Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Beadworkers Guld Challenge 2021 - Save the planet - Bead it, dont bin it!

Gland - Switzerland

Here in Gland, where I live, glass, paper (clean of grease), cardbox (dito), PET (dito), metal, aluminium and even oils (mineral and non-mineral) are recuperated and recycled or treated. Same for batteries, mobile phones and other devices. 

Peels and other food waste go to the compost bin.  Every flat and house has a bin for that.

Old furniture and other stuff like that goes in a big container and will be sorted and everything that can be recycled will be sent to the right plant doing that.

The things not entering one of these categories and that are not toxic (which one has to bring back to the shop where it was bought, like medecines), go in the bin and will be burnt near Geneva, in a plant with specific filters for air protection, and the resulting energy heats the city of Geneva. We nevertheless have to pay our garbage bags a high price (to encourage recycling).

WWF/IUCN/Ramsar Convention main entrance.

The fact that Gland hosts the world headquarters of the WWF, brainchild of the IUCN, whose HQ are also in Gland, is certainly a reason why we have all this and I appreciate it. I even worked for the IUCN in the past and organised the creation of a beaded tree by people from many countries.

The WWF "celebrate" their 60th Jubilee this year. There are some specials in their online shop.

Now after reading the above, you may understand that I am glad that I already had kept something that I didn't want to bin, for I might still be searching for the subject of my entry in this year's BWG challenge: a bird.

Peace Astray

Peace Astray

Nothing was purchased for this project. The bird came from a broken kitchen clock, the cabochons and beads from stash, the crystal chain and chimera paws were left over from previous projects (my square for the Museum of Beadwork and my Fantasy Chess Play), the wooden base came from a beam hubby cut to raise his mom’s sofa and the metallic pin supporting the bird comes from an old bead-display.

Tools and glue for bead mosaic were in my home since several years, but I feared to waste materials. This year’s theme and Jan Huling’s 3 top tips in the 87th Journal lead this complete novice to do bead mosaics, inspired by Betsy Youngquist’s work.


The Guild encourages participants to challenge themselves. I had never done bead mosaics before so the whole project was a challenge and it was much harder than I thought (in particular on a base with carvings like this bird had). Gluing beads implies stringing them to «unstring» them in a specific manner. Adding one bead at a time with tweezers was sometimes easier. I learned so much! Using the right amount of glue, removing beads and glue with the right tools, etc. I had much fun.

Special characteristics:

The crystal chain draws a peace symbol on the back of the bird, hence the name Peace. This was not intentional. I added it without looking at it from the top, and suddenly it was there!. I also used a really special hollow cabochon made of old embossed metallic plane dashboards, which I got from Ruth Buffington (an amazing bead artist whose steam-punk creations I admire). This cabochon represents the loss of directions.

My work was that of a beginner, so unsurprisingly it didn't win anything, but I don't care about that. I knew that before submitting the piece. The importance is to participate. I am happy with both the journey and the result, and grateful that the BWG challenge has me push my boundaries.

There were very, very little participants in this Challenge, last year too. I hope that next year, with the super inspiring new theme and the probability that all the entries will be on display as in the past, there will be more entries. Why not yours?

Next year's challenge theme is "Hollywood or Bollywood".

Oh my!



  1. Hi Cath - I loved hearing the story behind each of the components and that you challenged yourself to do something new. It is a gorgeous piece xx

    1. Hi Mairi! Thank xou for hopping by! I'm really happy that you like both the piece and the component's story. I do not always like to learn new techniques but here, I had a blast. :D


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