that the nifty instructions in the book Contemporary Geometric Beadwork by Kate McKinnon to make the zig zag and points were very helpful? 

Last but not least - for reasons of motion, I built the lower part on Delica beads added like Kate shows in her 'Guide Round' - available to those who pre-order Volume 2 of Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.

Looking for a name...
Now I need to find a nice name for this collar. Do you maybe have an idea?