Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Old friend I hardly recognise

BWG 10th Anniversary celebration necklace
Sometimes my beadwork goes off on travels of its own. This necklace was created for the Beadworkers Guild in 2009, part of a supplement to their Journal magazine, showing different ways to use stone, glass and ceramic donuts, and created to celebrate their 10th anniversary year.
Each designer commissioned for the magazine was sent a selection of beads, crystals and a donut in a 'blind' package.
I got the green package... as editor of the magazine at the time you may stroke your chin, wiggle an eyebrow and ponder, oh yes? your favourite colour? randomness I think NOT! But to make things fair someone else packaged up the beads... so serendipity won out in my favour... no really!
The finished necklace remained with the Guild from then until now, doing the tour of shows and events. When it finally came home, I hardly recognised it as my own work.
Clearly a celebration of all things Peyote stitch and size 11 seed beads. The donut is a bloodstone cut with a slightly facetted surface.
I recall that I had huge fun creating it, longed for slightly different coloured beads and took an age to finish the rope which is worked over a squishy neoprene cord... Now I still like it, but it feels kind of dated, a bit too plain and simple compared to the work I like to create now, but it also has the beginnings of an idea I've gone on to use many times, the linking of elements with lovely cushion shape briolette beads. I found that rediscovering this 'old friend I barely recognised' moment really useful as a way to review my work over the past few years in a new way. I got out some pieces and was able to see developments, and home in on some ideas I'd never had time to explore yet too. On the whole I'm glad to have the piece back home, I have a dark velvety green chenille tunic that will help this piece look nicely medieval next winter when I wear them together.
I photographed the piece twisted round my garden gate so you can see the clasp as well as the pendant, also, I opened the gate so you can just see the lush blue of my ceanothus tree.