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Battle of the BeadSmith 2017

I have spent many hours sitting in a spot near the pond on a neighbors farm. There are frogs and dragonflies, and I have spent lots of time photographing them. When I was thinking of a landscape to make with beads it was a natural choice.

In 2017 I went all out to create my Summertime necklace. I used vintage Venetian beads to make the cattails. Much of the base is also woven using the Venetian beads. The glass is very heavy but the colors are vibrant and deep. I like to mix the vintage beads with ones that are currently being produced. The contrast is subtle but it adds dimension to the finished beadwork. All of the components were completely finished off before being added to the final design. I find that it is much easier to arrange the components and form your design without having the thread ends confusing the picture and tangling up in everything. I usually add beads into the component that will later be used as points to sew through. Two hole beads work great for that purpose.

I create a base and add some of the components into while I stitch. Others are sewn on afterward, almost like working bead embroidery only you use the beadwork instead of felt like material as a backing.

I built the plants up before adding them into the base. The sprigs of grass and flowers were then sewn onto the base.

I built the base in sections, then added some components to the pieces.

After some components were added I also sewed some algae to the water between the lily flowers. This is one of those details that is not readily noticed but I feel adds something to the overall effect.

The entire necklace took over 300 hours to complete.

The large seed beads in the foreground are Venetian beads. I used modified square stitch to create the base.

This water iris is very three dimensional. I attached one of the petals to the base so the flower would stand out.

The small leaves on the tree each took about ten minutes from threading the needle to tying the thread off. I was aiming to make 1000 in total but I only managed to make 500 of the leaves.

I like to consider my beadweaving as drawing done with beads. The finished necklace is made to invite the viewer to interact with the landscape in a way that is not possible in a traditional drawing.

The moment before he jumped.

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