Monday, 21 November 2011

Beadiful bug

is this a mini stag beetle?
I found this gorgeous little fellow wandering around in the back yard, probably looking for a winter snoozing space before the frosty weather comes. I love the way it's looking up at the camera, sure it noticed me!
I'm OK with bugs, I am fascinated by their incredible structures and always trying different ways to 'draw' it out in beads. 

red crystal bug 8cm long approx
This red beady bug was one of my first experiments at making Albion Stitch bugs, the body is an acrylic crystal about 5cm across and I kind of built onto it. Red bug usually sits on my shelf in the office, but comes on visits to workshops with me and is a great conversation starter! the bugs have slowly grown more elegant and refined (see the pic at the top of my blog) as I graduated from plastic to divine Swarovski crystals... so much sparkle, so many lovely shapes to bead around!

beaded bead caterpillar on felt leaves
My articulated beaded bead caterpillar is 'feasting' on some dry felted leaves. He has a pin to attach like a brooch and kind of wiggles about as you wear it. This really creeps some people out, but better than those 'Living jewel' brooches (apparently all the rage in the 19th century) which were real beetles with crystals stuck on their wing cases and a little gold chain tethering them to an ample decolletage. I always wondered what their owners fed them on.

Sally's giant bed by 30cm long
not including antennae
One dear chum saw red bug and handed me a giant crystal she had found in the V&A shop in London. 'Bead a bug out of that then!' was her challenge and serious commission. The crystal measured 20cm and it took me weeks to get to grips with the dynamics of working at such a different scale. The wing cases are wire knitted with added bead embroidery (otherwise the whole thing would have weighed a ton!). It took many weeks of going back and trying different things, but happily my friend is very pleased with her bug. The legs and antennae are posable as they are made from iron wire embellished with beads and crystals.
It lives on a beautiful wrought iron bedstead fashioned like wild grasses, so we call this the giant bed bug.