Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Exhibition piece

So, after telling you how it got started here I can now show and share my finished piece.
The Beadworkers Guild are having an exhibition of works called 'The Magic of Macintosh in Beads' and hopefully my necklace will make the grade. I love the way that the Guild got us all inspired to explore a design theme, then rollup our collective sleeves to have a go.
Pause to mourn the path not taken, elaborate designs consigned to sketch book pages for that 'one day when' and superseded by fresh ideas. Share the fun of the piece I did get time to make.
the design idea on the day

If you recall, my sample was a little triangle, an idea I wanted to get right if nothing else as my 'on the day' one was a bit lumpy.
This sat in my beading box until the deadline loomed, I hate that life is like this but in between were lots of other deadlines and the somewhat glorious excuse that my brain needed time to think it's way around the technical problems I had set it.
First, I really didn't like the bezel, to get a bead count for three sides gave a sloppy bezel that was pulling out of shape. Next, I knew that the sides and edges needed different bead counts to get them to lie flat and in a more crisp triangle shape. I have long loved Rennie Macintosh drawings and thought my colours based on his drawing of a fritillary flower was a good selection, but taking a harder look at his architectural work changed my mind on colours too. So bead it, change it, bead it, change it and million unpicks later I had a triangle motif in the colours of the Willow Tea rooms.

The Willow Tea Rooms, photo by w:User:Dave souza

The May Queen
I also wanted to hint at a texture inspired by the embedded glass beads and cabochons in Margaret MacDonalds panels, and a hint of the graphic lines and zigzags in the interiors of 78 Derngate, created for a man with colour blindness, so unusually stark and graphic.

Once I had the motif finalised, the final necklace configuration was based on the shapes I so love in Margaret's panel called 'The May Queen'. One of three panels for the Ladies Luncheon Room, Ingram Street Tea Rooms.
It is constructed of oil painted gesso on hessian and scrim, set with twine, glass beads, thread, mother-of-pearl, and tin leaf panel; you just sense that she had the best fun getting inventive with these materials! 
I love the long embellishment that the May Queen is wearing on her gown.

the finished necklace
So my final piece, inspired by these uniquely creative people, unashamedly borrows colours and shapes, makes absolutely no claims or pretensions other than as a really enjoyable process to play with inspiration and make something I will definitely wear once it is home again. 
I've loved the process of transferring ideas into my own medium, beads. 
I've also really enjoyed the 'doodling' process, the jotting out of ideas, those paths not yet taken, but which sit and wait, a feast of ideas to explore. Finally, I like that the process has taken my work in a direction I wouln't normally go, and has brought me some new elements that I'm sure will morph into projects I can share.
Now I'm itching to see what everyone else has made. If you're in Northampton, drop by and see for yourself... If not, join the Guild and be part of our next beady adventure.