Friday, 8 March 2013

Beetle brooch

I promised to reveal my latest beading, hinting that it has six legs... so here's how it all began...
A few months ago my lovely facebook friend Jose Luis Rios sent me a gorgeous picture of some beetles, knowing as he does about my love of beading creepy crawly things. It's the kind of fun challenge I relish, and one I wanted to do my best with as Jose is an awesome bead artist himself.

Mesquite bug (?) A kind of leaf beetle
just like the ones in Jose's picture
The colours and shape of these bugs are just stunning. The picture sat on my desk for the longest while, prompting many doodles in my notebook. Next came an invitation from one of my favourite bead groups to come teach, and... can we have a creature to bead please?

It would be really easy to trot out an existing pattern, but also sitting on my desk gleaming somewhat temptingly at me, were some oval glass cabochons which I've been itching to use. These arrived along with the gorgeous round ones I've used in the Winterfleur brooch. I've been completely charmed by the way the glass magnifies anything it is laid over.... so why not use some beads in a pattern behind the glass, I thought.
New beetle brooch I'm going to
have the bead group choose a name.
Firstly though, a direct copy of the Mesquite bug into beads, although definitely on my to do list, is probably not what  people will really want to wear on their jumpers! So I softened the shape to utilise the oval cabochon and look more like the familiar scarab or ladybird beetle shapes. There were a few false starts, but I finally got the beads to behave. With a project like this it's definitely the technicalities that take me the most time, with questions like, how are you going to attach the brooch pin? just how do you attach and shape spindly legs and antenna using beads and thread, needing to be answered. Then comes the question, just how are you going to break it down into steps for beaders to enjoy following. So it goes slowly, slowly until the solutions take shape. The beetle brooch is a mix of techniques and uses five different bead types including Swarovski pearls. I've got lots of variations in the pipeline and a shopping list a mile long for beads I want to experiment with! I can see a season of bug making ahead!
But for now all I have to do is sit down and write out the steps for class and do the diagrams.
Thank you Jose for the inspiration!
I'll let you know how class goes in a couple of weeks time.