Sunday, July 28, 2013

And we're Back! Art Bead Scene entry

Finally after three years, almost to the date, I've returned to the blogosphere!  I had taken a hiatus that lasted longer than expected, from illness and then losing my muse. I have been working on a come back for several months now and have dipped my toes here and there.

Today I have done a little dipping in the Art Bead Scene Challenge. Over the last several months I went to this wonderful blog and perused the months challenge art piece. What I designed in my head never made it further and the month had gone by and I promised myself I would try the following month, but it never happened...................until now.

I have been busy the past month working on something of interest to Polymer Clay artists which I'll save for later, but wanted to participate in this challenge. I was held back by the horrendous heat wave we had as my studio is not air conditioned and running the oven was just out of the question.

Thankfully the past few days we have gotten some cool air from the north and the temperatures have dropped almost 40 degrees! This was a blessing on my family and my electric bill. After enjoying a couple of days like this I remembered the challenge and realized the month was almost over.


I had studied the painting a bit of Olga, the Russian wife of Pablo Picasso, and each time I looked at her I thought of Sigourney Weaver.  Instead of designing a piece like I usually do, sketching a design first and matching up beads and findings, this time I did it backwards. I looked at the painting and the things that stood out to me the most were:
  • The fabric of her dress and the detail he paints of it. The folds of chiffon? that catch the light and reflect with a phosphorus metallic glow.
  • The Large leaves and the huge yellow flower that are embroidered on the tapestry that covers the chair she sits upon.  
  • The tendrils that curl around the foliage and create music for this lovely dancer
  • The large cluster of grapes
The fan also caught my eye but did not prevail to impress upon my muse to be included. So I had cropped out the above parts and let the painting speak to me.

For the fabric that drapes so lushly I tried to make this the focal bead as this makes up a large part of the painting.  I mixed together various colors of clay to make the base which is a sheer walnut brown. I loved the highlights of blues and used many ways to get this just touched on the folds. Inks, paints, powders, waxes, you name it I used it on here until I was happy with the look.

As a nod to the white bunch of grapes I included between the folds of fabric, three 3-D illusion beads.

 Nine hand sculpted polymer clay leaves gather in a cluster to indicate the lushness of foliage on the Chair. Each has been treated to inks, waxes and more to create a luster and variegation of greens and blues.  These I made without any idea how I was going to incorporate them.

I knew I had some yellow glass flowers that echoed the shape from the painting,so I threw them on the table while I was making the other pieces.

The Grape vine tendrils caught my eye from the beginning as I love curlyQ things.   I wanted this to be part of the design and I have been experimenting lately with faux heavy metal pieces.  I followed the design of the curves in the painting and formed my pieces. These undergo numerous rubbings and polishing to improve the faux look to become more authentic.


Once these pieces were cured I did some final finishing , coloring, polishing, and some more until I was satisfied. I think I might have stayed on this task because I really had no idea what I was going to do with these pieces.

But time was getting away from me. That was Friday. Saturday night I finished with the components and left the design until today.

So, what to do with these pieces? Well I tried this and that and somehow came up with this design. I had added chains, taken away things but managed to use every piece I'd made even though I wasn't sure how they would be used or if they would even be used.
Playing around with the yellow glass flowers I happened upon making a lariat necklace, using the flowers and some contrasting beads to make the loop. This solved my problem of a clasp and I really like how that turned out.

The silver pieces were a bit harder to figure. I wanted to use the black ribbon and cord necklace from the beginning but not sure how, but it helped to reflect the ribbon on the dress.

 After playing a bit more I figured out how to arrange them along one side (originally I figured one on each side of the necklace). The cluster of leaves topped off the connection of the ribbon to the bead loop and balanced the piece just right.

It was now getting late in the day and I wanted to take my photos outside, we had had a downpour a few hours before but it was now overcast and I hurried out to snap some pictures. It was a bit hard with all the metallic, but I think they came out well and did justice to the piece.  

I of course had to edit and pick out of all the pics I took but I got it uploaded to flickr which I haven't used in quite awhile so it took me longer than usual with the new system.

I hope to start writing regularly and have photographed some tutorials to share and will as time allows.

Be sure to check out the other entries at Art Bead Scene Flickr Photostream.

Meet you here again soon! 





  1. So wonderful to have you back with us, Miss Kate! I look forward to seeing more from you in the coming months. Enjoy the day! Erin

  2. Nice to meet you,Kate... I am one of many, many new bloggers who joined the ranks in your absence. I love exploring PC and look forward to reading your tutorials and discovering your creations.

    I found it interesting how you spent a lot of time adding and removing components. Isn't that always the way? Particularly this month, I found myself with a design completely different from the planning stage. I really like the focal you created based on the dress fabric!

    1. Hi Monique~

      Nice to meet you too! I know think sometimes the materials lead us instead of the other way around! Kinda like my dog walks me! :)
      Thanks for your comment on the focal, it was something new to me.

  3. Kate, I am Thrilled to see you again !
    I have missed both you and your wonderful clay creations.
    Great entry . I LOVE that focal .
    Welcome back !
    m.e. :)

    1. Hey M.E.!

      I have been following your work and it just keeps getting better and better! Your pieces are truly amazing, but I recognize them without even seeing your name!

      thanks for the welcome back!

  4. Kate,you will think I am stalking you! I came across your blog via Heather Powers and as soon as I saw Organic Odysseys, I recognise my sheep searcher friend. And gluten free to boot. Snap! I loved reading the story about this necklace. Your comments about the materials leading you really resonated and I look forward to reading your bead journeys more. Wendy Moore

  5. Hi Wendy! I'm glad you found me, I am still thinking of those horns and the other photos I enjoyed exploring! Yes, I'm GF as I have celiac, it's an ongoing thing!

  6. Such a lovely and unusual piece. I love the pendant and your faugh metal finishes . Looking forward to seeing more ;)



Related Posts with Thumbnails