Just before Christmas Alicia of All the Pretty Things asked a group of us if we'd be interested in coming together to share beads and create as a team: The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists (CC7A).
First up in our group of seven is Monique of A Half Baked Notion who gave us the theme of a current exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada. She was inspired by this exhibit to create a polymer focal blending the look of wood with an artistic flower in the center.
This particular exhibit features a unique mix of artists, architects and artisans, or more specifically how their work and styles blended together from 1890-1918 in Canada. Quite a unique collection. During this time of Canada's history they were moving from agricultural colonies to an industrial nation which included a demand for new buildings both civic and domestic. The building boom created a growth period where artists and architects worked together to design and decorate their towns and their homes which introduced the idea of combining painting with architecture in design. It is a beautiful example of Canadian Arts & Craft period, a style of architecture that is my absolute favorite and which I use for my own home. You can read more in an article by the National Gallery of Canada Magazine.
I pulled a few examples from the exhibit to give you a flavor of the works (numbered left). (1) 1904 Oak Sideboard by Jeremy Adamson a piece that as William Morris, founder of the Arts & Craft movement, said is “characterized by a return to simplicity of design.” (2) 1897 book binding (book of Ruth & Esther) for Will Bradley which is tooled, gilded and colored cow skin from Nova Scotia. (3) 1906 mural painting by Gustav Hahn; many of the artists were commissioned to paint for the new Toronto City Hall and Parliament Buildings. (4) 1912 sideboard from the main dining room of the Legislative & Executive Building at Regina, Saskatchewan built by Edward & W.S Maxwell. (5) my favorite ... a 1900 Arts & Craft piano! Built by Reid Brothers Manufacturing in Toronto. The piano is stained oak with three oil paintings. I would love to own this one for sure.
I used Monique's wood & flower focal with a design I recently saw from Erin Seigel's in Stringing called Glistening Garland. While I used Erin's technique of tying beads in clusters, I did put my spin on it (because I can never seem to follow directions!) I changed it up with beaded fringe around the focal. I thought the hemp used for the stringing and the sway of the fringe reminded me of the old book binding above (#2 picture from the exhibit). For anyone else that would like to try Erin's design, you'll find it in the Winter issue of Stringing and is quite easy to follow.
As a bonus, Monique included a second polymer focal with a mosaic heart. I took the opportunity to practice my chenille stitch for Christine & Therese's A Time To Stitch #4 Challenge. Chenille has become my favorite new stitch and I seem to be using it non-stop. I've already made several necklaces, and a bracelet (you'll see the other pieces posted on my ATTS post).
Once I finished this chenille chain for the heart necklace I went in search of a very loving home for it. And I found it with Christine's youngest daughter; just look at that sweet smile. She was wearing it for her recent piano recital where I hear she did an amazing job wowing the audience. Rock on Lanie!
And now to see what the rest of the seven artist's created please visit: Alicia (our host), Christine, Emma, Monique, Sally and Therese.