The Battle of the Beadsmith is an invitation only competition. The battle consists of elimination rounds where two works of beaded art are voted on, and one is chosen to advance to the next round. The participants are selected from countries around the world. The contest is sponsored by one of the leading bead importers and is an annual event.
2014 was the first year I entered. My necklace was inspired by the colors of the flowers blooming in my garden during the two month time allotted to create my design.
The battle took longer to present the works and decide the winners of each round than it did to make the designs. I know I made it to the second round, possibly the third, but the thing about an elimination battle is that everyone gets voted out at some point. The first four years I competed the judging was done by Facebook vote, and there were many people who were not happy with the pieces that were winning over the ones they would prefer. It also got a bit off from the original intent when people began voting for their country mates rather than picking winners based on the merit of the work. Eventually the Battle sponsors had to re-think things and ever since they have used a panel of bead industry designers, editors and the like to judge the entries.
Every year the designs get more fanciful and elaborate. Another factor in the process is the photography and image manipulation. Some of the presentations tell stories by themselves. All in all it is wonderful competition that always produces the best work each artist has to offer.
Me modeling my necklace.